Is Your Neighbor Growing Marijuana?

A detective offers tips for figuring out whether a neighbor may harbor an indoor pot-growing operation in a house or apartment. Hint: It's the smell, not whether he or she is running out at all hours to buy junk food to satisfy the alleged "munchies."

A sister Patch site in Stow, OH., interviewed a local detective who advises folks to use a combination of Yankee common sense and old-fashioned sleuthing to figure out whether a neighbor who acts suspicious has an illegal indoor, home-based pot-growing operation.

Det. Tom Gottas, of the 's narcotics division, said the biggest hint to knowing if your neighbor is growing marijuana is the odor. But here are the other Top 10 Signs of Marijuana Growing Operations:

1.) Fans, scrubbers, and air fresheners running to mask the "intense robust organic" smell of marijuana.

2.) Heavy traffic in the area of the house by foot, car and bike.

3.) Groups of people staying short periods of time.

4.) People coming and going at all hours. The detective said most of the mentioned activity happens at night.

5.) Growing marijuana takes lots of power, so watch for extra power cords and generators.

6.) Look for large amounts of trash, including vegetative trash in bags.

7.) Large amounts of vegetative aids such as fertilizer and planters without seeing the landscape outside of the home to go with it.

8.) Covered exterior vents like roof gables and no open windows to keep the marijuana smell contained

9.) Power and lights are used but you never see anyone collect the mail or see a person in the yard.

10.) 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 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. 

"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."

CJ July 29, 2012 at 08:10 PM
Kevin..no problem...I was just trying to help you out. You still should have been able to tell my comment was not directed to you, but I can understand someone who is a strong defender of medicinal MJ getting a bit confused now and then. By the way...I am also a strong supporter of...hmmm....what were we talking about..uh...I forgot. I'm not sure...but The Patch ''may'' be run by Huffington Post..which is nothing to brag about. If anything, The Patch, is one of the few shining things about HP. HP is well known for it's censoring. You will see that in The Patch, also...but it is done according to written out rules which generally are fair. HP, on the other hand, uses ''moderators'' along with thier staff to do the deletions...and they don't follow ''any'' rules....and they can delete just about anything they want to. ''Back in your heyday, an oz would have lasted a year?'' What did you do with it, feed it to parakeets? Not all medicinal MJ users are using it for medicnal reasons, either...just like not all people who have a handicap hanger on thier car rear-view mirrors are really handicapped...but they sure do know how to scam good parking spots. Better watch that coffee. Don't you know it is a gateway drug for 5-Hour Energy drinks? Oh..and Walmart is the cheapest place to buy them ;) It's OK if you are old, but don't forget how to crow. I am also, and I still know how and do. Your heyday sounds like watching paint dry.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 08:14 PM
It's ok, Kev, we all know why medicinal mj supporters get confused...lol
Kevin_Hunt July 29, 2012 at 08:30 PM
"You still should have been able to tell my comment was not directed to you,' Like I mentioned, the Patch comments interface is restrictive and leads to confusion. I agree, HP moderation is confusing too. "Your comment is awaiting moderation" means the comment will show up in 30 seconds, 24 hours, or never. "I can understand someone who is a strong defender of medicinal MJ getting a bit confused now and then." The Choomer in chief said it was OK, then sent in the DOJ to shut it down. That's the source of my confusion. Medical marijuana is the gateway to industrial hemp. "What did you do with it, feed it to parakeets?" Not sure what you are trying to imply. Parakeets are the reason that sterilized hemp seeds are still legal, despite King George II and Co unsuccessfully trying to outlaw them in 2000. Thanks to the 9th circuit court for smacking them down. "Not all medicinal MJ users are using it for medicnal reasons, either." Please don't tell me you are just now figuring that out. You seem smarter than that. Besides, the guy at the liquor store never asks about my back pain when I pick up a six pack. Ever heard of "medicinal liquor" prescriptions during prohibition? "Your heyday sounds like watching paint dry." So did I party too hard back then or not hard enough? You seem to be ribbing me for doing both.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 08:51 PM
This is not funny anymore..when one guy who takes things too seriously talks to another guy who takes things too seriously..this is the type of conversation they have... Sorry about you sore back, but mine is that way from having too much sex. All the medicinal mj would do in my case is make the matter worse. I am a bit of a glutten for punishmnet, though. A little advice...try a 18-pack or a case instead of just a 6-pack and it will work better for that sore back. Guess a lightweight that could make an oz last a whole year would not know that, either. Just a 6-pack? You are killing me you are so funny...
CJ July 29, 2012 at 08:57 PM
''very liberal''...that is what it says on my bottle of sunburn lotion I just bought on how to apply it...and it obviously is sometimes a very good thing.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 08:59 PM
When your electric bill gets to the point it is 4 times that of your neighbors, it is time to harvest.
Kevin_Hunt July 29, 2012 at 09:03 PM
"not funny anymore". I thought it was getting good. Perhaps you don't understand my dry sense of humor. Sorry. I knew that this wasn't an angry debate about legalization when I saw your first post about the Emerald Triangle. Just like the Bermuda Triangle...but with more weed. You do know about parakeets and hempseeds, right? Re six packs: I'm not a big drinker anymore since 1993 when I played some drinking game that involved cards. I was sick for 24 hours after that. Barfed out of the window of my car and almost hit a jogger with the vomit stream. Gotta do things in moderation now. A six pack lasts me a while. "lightweight" and proud of it.
Kevin_Hunt July 29, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Gotta get a UFO LED ASAP.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 09:30 PM
Don't know how scared ''growers'' are about getting busted. Evidently they don't worry ''too'' much. So, yes...I ''do'' think a ''real grower'' would do that. Where I live, a guy was shot dead in the street in front of a guy who ''sells'' it. The shooting was coincidental it happened in front of his house...and the very next day after the cops removed the yellow crime tape he had customers practically lined up at the roadblock to our street. I am not exaggerating. My point is that there are ''numerous'' very open selling operations going on...and the cops don't seem to care. What is the real difference if a person is selling it or growing it? Why bother to put out advice like this on how to recognize a grower? The open sellers are so obvious, the cops don't need to try hard to discover growers to bust...there are plenty of sellers they can ''easily'' bust. I think the cops have accesed that the pot sellers and/or growers are low priority and not normally dangerous for them to worry about. That may be true, but it still is amazing how open the sellers are. I am not too concerned about my neighbor who is selling, but I do worry about some of the people that come to by from him. The pot smokers are harmless enough, but many criminals smoke pot also, and them buying pot is nothing compared to other things they may be linked to. Cops use the sellers as ways to monitor and track more potentially dangerouse people. That's fine unless they are your neighbors.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Kevin. And let me guess...life is like a box of chocolate to you..right? Are you sure you first name is Kevin, and not Forrest? No...I did not know parakeets like hemp seeds, but ti looks like I accidently guessed right about why an oz would last you a year ''back in your heyday'', as you put it. You have me mixed up with someone else, because I never said anything about an Emerald Triangle...but it was funny you would say that because I moved here from Kansas about 4 months ago. Hilarious. It's no wonder you are an advocate of medicianal mj...especailly with a sore back...and more especaiily since you now tell us that even a 6 pack last you a long time. I got news for you...the medicinal mj is not going to help your back either....sooner or later you are going to have to learn how to get loaded without puking...or your back is going to keep hurting. How is a guy who makes an oz last over a year, and a 6-pack ''last awhile'' is ever going to do that, I'll never know. Have you ever heard of LSD...maybe that might help. Just a suggestion.
Kevin_Hunt July 29, 2012 at 10:25 PM
CJ: I don't have back pain. I was making a reference to the most common "ailment" that people use to get MMJ. The reason that the guy at the liquor store "doesn't ask about it" is because "medicinal liquor" gave way to full legalization of booze in 1933. The birdseed lobby succeeded in exempting hemp seeds from the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 because they claimed that pet birds wouldn't sing without cannabis; much in the same way Willie Nelson won't sing without it. You said: "The Patch of Humbolt County California... I have been to both." Humboldt County is in the Emerald Triangle, right? LSD? Too strong...this lightweight is not gonna do it. Kansas? I bailed out of KS for "greener" pastures ten years ago...good call. "The Emerald Triangle refers to...Mendocino County, Humboldt County, and Trinity County..in Northern California ." Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerald_Triangle
CJ July 29, 2012 at 10:46 PM
No back pain? This is a copy and paste from your initial post i responded to: ''Besides, the guy at the liquor store never asks about my back pain when I pick up a six pack'' It sure sounds like you said you have back pain to me..it's what you wrote?? Oh well..if you are from Kansas also, then you can't be all bad. What part of Ks? I am from Overland Park. OK..you explained what the Emerald trinagle is...only said I had been to Humboldt County. I did not say anything about Emerald Triangle. It was a very long time ago..back in the 70's...and I was not there as a tourist...it was more of a quick ''pleasure trip''...and frankly, it so pleasurable I don't remember much about it. It was more of a magical mystery tour. I do reemeber the place as very green and aromatic...you could almost say it reeked.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 10:54 PM
I was just joking about the lsd. You must only watch PBS tv and never watch any comedies...but you are funny enough without them. so..how this new carrer of yours as a medicinal MJ warrior working out...sounds ike you have a lot to say on the matter if you could only remember what it was you wanted to say. Good thing you are a self-proclaimed lightweight, you are doing the right thing. Stay that way...and don't frogt where you park your car.
CJ July 29, 2012 at 11:01 PM
You mean one of those things from Sharper Image? Although saying ''sharper image'' in a conversation with you seems a little like an oxymoron and something that doesn't really go together. I must say..your UFO reference here is ''flying over my head'' and i don't have any idea what you are talking about. I lack your wit. Hope you have a sense of humor...and not taking me too harshly here...but you are sort of cracking me up and my son says I am already broken...so take it easy on me and don't spring anything else incredible on me.
Kevin_Hunt July 29, 2012 at 11:09 PM
"you said you have back pain to me..it's what you wrote?? " For the second time the joke was in reference to MMJ, Back Pain, and Medicinal Liquor. As in.."why should you need to say you have back pain to use a drug safer than alcohol?" Sorry if you didn't think it was funny, but, again....it was a joke. "What part of Ks?" Roeland Park. "You must only watch PBS tv " Not true, I watch Mystery Science Theater and the new improved version, Rifftrax. "so..how this new carrer of yours as a medicinal MJ warrior working out" I am an industrial hemp warrior, and it is working out fine. Google "Colorado House Bill 12-1099".
Kevin_Hunt July 29, 2012 at 11:17 PM
LED lighting uses about a half of the electricity that metal halide or sodium lamps do. That way your electric bill isn't 4X that of your neighbors: Google "UFO Bloom Boss". "Hope you have a sense of humor" Very much so, but very dry as I have said. If you have watched Rifftrax, you would understand. http://www.rifftrax.com
CJ July 30, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Hmmm. I di das you said and googled those lights and read about them on Amazon. You make me feel as old as I am. i was not aware they had lights as awesome as that. I noticed it said they were idea for about a 9 square foot area...about the soze of a ''secret closet''....interesting stuff to know. You impressed me on that one...but you are not funny about the things you intend to be...it's the natural way you are that amusing. Are you still spoon fed? Caged? Do they let you out everyonce in a while?
CJ July 30, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Roeland Park. Cool. It's a small world indeed. Raised in Johnson County Kansas all my life...and know Roeland Park like the back of my hand. You are alright, and I bet it smells very nice around your house. When younger, I was a spitting image of Tommy Chong...and looked just like him. In fact I was a lot like him in other ways as well, now that I think about it.
Kevin_Hunt July 30, 2012 at 09:02 PM
"...and know Roeland Park like the back of my hand". CJ, How well do you know Liberty, MO, or your industrial hemp history? http://voptdez.archive.org/details/LibertyMissouriFeralHempDitchweedPhotos1989
CJ July 30, 2012 at 11:18 PM
I actually did most of my work practically in Liberty, but technically it was KCMO...for a real estate developer that built the golf course/lake/subdivision of Staley Farms. I also once dated a hot nurse up there from Liberty Hospital that was well worth the long drive....but, yeah....hemp is big up there. Don't forget K-Dirtweed...lots of it around Olathe. The stuff used to grow everywhere up there. Most people forget it is simply a weed.
Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 03:16 AM
" When younger, I was a spitting image of Tommy Chong...and looked just like him" I met Tommy at Stanford's Comedy Club in Westport back in the 90's. Hung out with him backstage. Super nice guy..too bad about the cancer. " I also once dated a hot nurse up there from Liberty Hospital " Naughty Nurses? Ever been to the "Heart Attack Grill"? I haven't but it looks like fun: http://boardingschoolbeats.com/man-suffers-heart-attack-at-heart-attack-grill-after-eating-triple-bypass-burger/
CJ July 31, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I've had some fun at Stanford's...and yes..Liberty Hospitals nurses are indeed very naughty. At least they were back in the 70's. Westport and me go back to the 60's when it was hippie heaven . Volker Park? The Sign? The Vanguard (Brewer and Shipley), 7th Heaven? One Block West?. Wow...going back in the hot tub time machine now... Heart Attack Grill? rings abell, but not sure...but the women here in St pete are walking heart attacks everday. I love my new home here and will never leave. Now you got me thinking of all these babes here in bikini's...I'm defintley not in Kansas anymore. We are probably boring every one here...lol.
CJ July 31, 2012 at 04:37 AM
Gulp...just checked out The Heart Attack Grill link you sent...I'd sure like to eat there...but not one of the hamburgers. Nice. Very nice. Good to know they serve thier food hot.
Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 02:25 PM
"...but the women here in St pete are walking heart attacks everday" Do they still have the thong ban on St. Pete beach? I remember that was a big controversy when I was living there in the 90's. "We are probably boring every one here...lol." Probably; if you want to continue trading old stories, look me up at: http://www.facebook.com/kevin.hunt.946
CJ July 31, 2012 at 03:49 PM
I have only lived here about 3 months or so, but even if thongs have been banned, the view has been A-OK. My arm is always sore from my wife's elbow. At 58, since I moved here, I feel I am getting younger instead of older. My 24 year old son assures me virtually everyday, though, that I am old. My wife would disagree with that. They just filmed a movie at St Pete's Beach. I think it was called Spring Breakers, so I don't think thongs are banned. I certainly doubt they were banned in the movie. I tried your link to FB to check it out, but it did not work. I don't think I have to explain this, because it seems you realize it already...but please excuse anything I may have written that seemed hostile. I did not mean any of it that way, I tend to mess around on these blogs and generally just try and stir up trouble in an onery sort of way ...purley for fun. It makes me feel like I fit in better down here in Florida. Afterall, how could a Kansas (actually born in Missouri) boy come to Florida and be deemed a troublmaker? These people down here have it down to a science, and I have found it very fun and amusing to be here. I love my new home here, and the people who live here. There are no cold feet in my family about making the big move here. You know where I came from and can relate to it, so you also know what a big change this was for us compared to Johnson County Kansas.
Kevin_Hunt July 31, 2012 at 03:59 PM
CJ: Sorry the link didn't work on your computer. For some reason it works on mine. Go to www.facebook.com , search for Kevin Hunt in the search box at the top of the page and look for the picture of Chuck Norris in Action Jeans. Cheers.
CJ July 31, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I got it to work and sent a short message. Your Chuck Norris pic was cool. It reminded me of some vintage men's cologne I bought on Ebay recently, Hai Karate. It was advertised as so dangerous you need a license to wear it...or something like that...and it may have been a very young Chuck Norris ( Joe Namath? ) that did the commercial.
nonya February 15, 2013 at 05:04 PM
The person that wrote this must be getting to age. Nothing to do like old people eh! But bother people who don't want to be loud and bothersome say like drunks and crack heads. There is more domestic violence and problems associated with alcohol and crack than weed. Go drink your wine cooler whilst you type up a report another dumb ass report and kill your liver. Its my business if I wanna fuck my lungs up with smoke. Not yours besides I use vaporiser so no lung damage. Can you vape vodka or crack?? Don't think so!! This article is only good for toilet paper. Oh its illegal to play detective if you don't have the license for it. Its illegal to tresspass on another's property to "smell" for weed. Also to dig in ones trash means your one fucking wierd neighbor. Your going to get your readers shot or arrested at best with your " sound advice". Anonymous Esquire of Florida law.
sp March 07, 2013 at 07:25 AM
I hear people say weed is bad a gate way drug maybe so but what about alcohol how many serious car accidents are caused by people high on weed? In panama city fl you are more likely to get ran over or be in an accident by some drunk idiot than by someone high on weed bt weed carries a heafty sentence if caught only because its illegal drinking and driving is illegal to but you jst get slaps on the hand for such.i believe our gov or law makers need to take a look at things drunk drivers kill tobacco can cause cancer perscription pills are addictive and cause health problems.but because any one can learn to grow weed they keep it illegal that way they can make money on it by fines bail money n such lawmakers always looking for there gain not what the people really want.
CJ March 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Your comment brings up an interesting thought...I wonder how many people that are drunk run into people stoned on weed....lol...afterall...the stoners are often just sitting in thier cars when the light is green...lol It would be like...''hey dude...did you just feel something..it was like far out man...it felt like somebody just rammed the back of our car..but it must have just been a big rush''...


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