America's green, leafy suburbs are becoming home to an increasing number of people growing a green, leafy product. The housing crisis has caused an influx of marijuana growers from rural areas and commercial zones to the suburbs, the New York Times finds. The growers are snapping up spacious homes in upscale areas and converting them to grow houses capable of producing large amounts of high-quality weed.
Law enforcement agencies often lack the resources to go after grow houses and many operations aren't noticed, even by neighbors, until unsafe wiring causes a fire. Authorities say growers generally blend into suburban neighborhoods easily, especially in areas where the housing crisis has shaken up once stable communities. "You have a much more transient population now, so you mind your business,” says one homeowner in northern California. “It’s not the day when you take an apple pie over and say, ‘Hi, I’m your neighbor.'"