Policy Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 361–377 | Cite as

A spatial analysis of green teams: a tactical response to marijuana production in British Columbia

  • Aili E. Malm
  • George E. Tita


Over a period of 4 years (1997–2000), British Columbia (BC) experienced tremendous growth in the illicit production and distribution of domestically grown marijuana. By the close of 2000, each policing jurisdiction in BC had adopted a particular policy in response to grow operation proliferation. In summary, four policy responses were noted. First, some maintained the status quo wherein enforcement of police initiated investigations and citizens’ tips continued, but with no additional resources specifically dedicated to grow operations. Second, some jurisdictions suspended the majority of investigation and enforcement of grow operations. Third, some agencies implemented or reinforced existing resource intensive drug squads, which focused on trafficking, sales and production of all types of drugs. Finally, some of the jurisdictions formed specialized tactical units known as “green teams” that focused solely on the enforcement of marijuana production. In this paper, we evaluate the effectiveness of green teams using a Geographic Information System (GIS) and difference-in-difference estimates. The results indicate that green teams decrease grow operations within their target area without significant displacement to surrounding areas.


Displacement Criminal justice policy Police crackdown GIS Policing Marijuana Policy evaluation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLP 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Criminology, Law and SocietyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Criminal JusticeUniversity of California State, Long BeachLong BeachUSA

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