Grow operations impact the whole community
Growing marijuana inside a residence impacts the health of current, future and surrounding residents.
Common health concerns related to growing marijuana inside a residential dwelling include the:
- growth and release of moulds and fungi
- release of toxins, commercial or industrial chemicals, and fumes
- absorption of insecticides, fungicides, solvents and other chemicals used in operations into carpeting, wood, insulation, subfloors and concrete basement floors
- general decline in air quality, and
- contamination of the ground or water supply
Properties not remediated to reliable standards continue to pose risks to the health of future home owners if they unknowingly purchase a property used as a grow op.
More health hazards
Structural modifications to a grow op home are a danger to the safety of current, future and surrounding residents. Common structural modifications to a grow op home include:
- altered electrical wiring systems
- additions of irrigation systems and humidifiers
- alterations to walls, floors, roofs and foundation walls, and
- disconnected furnace exhausts and hot water tanks to allow carbon dioxide to filter out
All these modifications place the home at higher risk of fire and explosion, affecting not only the grow op property itself, but also the surrounding properties.
More health hazards
Associated criminal activity
Illegal grow operations often bring unwanted associated criminal activity into the community. Residents are at risk of becoming:
- victims of property crimes
- victims of violent crimes, and
- targeted for theft or home invasions by mistake
In some cases, growers themselves have been found in possession of illegal weapons and other drugs.
Costs to homeowners and the community
Remediating a former grow op property can be extensive, time consuming and costly for homeowners – and the community as a whole – because:
- qualified consultants and contractors must be brought in to conduct inspections and repairs to ensure the home meets building codes and is safe to be inhabited
- former grow op houses are often unmarketable, and
- the existence of a grow operation in a neighbourhood can stigmatize the entire community, decreasing the property values in the area
Who to contact
If you suspect a marijuana grow operation in your community, call your local police or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.