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How To Know if Your Neighbor is Growing Marijuana

Stow Patch asked a Stow detective for some tips on identifying whether your neighbor is growing pot in their house or apartment. The biggest hint is odor.

By Amanda Harnocz , Patch Staff
Jul 23, 2012 8:07 p m ET

Det. Tom Gottas, of the ‘s narcotics division, said the biggest hint to knowing if your neighbor is growing marijuana is the smell, but there’s some other tips residents should know about as well.

Common Signs of Marijuana Grow Operations:

  • Fans, scrubbers, and air fresheners running to mask the “intense robust organic” smell of marijuana
  • Heavy traffic in the area of the house by foot, car and bike
  • Groups of people staying short periods of time
  • People coming at all hours
  • Growing marijuana takes lots of power, so watch for extra power cords and generators
  • Large amounts of trash, including vegetative trash in bags
  • Large amounts of vegetative aids such as fertilizer and planters without seeing the landscape outside of the home to go with it
  • Covered exterior vents like roof gables and no open windows to keep the marijuana smell contained
  • Power and lights are used but you never see anyone collect the mail or see a person in the yard

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 you don’t see large amounts of trash on the tree lawn that doesn’t always mean there isn’t any suspicious vegetative trash somewhere.

“A lot of these [people] now know we check their trash so they take the trimmings and clippings from the plants, in trash bags, and disgard them in a dumpster at some commercial or retail location,” said Gottas. “Point being that if your neighbor is putting trash bags in his car, when they have regular trash service, and taking them somewhere, that might be suspicious.”

The detective said most of the mentioned activity happens at night.

“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.

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“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.”

Stow, OH | News | 1d

Here Comes (Black, Spanish-Speaking Or ASL-Fluent) Santa Claus

Santa looks how children want. And #MeToo, Mrs. Claus might say. She keeps everything running at the North Pole and is part of the main act.

How To Know if Your Neighbor is Growing Marijuana – Stow, OH – Stow Patch asked a Stow detective for some tips on identifying whether your neighbor is growing pot in their house or apartment. The biggest hint is odor.

This is what you can do if your neighbours are smoking or growing cannabis

The smell is distinct and can linger for hours

  • 14:30, 11 JUN 2020

Most households form good relationships with their neighbours, but some unfortunate people have the neighbours from hell.

Annoying neighbours can host loud parties, steal your wheelie bin, park in your favourite space, or are even too nosy for your liking.

But what if this neighbour is smoking cannabis? While it can depend on the individual and their feelings on what other people do in their own home, there is no denying the smell can linger long after.

What can you do if you think your neighbour is smoking weed? Devon Live took a closer look at what the law said.

Can you smoke cannabis in your own home legally?

This is a common misconception, even if it is in your own home you cannot commit any crimes or do anything illegal, and this includes smoking weed.

Any suggestion that it is legal because it is in your own house is just an urban myth.

A Derbyshire police spokeswoman said: “The possession of cannabis is an offence and will be dealt with by police. We would encourage anyone who suspects drug activity in their community to contact us.”

Can your neighbours find out that you complained to the police?

The police won’t ever tell the suspected house that they found out via a neighbour, they respect what issues that can arise from doing this. They won’t give away a caller’s identity, and won’t say it is a neighbour as it narrows it down.

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Sometimes police on patrol who smell the cannabis themselves may knock on the door and approach the subject this way.

What will happen to my neighbours if I do call the police?

This will depend on each individual circumstance, and on a number of variables. It depends on how much cannabis is found, if the neighbour has had any previous convictions and what the police officers find on the property.

If they are renting the property, what if I tell their landlord?

It is another option but it is important to remember that the landlord doesn’t have any obligation to keep your identity a secret, meaning they could tell your neighbour what you said.

If a tenancy agreement has been drawn up properly, then they will be in breach of it, but there are also constraints as to what the landlord can do about the situation.

A spokesman for the National Landlords Association said that, if a landlord suspects cannabis use, they should “arrange for a visit to the property, provided they have given the tenant advance warning.”

He said: “If they see or smell what they believe to be evidence of cannabis use, they should remind and warn the tenants that such actions are in violation of the tenancy agreement.

“If and/or when they next visit the property, they see the same evidence they may then wish to resort to serving a section 21, or eviction notice.”

I am a landlord and what can I do to stop cannabis being used at my property?

On the National Landlords Association website, a post on preventing your rented property being used as a cannabis factory says that if you suspect your tenants may be growing cannabis, “the best course of action is to start building a bank of evidence, based on a tenant’s use of the property and its overall condition.”

It continues: “A good start involves speaking to neighbours and enquiring whether they have noticed any unusual activity at the property. This approach is by no means full proof, but it provides you with some valuable context to inform your investigation.

“The next step would be providing your tenant with notice so that you can do a routine inspection. Legally, you must provide at least 24 hours’ notice ahead of a visit, but a tenant can refuse you entry. “

If you do have evidence of criminal activity, contact the police. It’s important not to put yourself in any danger by trying to deal with the issue yourself.

How can I find out who the landlord of a property is?

Firstly, check who the Land Registry have as the owner of the property. It will cost a small amount of money but it will provide you with the information that you need, and you can find out more here.

Can I confront them myself?

The best advice in this situation is to call the police if you feel comfortable doing so and are having a problem with cannabis use from a neighbour.

However, it will depend on your personal circumstances and the relationship that you have with your neighbours. Some relationships can be relatively close and honest whilst others may be more hostile.

Do not feel the need to deal with it yourself if you are in this situation and seek further advice from the police.

The smell is distinct and can linger for hours