Couple says smell from pot grow is making them sick

PORTLAND, Ore. - Medical marijuana may be making a Southeast Portland couple sick.

The Petersons don't smoke it, but they say their next-door neighbor does when they're not growing pot. And the smell is making them ill.

Last year new neighbors moved in next door to the Petersons and brought with them what the Petersons describe smells like a skunk.

That smell is from marijuana plants flowering, and it's a growing problem for Zane and Gloria Peterson in more ways than one.

Like secondhand smoke, the Petersons say living next door to a pot grow, with fans constantly turning, not only keeps them from enjoying their home, it's harmful to their health.

"My face gets completely tingly and just paralyzed," Gloria said. "And my sinuses burn, my throat burns, my eyes burn from it."

And it's not just their health at risk. The Petersons say the marijuana smell and smoke take a toll on their pets.

"He hacks really bad, coughs. And this one here, Bartleby, he sneezes a lot," Zane said about two of their five rescue dogs.

KATU News tried reaching out to the Peterson's neighbors, but they never came to the door. Gloria Peterson says the relationship between them is strained, to put it mildly.

"They've destroyed the livability of the neighborhood," she said.

With Little League teams practicing in the park across from the homes, the Petersons say this is the wrong place for their neighbors to grow and smoke pot, legal or not.

The Petersons want the city to step in.

"They're too close. They're way too close for this to be happening," Gloria said. "There needs to be some sort of zoning regulation that there has to be some sort of distance, I believe, between a marijuana grow and a neighbor."

Portland police say because the medical marijuana is legal, this is a complex problem that may need to be addressed by multiple city bureaus.

Gloria emailed Mayor Charlie Hales and Portland's city commissioners on Friday. The mayor's spokesperson said Friday night they were unaware of the issue.

KATU plans to follow up next week.

Gloria emailed us as well, which is why we started asking questions. You too can send us a story anytime by emailing