Ninety three per cent of Ontario residents agree they want to know if the home they’re planning on purchasing was formerly used as a Marijuana Grow-Op (MGO) or Clandestine Drug Lab, according to a study by Ipsos Reid.
The Ipsos Reid poll found that one in four (24 per cent) Ontarians report seeing or knowing of homes in their neighbourhood that have been used as MGOs or drug labs.
“The prevalence of these homes in Ontario is quite frankly, alarming,” says Pat Verge, an Ottawa area REALTOR® and member of the Ontario Real Estate Association’s (OREA) Board of Directors, “Homes used as grow ops and/or clandestine labs pose significant health and safety risks to individuals, families, and communities all over the province.”
While some cities in Ontario maintain local registries, there is no province wide registry of former Marijuana Grow-Ops or clandestine laboratories.
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 typical types of premises contaminated with mould in that they have been used for criminal activities that may have resulted in the creation, not only of environmental hazards, but 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.[i]
“The stakes are just too high,” says Verge, “The number of grow ops and clandestine labs in our communities is even more concerning when you consider that there is no reliable way for home buyers to find out if the home they are planning on purchasing was a former MGO or clandestine lab.”
Verge says there is an overwhelming demand from consumers to be able to access 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 are planning on purchasing could put themselves and their family at serious risk.”
To book an interview with Pat Verge, or for more information, please contact:
Media Relations Specialist
Ontario Real Estate Association
(416) 445-9910 ext. 615
[i] Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health. Health Risks and Legislative Authority of the Medical Officer of Health Regarding Marijuana Grow Houses and Clandestine Drug Laboratories in Toronto – REVISED. Toronto Staff Report 2006; 3-4.