Protection of Property Values Case Study
One might ask how someone else's growing and using marijuana affects your property values? Using Oregon as an example, the Oregon Health Authority reveals that there are over 46, 570 medical marijuana growers in the State of Oregon growing marijuana for over 70,000 cardholders, 3,448 of those unregulated, unlicensed, and untaxed grows are in Clackamas County and the graph below shows how many are located in each City. This means that marijuana grows can be grown just about anywhere, in your neighbor's house, barn, garage, basement, and yard.
Photos provided by Oregon State Police
There have been numerous butane hash oil explosions throughout Oregon and the United States, putting our communities at risk. This is the dangerous process of extracting THC oil from the marijuana plant with ignitable butane.
Photo by Central Valley High Intelligence Drug Trafficking Area-California
As a national advocate on behalf of Public Safety, Quality of Life and protection of Property Values, particularly when it comes to dealing with a federally illegal drug such as marijuana, I often consult with citizens who are being impacted in these areas.
CASE STUDY: Below is just one of hundreds of cases throughout the Country and in Oregon in which large marijuana grows are being allowed to be grown in both city and rural residential areas.
In this case study, property owners who have lived the last 33 years next to an Equestrian Center, reveal what it is like living next to a marijuana grow site.
During the summer of 2014 the Equestrian Center was purchased and the new owner in a local community meeting indicated that he was allowing medical marijuana to be grown in the center by growers from Washington State. The equestrian center sits on a 15 acre parcel on Hwy 26 and is surrounded by rural residential homes where families live, and is also located just 500' away from a large Church who has a full-time registered educational school where there are many children.
PROPERTY VALUE IMPACT TESTIMONY: As an illustration, below is a testimony that was given by this property owner to our local officials who are responsible for developing safe drug policies.
Distinguished guest speakers, government officials, citizens and friends of Boring and Clackamas Fire Department and our moderator.
I have lived in Oregon and the Tri-County area for 48 years – 33 of those years in the country on acreage. My 3 girls grew up with farm animals and their ponies and horses. When I purchased this house on Lariat Lane – it was because of the Equestrian Center, even so it was right off Hwy. 26. My grand-children spent every week-end with us and their 3 pet goats and lamb. Huge trucks and trailers coming from as far as Montana and Idaho - loaded with horses, would rumble past the house and we'd watch the horses being unloaded and loaded and trained. 4-H group kids and their parents would show up to rope steers delivered to the back of the barn. There are a couple other people who also bought homes bordering the Equestrian property - because of the closeness to the horse barn. This was a rather "whole-some" experience, including the manure piles.
Let me tell you what it's like to live in my house now - after an illegal pot grow center moved into the barn:
Now - when we sit in our living room, which overlooks the barn, for our morning coffee - we now overlook a security fence, a security gate and several sets of security cameras.
One of these motion detection cameras, including a bright light - is posted next to their gate - adjacent to our property line and drive way entrance and is pointed toward our easement road and the total east side of our house, the garage door, our drive-way and out-building and part of the garden area. If you come to visit us - you will be filmed and you will be on tape and your license plate can be checked to see who you are. Big brother has arrived in Boring. When I walk out of my garage for any reason – to walk my dog or carry my garbage down to the end of my driveway, or to work in my garden - I am being filmed. I consider that an intrusion/invasion of my privacy.
Since I was born and raised in a country where everyone was spied on by the Nazi regime – this is extremely un-nerving to me. Anyone not aware - that a security gate was erected next to our drive-way, with 2 signs reading: "Video Surveillance" – "Trespassers will be prosecuted", can't turn around, unless they utilize part of either one of our driveways. This easement now has become a dead-end road, since there is no gate return. If this federally illegal grow center is allowed to operate – in this location – our quality of life will continue to unravel, our property values will go down the drain and our safety with only two police officers covering this area and stretching all the way up to Mt. Hood will endanger our lives and that of our visitors. This is just the beginning of what's to come, if grow centers are allowed directly adjacent to residential homes.
I am not here to vilify the young men who are growing the pot – we have met them, they could be your children and/or grand-children and are polite young men, who are enabled by others by giving them the lease and therefore the space. I understand that measure 91 marijuana legalization was passed in Oregon – therefore, please, please distinguished guests speakers– GET IT RIGHT – before it goes into effect. (8)
Although many innocent voters have been misled by out-of-state highly funded ballot initiatives that push the so-called medical marijuana scheme and the tax and regulate marijuana scheme, many citizens like myself who have observed the impacts first hand are standing up nationwide to bring a strong awareness to these deceptive attempts to try and ignore the impacts to public safety, quality of life, and property values. Drugged driving, diversion to other States, destruction to the environment, diversion to minors, public consumption, robberies, burglaries, fatal shootings, odors, increased traffic, fires, hash oil explosions are just a few of the impacts that marijuana leaves behind. The scheme of medical marijuana and marijuana legalization leads to the degradation of our neighborhoods and it is important that we take this information and begin to inform our communities.
(7) Oregon Health Authority. Oregon Medical Marijuana Program Grower Data. Email to the author. 17, March, 2015.
(8)Gartner, Monika. Testimony: Let me tell you what it's like to live in my house now - after an illegal pot grow center moved into the barn. Letter to the author. 23, April, 2015.