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Is Your Neighbor Growing Marijuana?

A detective offers tips for figuring out whether a neighbor may harbor an indoor pot-growing operation in a house or apartment. Hint: It's the smell, not whether he or she is running out at all hours to buy junk food to satisfy the alleged "munchies."

A sister Patch site in Stow, OH., interviewed a local detective who advises folks to use a combination of Yankee common sense and old-fashioned sleuthing to figure out whether a neighbor who acts suspicious has an illegal indoor, home-based pot-growing operation.

Det. Tom Gottas, of the 's narcotics division, said the biggest hint to knowing if your neighbor is growing marijuana is the odor. But here are the other Top 10 Signs of Marijuana Growing Operations:

1.) Fans, scrubbers, and air fresheners running to mask the "intense robust organic" smell of marijuana.

2.) Heavy traffic in the area of the house by foot, car and bike.

3.) Groups of people staying short periods of time.

4.) People coming and going at all hours. The detective said most of the mentioned activity happens at night.

5.) Growing marijuana takes lots of power, so watch for extra power cords and generators.

6.) Look for large amounts of trash, including vegetative trash in bags.

7.) Large amounts of vegetative aids such as fertilizer and planters without seeing the landscape outside of the home to go with it.

8.) Covered exterior vents like roof gables and no open windows to keep the marijuana smell contained

9.) Power and lights are used but you never see anyone collect the mail or see a person in the yard.

10.) Specifically in Stow, Gottas said he and his crew have seen a lot of "windows covered with reflective coverings, fans constantly running exhaust air from what should be a bedroom window, basement windows covered with black plastic, subjects carrying potting soil and fertilizer into the house and garden hoses running into the house."

"If it looks suspicious and is not what normal people do, there’s probably something not right about it. And the biggest hint or clue of all is the odor," he said. "A large scale marijuana grow has a distinctive, pungent odor that’s hard to describe, but very noticeable. Sometimes they manage to mask the odor pretty well, but typically at some spot around the house there is a noticeable smell."

Living in an apartment doesn't necessarily mean someone isn't growing pot either. 

"Here in Stow, we have also seen small grows in closets in apartments. They are obviously not as large and as sophisticated, but they still grow some pretty nice plants," Gottas said. "We have also seen plants growing in gardens in backyards where they can fit in nicely with corn. Some have even had potted plants on their decks figuring the neighbors won’t or don’t know what marijuana plants look like and think nobody would grow it right out in the open."

Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 03:59 PM
CJ: Sorry the link didn't work on your computer. For some reason it works on mine. Go to www.facebook.com , search for Kevin Hunt in the search box at the top of the page and look for the picture of Chuck Norris in Action Jeans. Cheers.
CJ July 31, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I got it to work and sent a short message. Your Chuck Norris pic was cool. It reminded me of some vintage men's cologne I bought on Ebay recently, Hai Karate. It was advertised as so dangerous you need a license to wear it...or something like that...and it may have been a very young Chuck Norris ( Joe Namath? ) that did the commercial.
nonya February 15, 2013 at 05:04 PM
The person that wrote this must be getting to age. Nothing to do like old people eh! But bother people who don't want to be loud and bothersome say like drunks and crack heads. There is more domestic violence and problems associated with alcohol and crack than weed. Go drink your wine cooler whilst you type up a report another dumb ass report and kill your liver. Its my business if I wanna fuck my lungs up with smoke. Not yours besides I use vaporiser so no lung damage. Can you vape vodka or crack?? Don't think so!! This article is only good for toilet paper. Oh its illegal to play detective if you don't have the license for it. Its illegal to tresspass on another's property to "smell" for weed. Also to dig in ones trash means your one fucking wierd neighbor. Your going to get your readers shot or arrested at best with your " sound advice". Anonymous Esquire of Florida law.
sp March 07, 2013 at 07:25 AM
I hear people say weed is bad a gate way drug maybe so but what about alcohol how many serious car accidents are caused by people high on weed? In panama city fl you are more likely to get ran over or be in an accident by some drunk idiot than by someone high on weed bt weed carries a heafty sentence if caught only because its illegal drinking and driving is illegal to but you jst get slaps on the hand for such.i believe our gov or law makers need to take a look at things drunk drivers kill tobacco can cause cancer perscription pills are addictive and cause health problems.but because any one can learn to grow weed they keep it illegal that way they can make money on it by fines bail money n such lawmakers always looking for there gain not what the people really want.
CJ March 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Your comment brings up an interesting thought...I wonder how many people that are drunk run into people stoned on weed....lol...afterall...the stoners are often just sitting in thier cars when the light is green...lol It would be like...''hey dude...did you just feel something..it was like far out man...it felt like somebody just rammed the back of our car..but it must have just been a big rush''...

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