Growing weed is great, right? It saves you money and you have unlimited access to weed… But there are a few things you should know before you start to grow marijuana. You see, you cannot just assume that you will be safe from legal authority just because you’re growing in the privacy of your home. It’s very important you do everything in your power to avoid getting your home raided. Even in places where weed is legalized there are still usually federal guidelines that mean you can still get arrested in most countries and there are still thieves and nosy neighbors you don’t want learning about your garden.
Some info that every new grower should know:
Know the punishments and laws for cultivation in your state.
- If you have any scales or baggies in your house and get raided you will be charged with cultivation and selling. 2 felonies.
- If you have any guns and or kids in the house you are growing in the punishment will be increased.
- You should not grow, sell, or transport marijuana anywhere near a school, daycare or anything like that because the punishment will be increased.
- Keep the number of illegal items in your house down to a minimum.
- Don’t keep any records to previous illegal activity. i.e. pictures of prior grows, or a list of people you have sold too.
Know your rights.
The only way a cop can enter your house is with your permission, a warrant, or if something illegal is in plain site. If a friend answers the door he can let the cop in but you can tell him to leave as soon as you find out unless its to late and the cop has smelled pot, seen a bong, marijuana poster etc. If he is asking you if he can come in then it means he doesn’t have enough probable cause for a warrant. NEVER let a cop into your house without a warrant.
Know why people get caught.
By far the number one reason people get caught is because they tell someone about their grow. Trust no one and i mean no one. If you can’t keep your own secret how in the hell can you expect someone else too? Follow this rule and you can eliminate the #1 reason of getting a felony charge. If someone asks you where you got your weed, tell them you’d rather not talk about it and leave it at that. Better yet, don’t tell them you smoke at all. Don’t ever give hints that you know how to grow weed. If others are talking about it, bite your lip and say nothing!
Know the tactics police use.
- If they suspect you of growing they will probably pull your trash a few times looking for evidence of illegal activity.
- After they have pulled your trash a few times they will give you a knock & talk. If you know its the police you shouldn’t answer because the only reason they are there is to get evidence. A simple “i smell marijuana”, or them seeing your bong is all it takes to get in. You don’t have to answer since it is considered consensual contact, but you should answer if its clear the officer is being ignored. If you do answer you should be polite and assert your rights ask what its about, deny it, and end the conversation. Remember if you are getting a knock & talk you screwed up somewhere because they are on to you. You should get rid of your plants as soon as possible and replace them with some flowers or something you had sitting in pots in your back yard. It just takes a few months to grow and you got your whole life to grow again. If you get caught growing the cops will always be on to you.
- If a dog detects narcotics that is probable cause to search. That is why they spend thousands of dollars training them.
- It is not uncommon for the police to use grow shops as a front to look for suspicious people buying a HPS light.
- The police know that 99.9% of the grows busted are because of informants, so in some states they have rewards for anyone who gives them information that leads to a bust.
Consider all sounds, smells, and light that come from your grow room.
Be smart about comings and goings to your home or grow area (especially with lots of growing supplies). Remember that people are surprisingly nosy about what you’re doing. One of the best covers for growing weed is growing a few other plants, whether it’s flowers, vegetables, fruits… gardening is an ideal cover for growing weed. If that’s not an option, then make sure you are not observed when you come and go with supplies. Night works best.
Consider that helicopters with heat cameras can fly over your house
Law enforcement officials often search for unusual heat activity to discover marijuana grow operations. The intense heat given off by HPS lights is a dead giveaway that’s something unusual is going on. LED panels and CFL bulbs are low-heat grow lights which can still produce over a pound of bud out of your closet. LEDs and CFLs barely give off any heat, and use only a fraction of the electricity of HID lights. They work especially well when one is growing a few plants in a closet, as opposed to a huge grow operation.
Keep your grow space looking young.
If you do happen to get caught, it usually helps to make it seem like this is your first offense. To so, make sure to keep your grow space from looking like it’s been around for a while.
This means regularly dusting any lamps or equipment, changing the filters, and removing any bills or other documents that are dated and traceable. This helps any prosecutors or agents assume you’re doing this for the first time, which might help you receive a softer penalty.
Be smart when ordering marijuana related stuff online
- Keep your marijuana realted purchase a secret. Actually keep all your weed-growing activities a secret. There’s no need to tell anyone!
- Use a secret or at least public email address to make your purchase. It only takes a few minutes to create a new gmail account. Made something up instead of using your work email or one that contains your real name.
- Credit card companies keep your information a lot more secure nowadays including destroying payment information immediately after an order has been processed. But if you don’t feel comfortable purchasing weed seeds using your credit card pay for those weed seeds.
- Never ship your weed stuff to that place where you intend to grow. Sending seeds and other stuff to the place you intend to grow just invites trouble, dude.
- Make sure the destination has a real address with a real name if you want to get those weed seeds safely. Most letter carriers have been working their beats for years and know if someone lives in that neighborhood or not. Use initials if you need to or better yet just use a PO BOX. And never have your weed seeds delivered using a service that requires a signature. If you have to do this—make sure to have someone else sign for it.
- Always buy marijuana seeds from a well-known seed bank or vendor.
Learn about electrical safety & technology
While growing marijuana isn’t a dangerous pastime when you follow basic safety rules, it becomes a problem for idiots; don’t be an idiot! There are plenty of examples where foolish growers have destroyed their crop, and their home, in an electrical fire. The most obvious tip here is to purchase high-quality equipment, because cheap electrics is a recipe for disaster.
Make sure all water and other liquids are at a level below waist-height and that all electrical equipment is above waist-height. Clean up any spilled liquids immediately and invest in a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. A GFCI interrupts the power when it senses a problem with your electrical flow.
It is all too easy to overload your circuits when growing weed so make sure you know how much your circuits are capable of handling and stay well below the limit. Most indoor growers should do fine with one 600w HPS light.
Use your common sense and never let your guard down!
Don’t annoy anyone.
Another main reason some growers get caught is because they pay no attention to their surroundings and how their operation might affect their neighbours.
Trust us, there’s no easier way to annoy a neighbour than have an exhaust fan running off next to their window all night. If you’re going to grow in a residential area, make sure you go the extra mile to avoid annoying anyone.
Always pay your bills.
Another classic way of getting caught growing weed is to have a bill collector show up at your door.
Remember how we said to avoid any unnecessary attention? Always make sure you pay your bills on time to avoid any extra suspicion.
Hopefully, you understand the importance of secrecy when growing weed. It is the key to growing, harvesting, drying, curing, and enjoying, without being discovered. Whether you like it or not, you can’t trust anyone who is not involved in the growing process. Only grow the amount of cannabis you need. Follow these rules and don’t break them. As a result, you will never have any trouble growing your own weed at home. Make sure you keep house guests to a minimum if your growth site is nearby. Even in states where it is perfectly legal, and you are within the bounds of the law, it is better to be safe than sorry.
[Update, originally published 12.1.2017]