The Regina Police Service continues to investigate and suppress indoor marihuana grow operations in the city and surrounding area. The risks associated with marihuana grow operations are numerous, affecting individuals, families, and neighbourhoods. The risks include but are not limited to:
Hydroponic labs require a large amount of electricity. In order to avoid detection and cost, electricity is often bypassed to divert to the main power line. Exposed or live wires connected to the main power line can be a fire hazard when an electrical short or a power surge occur. Overheating of ballasts also present a fire risk when overheating occurs. Exhaust fans are often used in these situations but only accelerate the fire which is a danger to the home as well as the neighbourhood.
Altered and unsafe wiring exposes individuals to the risks of electrocution in the home as well as outside the home. To bypass the home power line, alterations are made often above ground to steal electricity from the main power line. This can create a charge on the area surrounding the home and expose persons to risks of electrical shock.
Chemical build up of chemicals or fertilizers used to grow the plants can become toxic when they are not vented. Venting of the fumes in the home through hot water heaters, fireplaces, or furnaces is common practice of individuals involved in marihuana grow operations. The release of fumes into the community or into the home can be toxic.
There is often a high level of moisture or condensation which breeds various kinds of mold in the home which is also hazardous to a person’s health. Pollen released from the plants can also trigger allergic reactions in some people.
Crime and Violence
Persons involved in marihuana grow operations are more likely to be victims of home invasion, robbery, and other crimes. In addition, individuals involved in the illegal cultivation, consumption, sale, or distribution of marihuana or other drugs may feel it necessary to arm themselves or their property for protection from other criminals. Mistaken addresses or locations may increase the risk of harm or victimization for those persons who live in the same neighbourhood as the grow operation.
Structural Damage to Homes
In many cases, rental property is used for marihuana grow operations. Persons involved in these activities often alter the structure of the home to conceal illegal wiring or power connections. In addition, excessive moisture breeds molds which can damage your health as well as the structure of the home. Damage to the roof is also common from mold or additional venting. Wood stairs or framing can rot from the mold and moisture. This can include, but is not limited to, wall studs and floor joists.
Chemicals and fertilizers are often poured down the drains in large quantities which are harmful to the environment.