In California, a glut of foreclosed homes on the market is making it easier for pot growers to buy and rent.
But rather than solve America’s housing crisis, these growers are turning these upper- and middle-class suburban homes into makeshift “grow houses,” complete with “high-intensity lamps, water and air-filtering systems necessary to produce potent, high-quality marijuana,” the Times’ Normitsu Onishi reports.
On the one hand, it’s a creative way to put a positive spin on one of the worst housing markets in history. On the other, it poses serious problems for communities concerned about their home’s declining value.
The presence of drugs and drug-related activities might incite family-minded neighbours to abandon their homes, creating a domino-like effect where local businesses and other amenities begin to shut down and take business elsewhere.
And while the growers cited in Onishi’s story seemed to blend in well enough, not every drug dealer knows how to behave in a family community. Whether they trash their lawns or throw raucous parties, you can bet property values will take a nosedive as troubled neighbours begin to move out.