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Registered: 07/26/04
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Pot houses to be listed [CAN]
    #4232342 - 05/29/05 04:05 AM (12 years, 11 months ago)

Pot houses to be listed
May 28, 2005 - canoe.ca

Maybe you're a prospective homebuyer who wants to find out whether the house you're looking at has recently harboured an illegal marijuana grow operation.

Or maybe you're just a nosy neighbour.

Either way, you'll be happy to hear the Winnipeg Police Service -- with support from the Winnipeg Real Estate Board (WREB) -- is posting an updated list on its website of addresses where cops have uncovered marijuana grow ops.

Police say the list is being posted for two reasons.


"First, we want to ensure that the public is aware of what is occurring within our communities," said Winnipeg police spokesman Sgt. Andy Golebioski.

"Second, we want to encourage property owners to better monitor and supervise their own investments. Many grow operations would be unable to exist if the property owners conduct regular inspections of these addresses."

Indoor dope farms can cause substantial damage to homes. For instance, the humidity in a grow op can cause toxic mould build-up.

"There's definitely the potential for the types of problems like fungus and bugs and things like that," Golebioski added.

Although grow-op homes are subject to inspections before they can be re-sold, structural problems may not always be evident, said Ruthe Penner, WREB president.

"How do you know what's happened to the studs and wood ... that are covered up?" Penner asked, adding the integrity of the structure could be unstable. "People need to know what they're buying and what they're moving into."

Residential grow ops pose other public dangers, including fire and electrical hazards, not to mention the fact that they're often associated with organized crime.

Indoor dope farms are also common targets for thieves and home invaders.

The website list, which was posted online yesterday morning and is to be updated regularly, includes 29 addresses and the dates when they were busted by police.

The list only includes raids conducted in 2005.

"I've received calls from members of the public who have asked about houses from years past and we've done what we can to help them in those areas," Golebioski said.

It's believed Winnipeg is one of the first cities in the country to post a list of addresses of residences busted for grow ops.

"There may be others, but I'm not aware of any," said Peter Squire, WREB spokesman.

Police and WREB officials said they don't foresee any legal problems arising from posting addresses.

"As this program evolves, if there are certain issues that come up, we'll certainly address them," Golebioski said.

Grow-Op Addresses

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