Saturday, November 26, 2011

Massive Foreclosures A Godsend For Vegas-Area Indoor Pot Farm Operators

The Los Angeles Times reports:

  • [L]as Vegas has a pot home problem. And like many of the region's maladies, it's tied to the housing slump.Last year, authorities took down 153 indoor grow sites in Nevada and seized more than 13,000 plants, compared with 18 sites and 1,000 plants in 2005, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said. (By comparison, California busted 791 indoor sites last year.)

  • "You can't have crime without opportunity," said William Sousa, a criminologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. "And all those empty homes present an opportunity for criminal activity."

  • Major cultivators spend tens of thousands of dollars turning cheap homes into greenhouses. Small-scale growers transform bedrooms into grow rooms, [...]. In neighborhoods where residents may be as transient as crowds in a subway station, growers are rarely questioned about dark windows and empty driveways. Those are also hallmarks of abandoned homes, of which America's foreclosure capital has plenty.

  • "I don't know anybody here, and I don't want to stick my nose in their business," an elderly man who lived near [the site of one recent indoor pot farm bust] said one afternoon. Then he shut his door.

For more, see In foreclosure-plagued Vegas, empty homes go to pot.

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