Pubdate: Tue, 09 Sep 2008
Source: Innisfil Journal (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Metroland Media Group Ltd.


Drug Producers Like To Hide Their Efforts In Plain Sight.

It's not uncommon for police to raid a house in an upscale 
neighbourhood to clear out a marijuana grow-op. Meth can be cooked up 
in the bathtub of a seedy motel room, or in the four-bedroom, 
finished basement, upgraded abode next door.

But they can't hide forever. One day, sooner or later, their number 
will come up and their nefarious activities will come to a quick end.

But what happens to that home once the police leave and the 
excitement fades away. In all likelihood it will go on the market, 
often to be sold for a discount due to its history as a 'drug house.'

But even though the drugs are gone, their shadow may remain in the 
presence of mould from water damage, and deadly chemicals from drug 
labs that have seeped into carpets and floors.

The mould is relatively easy to get rid of. It's a matter of ripping 
out damaged drywall, and such. Chemicals, however, may be another 
matter. Who ensures a home is free of them?

In most case, the owner pays for cleanup costs and the municipality 
inspects the home before it can be sold. But standards and approaches 
vary across the province. There's no comprehensive provincial 
legislation in place governing how cleanups take place, who is 
responsible for what, and what needs to occur before a home is ready 
to be occupied.

There should be. Grow-ops and drug labs know no boundaries. They are 
in communities small and large. Some municipalities have the 
resources to deal with them, while others do not. A provincial 
standard would have everyone reading from the same page, allowing for 
lessons learned and best practices to be shared.

Shutting down grow-ops and drug labs is dangerous work. If you don't 
think that's the case, consider the measures investigators go to 
protect themselves.

Tough, provincial standards for rehabilitating a drug house would go 
a long way to ensuring new owners don't suffer old effects of drug production.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom