Marijuana grows: Bad-as-meth-labs study based on clown science?

marijuana home grow square.jpg
Big photos below.
Officials with the Colorado Drug Investigators Association yesterday announced the results of a study that showed the potential dangers that marijuana grow houses pose to law enforcement officers and the greater community. Not surprising, the study found that having a sloppy, common-sense-free indoor garden (of any kind) can create borderline-hazardous conditions.

The reefer madness clown science study was conducted by National Jewish Health's Dr. John Martyny after several law enforcement groups became concerned with environmental conditions inside grow operations they were encountering. The study looked at 24 grow operations identified by police, in which officers had either torn out the gardens due to illegal growing or made contact with growers claiming to be medical marijuana caregivers. Several tests, including mold spore samples, were conducted inside and outside of the grows to measure how much mold was present and what kind of mold it was, as well as what -- if any -- other contaminants might be present.

marijuana mold study 1.jpg
A photo provided at yesterday's press conference.
At the press conference to announce the results of the study, Martyny said there is no set standard to determine severe exposure to mold, but the generally accepted practice is that anything over ten times the equivalent of outdoor mold levels is not healthy. According to him, eight of the thirty grows examined had an average mold spore count at that level -- and some had so much mold that the reading was literally off the charts.

"There's been sort of a general acceptance that any time the mold levels are ten times the outside level, we are actually having mold growing in the house and it's very likely to be causing or will cause health problems for people," Martyny said. "Especially people who have to clean that house."

You can read the entire report below; it's also posted on the CDIA website. But basically, the analysis found that the average spore count was higher outside than it was inside at five of the grow houses, and the rest fell somewhere around five times the outdoor limit. Data also showed an increase in Penicillium, a mold that can be particularly harmful in large amounts or to people with immune problems. That's nothing to laugh at, and it was one of the few points Martyny and company made about the dangers of grow rooms that holds water.

john martyny.jpg
Dr. John Martyny.
Dirty, nasty grows are no joke, and mold can really be bad for your respiratory system when you live in it. And frankly, judging by the pictures of the filthy grow rooms and data from at least one of the grows, I can understand some of the study-conductors' concerns.

The pictures they showed of carpeted grow rooms, where some plants lacked drain pans and electrical cables ran through murky, half-filled ones, and vent caps were removed from hot water heaters to increase Co2 in the basement, were startling. Stuff like this is horrifying to anyone who knows what a clean, nicely run grow operation can look like.

And that is the one thing the study completely neglects to acknowledge: Clean home grows or legitimate medical marijuana grow facilities can be just as well-maintained as any other legal, commercial growing facility or home-hobby grow. Indeed, the data hints at that being the case. Note one grow with eleven plants, at which both the average and the range of mold spores inside were considerably less than outside.

Jim Gerhardt, CDIA spokesman, said twenty of the grows studied had a "medical marijuana component." One was a large warehouse grow containing multiple gardens, and the person in charge of it claimed to be with a dispensary. Another large grow was in an office building in Westminster and was being run by a group of patients claiming to have co-op status; it was supposedly headed by a dispensary owner from another town. Neither operation was deemed legal when investigators took a closer look into state paperwork. The majority of the rest of the operations were in single-family homes, and judging by the plant numbers, they were either flaunting the system or had significantly increased plant counts for themselves or their patients. Further, many of the grows were in communities like Longmont, Larimer County and Aurora, which have banned commercial medical marijuana businesses and commercial cultivation.

Despite a lack of licensing, local approval, code enforcement or any of the other things that communities require of legal medical grows in the two "commercial" sites in the study, Gerhard still believes the mold findings would be applicable across the board. "We think that those operations that were not in the residential areas would be very, very similar to any medical marijuana licensed grow operation in a commercial facility," he said.

Considering that the propaganda report didn't include a sample from a single legal commercial grow site, this might be hard to predict from the data.

Continue reading for more about the grow study.



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25 comments
Noah
Noah

The writer of this article is a complete biased idiot. "And by their argument, anyone who works in a plant nursery, at a commercial food-producing greenhouse or even at the Denver Botanic Gardens is in serious danger." Im pretty sure botanical gardens have well ventilated, well lit facilities and locations. NOT 100+ plus plants stuffed in small, artificially lit, carpeted rooms. The difference is huge!

ejnevling
ejnevling

I would be curious to see just what types of molds qualified for the study. Many high priced potting soils, such as Fox Farm's Happy Frog or Ocean Forest contain many beneficial fungi which could be classified as mold. They also contain beneficial bacteria which could slant the study as well.

kathismom
kathismom

now they are just getting silly and pulling out all stops to make marijuana seem so, so bad. #yeson64

malcolmkyle16
malcolmkyle16

PROHIBITION IS A DIRECT THREAT TO CHILDREN'S SAFETY:

 

"The “war on drugs” has also generated indirect costs that many researchers contend have undermined public safety. The federal government has prioritized spending and grants for drug task forces and widespread drug interdiction efforts that often target low-level drug dealing. These highly organized and coordinated efforts have been very labor intensive for local law enforcement agencies with some unanticipated consequences for investigation of other crimes. The focus on drugs is believed to have redirected law enforcement resources that have resulted in more drunk driving, and decreased investigation and enforcement of violent crime laws. In Illinois, a 47% increase in drug arrests corresponded with a 22% decrease in arrests for drunk driving. Florida researchers have similarly linked the focus on low level drug arrests with an increase in the serious crime index."

 

—Drug Policy, Criminal Justice and Mass Imprisonment, by Bryan Stevenson

 

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

In the mid 80's , a friend and I drove to El Paso for some poundage .

We returned w/ 20 lbs of moldy shwag !

God I miss being a naive 18 yr old ........

Patty Leidy
Patty Leidy

agreed John, its all a big bunch of hot air..

Monkey
Monkey

Thank you "William Breathes", for making this "warning" sound as stupid as it is. This kind of manipulation is designed to scare landlords, both residential and commercial. No matter what our laws say, landlords can always make their own policy regarding cultivation. Like Mr. Breathes illustrates, this is propaganda to encourage property owners to essentially ban growing weed for patients, caregivers and commercial grows if A64 passes or not. I hate election years, the increase in manipulation is far worse than any of the issues people get to solve through voting.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Most of the public has no concept of science and are strongly inclined to credit only those that agree with their preconceptions anyway, so, as the Spleen has observed, there will be more BS like this before the election.  It's too bad that National Jewish Health's name is associated with this effort.  The prohibitionists are reduced to trying to analogize growing cannabis with cooking meth -- pathetic!  When Prohibition is finally ended, cannabis will not come from crowded indoor grows, but from greenhouses, and the threat posed py parasites such as Gerhardt and the CDIA will be abated.

Pete
Pete

Nobody wants to smoke moldy pot!  Get your ventilation in order all you dumb asses and quit growing on carpeting!  There should be a law against growing shitty weed!

 

 

Mitch Shenassa
Mitch Shenassa

This reminds me of when City of Longmont was concerned that grow houses would raise the *outdoor* CO2 to toxic levels

TheSpleen
TheSpleen

There is also a brand new "study" out today that attempts to track any marijuana use with a radical increase in the risk of testicular cancer....but when you read the actual study instead of the articles describing it, the researchers admit the link is weak and any risk is minimal. Nor can they explain or describe any mechanism by which cannabis might cause this cancer, which is particularly telling due to the amazing anti-tumor properties of cannabinoids.

 

We are going to see a lot more of this reefer madness bullshit now that everyone knows 64 has a damn good chance of passing. The Prohibitionist asshats will lie, cheat and steal: anything they can to keep their futile and idiotic War on Some Drugs alive.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

What a shock, sleazoids lying. Until we stand up and vote out of office every lying, stealing, sack of shit politician we've elected, we're doomed to be mere slaves to a corrupt system.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

What a shock, sleazoids lying. Until we stand up and vote out of office every lying, stealing, sack of shit politician we've elected, we're doomed to be mere slaves to a corrupt system.

Stephen At Half Aspen
Stephen At Half Aspen

What a shock, sleazoids lying. Until we stand up and vote out of office every lying, stealing, sack of shit politician we've elected, we're doomed to be mere slaves to a corrupt system.

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