20 January 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Ontarians want to know home’s grow-op history

An overwhelming majority of Ontario residents (93 per cent) want to know if the home they plan to buy was once a marijuana grow-op or clandestine drug lab, a new survey reveals.

Almost one in four (24 per cent) of Ontarians report seeing or knowing of homes in their neighbourhood that have been used as marijuana grow-ops (MGOs) or drug labs, according to a poll commissioned recently by the Ontario Real Estate Association and conducted by the polling firm of Ipsos Reid.

“The prevalence of these homes in the province is quite frankly, alarming,” says Patricia Verge, an Ottawa REALTOR®, chair of the association’s government relations committee and member of the board of directors. “Homes that were used as grow-ops or clandestine labs pose significant health and safety risks to individuals, families, and communities all over the province.”

Although some cities in Ontario maintain local registries, no province-wide registry exists for former marijuana grow-ops or clandestine laboratories. The association is lobbying the province to create a registry that discloses this information and protects consumers from incurring health and safety risks on the biggest purchase of their lives.

“The stakes are just too high,” says Verge, “The number of grow-ops and clandestine labs in our communities is even more worrisome when you consider that there is no reliable way for home buyers to find out if the house they’re planning to purchase was a former MGO or clandestine lab.”

Exposure to mould and toxins associated with MGOs and clandestine drug labs can cause serious health problems, including allergic (immunological) reactions, toxic effects and infection. Toronto Public Health states that MGOs are distinct from other premises contaminated with mould because they have been used for criminal activities that may result in the creation of not only environmental hazards but also electrical and structural hazards. Additionally, the potential presence of known hazardous, toxic and flammable substances associated with clandestine labs presents an immediate and continuing risk to anyone exposed to these substances.

Verge says consumers have demonstrated overwhelming demand for this information. “There’s no question that Ontarians want to know — it’s in the numbers. Eighty-eight per cent of Ontarians support the creation of a province-wide registry of former marijuana grow-ops and clandestine drug labs. Consumers need to know if the home they plan to buy could put them and their families at serious risk.”


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