The Pot Growers Next Door

The Associated Press worries about suburbs where "neighbors mind their own business and respect each other's privacy." Why? "These are ideal conditions, it turns out, for growing marijuana."  Why should that concern you? The story never says. The closest it comes is a reference to fires in New Hampshire caused by "rows of power strips and spaghetti clusters of extension cords" in grow houses. I await the crackdown on people who have too many computer peripherals or excessively complicated home theater systems.

To encourage nosier neighbors, A.P. offers tips on "how to detect a marijuana greenhouse":

- The windows are often covered and the blinds drawn. There may be excessive condensation around the windows.

- Electrical outlets may be rigged to divert power from neighboring homes.

- The houses are largely unoccupied. People stop by periodically to mow the lawn or do other chores, then leave.

- There are guard dogs, "Keep Out" signs or other security.

- In winter, after a snowfall, the house may be the lone home on the block with no snow on the roof. (Heat from the lights often melts the snow.)

If you want to avoid suspicion, then, never close your blinds (what have you got to hide, anyway?), don't leave your house for extended periods of time, don't buy a dog, don't get a security system, and don't clean the snow off your roof. Otherwise, there may be a knock on your door by heavily armed men, tipped off by a neighbor turned narc.

I'm just kidding. They probably won't knock.

[Thanks to NORML's Allen St. Pierre for the tip.]

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  • ||

    "Why should that worry you? The story never says. The closest it comes is a reference to fires in New Hampshire caused by "rows of power strips and spaghetti clusters of extension cords" in grow houses."

    I notice they don't point out that the hazard of such fires would be reduced if people could have their operation outdoors or in greenhouses. Or if they didn't have to worry about jacking with their electrical to hide their power consumption.

  • ||

    Damn. Sorry about that. Hi, joe.

  • SPD||

    Christ, if I knew a pot grower lived next door, I'd keep the fuck quiet... for a few freebies, of course.

  • Guy Montag||

    "neighbors mind their own business and respect each other's privacy."

    What subdivision is that? Sounds more like both condo complexes that I have lived in than any subdivision I have lived in.

  • ||

    Why should that concern you? The story never says.

    Because of the children, obviously!!!

  • ||

    If you want to avoid suspicion, then, never close your blinds.

    Funny; when I lived in New Jersey the cops told me to keep my blinds closed, after my neighbors complained about seeing me walking around naked in my house.

  • ||

    On the snitching issue...I'm torn.

    I have a nagging suspicion that one of the tenants in my apartment building is a dealer. When you walk by this guy, you instantly get a strong whiff of weed. He has many different people visit him at all times of the day and night. In one case, a guy rode his bicycle to the wrong apartment (upstairs), figured out that he was at the wrong place...came back downstairs, smiled at my fiance and I as we were heading out, and went to the correct apartment. This guy was carrying a CVS drugstore bag with a box of chocolates in it - a little odd if he was just delivering it? lol

    Anyway, it's not like I'm keeping a watchful eye on this neighbor, but to me it just seems so obvious.

    Now, I mentioned my suspicion to my fiance the other day...I am not sure why I mentioned it, but I did...and now she wants me to rat the guy out. Most of the times that she says "snitch" I just say "yea" and leave it at that...but I have a feeling she will pursue it more later on. I could care less if this guy wants to use it / sell it, buy my fiance insists that I tell on him...

    What would you guys do??

  • ||

    On an unrelated note, check out this caption from an article on the Chicago police officer / bartender beating:

    This image from video released by FOX News Chicago shows an alleged altercation between a Chicago police officer, center, and a female bartender, center on floor, at a Chicago bar on Feb. 19, 2007. The officer, identified as Anthony Abbate, 38, has been charged with aggravated battery. The incident is another black eye for the department that has been fighting its perception of brutality and violence on the force since before the days of Al Capone. (AP Photo/FOX News Chicago)

    Why did they feel the need to say, "alleged"? Is it not a fact that this occured? WTF?

  • SPD||

    JDG,

    I'd get a new fiancee. Just kidding. To be honest I don't know. As long as the suspected dealer in question isn't bothering his neighbors and his clients aren't disturbing the peace, you'd only be acting on a hunch.

  • Pendulum||

    >What would you guys do??

    Break up with her! Why the hell are you dating such a fruit loop?

    I'm not even joking. I seriously don't know how you can tolerate dating such a person.

  • ||

    Snithches are bitches. Snitches get stiches.

    Seriously, JDG, it depends on your comfort level. If you're being seriously inconvenienced, I'd rat. A good way to think about this is replace "possible dope dealer" with "routine rotten neighbor." If you're annoyed enough to call the super about a routine rotten neighbor, and this guy is as annoying to you, then drop the dime.

    It's not a dope thing, it's a quality of life / being able to peaceably enjoy your own home thing.

  • dhex||

    on the one hand, i don't think it's your place to fuck someone's life over.

    on the other hand, is there a chance it poses a threat to your lives or property?

  • Guy Montag||

    Why did they feel the need to say, "alleged"? Is it not a fact that this occured? WTF?

    IIRC, that goes back to some old court case. They must use that phrasing to escape liability.

  • ||

    I live is South Louisiana there is ALWAYS condensation on our windows. The heat from gorw lights will not melt the snow on anyones roof, that would require a tremendous amount of thermal transfer of heat so much so that no plant could grow in such heat to begin with. Lord forbid you work nights and want to block the sun from your bedroom so you can sleep during the day, then you look like your home all day, don't work and have covered windows, sure to get some attention.

    Is it not a given that if its not your property you need to KEEP OFF. Someone posting a sign to tell the not so bright is hardly an indication of a grower. After all they tell people buying peanuts that the jar contains nuts.

    All this is just more reason not to live in a neighborhood. Neighbors suck by and large, if I want someone up my ass about my personal business I will call my mom and ask her opinion.

    As for power consumption. If your running a few computers in your home, along with a Fridge or box freezer, electric hot water heater, AC, electric stove and washer and dryer your using more juice than a few grow lights will consume.

    This is just another example of the impossible trying to be stopped. At what point do you stop and say FUCK these people can grow this plant ANYWHERE. Inside, outside, a closet a rooftop, the woods. Its a fucking plant you morons and one that will grow just about anyplace in the world. What big moral balls you all have to think you can stop a plant from growing.

    You can't even keep drugs out of prisons give it up already you lost BADLY and continue to regardless of how many rights you strip from us in your quest for a unobtainable drug free society. Excuse me the quest for the illicit drug markets demise, the legal ones are just fine and dandy so long as the right people get paid for the candy.

    I still like the overgrow the government idea. Spread the seeds and watch it grow like the week it is. If it is in every ditch lets see them get rid of that.

    Also where in the hell do they get their numbers from anyway. $4000 a plant? Indoors? that must be one hell of a grow room to produce that much per plant inside. Exactly how many people read $4000 and a plant and start to think about the profit if they do it. Farmers don't make that much off an acre of crop much less one plant.

  • ||

    "Pot-growing takes root in the suburbs"

    Boy, the AP really got the scoop on this one. And by "scoop" I mean missed the story by 15 - 20 years. The headline should read:

    "High School Education Finally Pays Off: Cops Figure Out Suburban Pot Plot"

  • ||

    As for the fiance tell her to keep her mouth shut. If this guy is so blatant as you say he will get himself caught soon enough without any help needed.

    Do you know or ever talk to the guy? If so you could say others in the apartment have been asking about his place and if you thought he was selling drugs out of there. Either he will cool his dealings to be more low key or he will haul ass thinking others already know he is dealing. I am not in favor of snitching as it does nothing but pad the stats of the police. Just tell him you don't care what he does with his place but that he needs to chill or he will have problems. That way you look like someone more lookng out for him than out to get him. If its just college kids getting weed I seriously doubt your in any danger but if its a crack dealer no telling.

  • ||

    What the hell - why don't these indoor gardeners obtain permits for construction of "dope closets", and hire qualified electricians, carpenters, and plumbers? Cheapskates.

  • ||

    JDG: Tell her you feel morally compelled to request that the IRS audit her father's taxes.

  • ||

    Actually, Dee, I think you might be right that he might get himself caught sooner or later. Now that I think about it, on a couple of occasions I have seen cop cars sitting across from my apartment, just hanging out...possibly scoping this guy.

  • Dave W.||

    What would you guys do??

    I had to go through a similar situation in 2004-2005. After I moved into the apartment it became clear that the basement apartment was being used to deal drugs. Given the neighborhood, it was pretty likely that it was hard drugs.

    For about 9 months my wife and I had no real problem with the guy. It was clear that he had many late night visitors, but they were quiet and orderly.

    About 9 months in, there started to be increased volume and a markedly different sort of customer -- noisy, apt to knock at our apartment, etc. One day the basement door was kicked in.

    At that point we decided to snitch, in conjunction with leaving the place (sadly 60 days notice was required and things had gotten intolerable.

    The police did arrest the man and he ended up being absent for the last 30 days or so (some tenants who seemed to be younger, funner, stupider dealers came into the unit toward the very end).

    If I had to do it again, I would do it the same way. i don't care if the guy is dealing heroin or crack, but he needs to keep his business orderly, regardless.

  • ||

    Jimmy,
    I agree with the quality of life statement. If you feel threatened by him, then by all means snitch, if not then you may want to drop in for a chat and tell him to be a bit less obvious.

    I used to live next door to an obvious (higher level)crack dealer. All hours, day and night cars with loud fucking speakers would pull up, one person would run in while the other stayed behind the wheel. 2-3 minutes later the person would come back out and off they would go. It was annoying to not be able to sleep a good night but the turn of the table was when we had people showing up to our place looking for dope. Funny thing is, the dealer in question was a 70 year old white woman with a bit of a "Grandma Redneck" feel about her, not your stereotypical crack kingpin, thats for sure.

  • ||

    Snitches get stiches!

    Talkers get walkers!

  • ||

    I just moved out of a house next door to a 24-hour ganja factory. They had to be dealing. Nobody, not even my high school friends, could smoke that much pot. But it didn't worry me. It was obvious by the kind of visitors that it was just weed they were selling. Had they been getting obvious crack/meth heads, that would have been a totally different story.

  • ||

    The thing is, that pot is a weed. The stuff is super easy to grow.

    If pot was legalized, then pretty much the market in pot would die. People could grow enough for personal consumption for next to nothing, as opposed to buying it from another source.

    If pot was legalized, it wouldn't generate any additional tax revenue for the government (cause no-one is going to buy it anymore), and it won't generate any additional profit for the pot sellers either (after all, who would buy any weed from a drug dealer when you can grow a personal supply on a balcony or in a closet?

    Therefore, everyone who has a financial interest in pot, as an incentive to keep it illegal.

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    Rex Rhino: I thought the same thing at one point, but how often do you buy tomatoes at the store as opposed to growing them yourself. I think the market will still be there, just at much, much lower prices.

  • ||

    I. Self. Divine:

    You're probably right, but we also probably need to assume that MJ would be taxed astronomically. Low prices? Doubt it. But people, I suspect, would still buy the stuff at the store even at higher prices.

  • ||

    In news of sweet irony(possibly self aware) this story appeared opposite an editorial in my school paper calling for a more sensible drug policy in the U.S.

    This may not be unusual at some other colleges,but I was amazed to see this here. I go to Texas Tech in Lubbock, Tx. Supposedly Lubbock is the second most conservative city in the U.S. behind Provo Ut or some other shitbox. We have to drive outside the city limits just to buy beer; and liquor by the drink wasn't made legal within the city limits until sometime in the 70's.

    I doubt an editorial in a paper the rest of the student body considers way too liberal is signaling a coming "zeitgeist" but interesting nonetheless.

    link to the editorial http://media.www.dailytoreador.com/media/storage/paper870/news/2007/03/30/Opinions/war-On.Drugs.Needs.More.Competent.Policies-2813810.shtml?reffeature=htmlemailedition

    picture of "the strip" where pretty much all booze is bought unless you want to drive a little farther to save quite a bit of money at least on liquor $30 for a 1.75l of Jim Beam at the strip vs. $20 at the other place
    http://maxgoss.worldmagblog.com/maxgoss/archives/StripShortRd.jpg

    also sorry for the jumbled nature of this post and I wont be back to check on any responses as I am already out of class for the day so i am going bowling where i will have multiple pitchers before the rest of yall are off work.

  • ||

    "The thing is, that pot is a weed. The stuff is super easy to grow.

    If pot was legalized, then pretty much the market in pot would die. People could grow enough for personal consumption for next to nothing, as opposed to buying it from another source.

    If pot was legalized, it wouldn't generate any additional tax revenue for the government (cause no-one is going to buy it anymore), and it won't generate any additional profit for the pot sellers either (after all, who would buy any weed from a drug dealer when you can grow a personal supply on a balcony or in a closet?"

    Good quality weed is not all *that* easy to grown, in fact it takes lots of TLC, expertise on dealing with pests, and depending on where you live, some potentially very expensive equipment. So I'd have to disagree -- many people, especially those who are occasional consumers, would choose to buy rather than grow.

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    Expanding on what Patrick said, the occasional user does get out of work on a friday and think, "Boy I could really go for a joint in two months." He wants his joint NOW.

  • ||

    Legal pot would definitely be commercially produced and highly taxed just like alcohol and tobacco are today.

  • GILMORE||

    As someone who dabbled in hydroponics briefly... and knows how the pro's have been so successful in growing uber-strains of quality indoor herb... I would NEVER try 'growing myself'. The time and effort required, not to mention the equipment a la sodium lights, rockwool, etc. ... just not worth it to a consumer.

    @*#$& living near/with dealers is BS. Those guys are idiots if all their neighbors clearly suspect them. In NYC, most weed merchants do delivery service. They come to you. 30min or less, or you get a free pizza with it. :) The cops hardly care about the delivery guys because of the very reasons people complain - if it's quietly done, off the street, not interfering with anyone's home/quality of life stuff... they could care less. They are much more interested in the kids who slang blow/rock in the projects in broad daylight ...usually next to playgrounds etc., and who can terrorize the community if anyone rats them out.

  • ||

    JDG--if your neighbor's dealing weed, the greatest danger you face is the cops knocking down your door by mistake.

  • ||

    JDG,

    What should you do? You should buy some weed before he gets busted!

  • LarryA||

    Why should that worry you? The story never says. The closest it comes is a reference to fires in New Hampshire caused by "rows of power strips and spaghetti clusters of extension cords" in grow houses.

    I'd worry about the SWAT team raiding the wrong house (mine instead of the dealer's) or if they raided the right house, friendly fire. A .223 bullet can easily punch through the wall out of one house and into the next one. In an apartment building you'ld have to sweat 9MM bullets.

    And by "scoop" I mean missed the story by 15 - 20 years.

    Back when I was engaged someone moved into the house across the street and down one from my future in-laws. They spread dirt on the wooden floors, soaked it down, and planted pot. They got away with it for almost a year.

    My wife and I are getting ready to celebrate our 38th anniversary.

  • ||

    """Now that I think about it, on a couple of occasions I have seen cop cars sitting across from my apartment, just hanging out...possibly scoping this guy"""

    They might be customers.

    """If pot was legalized, then pretty much the market in pot would die. People could grow enough for personal consumption for next to nothing, as opposed to buying it from another source."""

    Maybe. You can make your own beer, that hasn't stopped the big breweries. Sure you can throw some seeds in the back yard and it will grow, but that's not quality. Quality takes time and effort. Many are willing to pay extra for convenience. I would suspect the price of quality would drop though.

  • ||

    The thing with beer and tomatoes is that they both cost relatively little, so the incentive to produce them at home is minimized. A pothead's recreational costs can add up in a hurry depending on how much they're smoking. With the amount you can grow in one crop compared to the elctricity/supply costs, it can be very rewarding to help yourself, and that's before factoring in that you've got a nice little hobby, you're getting better bud, and if you choose to, you can grow a little extra and sell to some close friends, making some money on the endeavor at the same time.

    Not that I would know, of course...

  • I. Self. Divine.||

    Zero: You are assuming pot prices remain as artificially high as they currently are.

  • ||

    I think the analogy to homebrewing makes sense. Some people would grow their own as a hobby. Homebrewers have contests, prizes, and the best sometimes "go pro." TWC, please correct me, but it's the same for home vintners, isn't it? Still, even the most avid afficianados of zymurgy still drink other brewers' beer.

    Some years ago my landlord rented out the apartment upstairs from mine to a college-aged fellow. The first few weeks he was there he was in and out at all hours, and received guests on an irregular schedule. I figured this was just typical college-boy behavior. The young man may have been away from the supervision of his parents or dormitory staff for the first time in his life, and I figured the normal thing would happen. He'd make lousy midterm grades, Mama and/or Papa would read him the riot act, and he'd either straighten out or flunk, either result relieving me of the nuisance of a noisy neighbor. I started to get worried when weird-looking folks, one of whom I recognized as a local street person, started ringing my doorbell looking for Joe College. Either these types couldn't remember JC's apt. #, or the upstairs doorbell was broken, and I was a convenient alternative. I did complain about that to my landlord.

    The situation resolved itself early one morning, when someone on the street hurled a paving stone through the bay window of the upstairs flat. My landlord told me that Our Young Scholar was either dealing something, or had been a heavy customer of somebody who unwisely gave credit. After the police arrived to deal with the chaos, the young man was evicted. Seems he had flunked out of another area college after doing too many drugs. His mama kicked him out of the house, but since he was already on probation, methinks for possession, he had to have someplace to live. So Mater who was some kind of therapist or counselor! - leased the apartment for Junior, and enrolled him in the state U that's in walking distance of our building, all on the proviso that the kid would quit the stuff. This darling family neglected to tell my landlord about any of this.

    There was a rumor that, prior to the window-breaking incident, JC and his friends invited some supposed dealers into his apartment, only to be robbed at knifepoint by them. When the police were called about that, some lame story was given out that didn't quite match the neighbors' reports. My theory was that the fellow who smashed the window may have been part of their little buying club, now out some cash, and with no dope to show for it, either. Whether they planned to go into business for themselves, I have no clue, but it wouldn't have been impossible, though a dealer who can't control what he uses probably shouldn't be a part of the enterprise.

    Kevin

  • ||

    They could sell packs of 20 joints for 10 dollars. Give 5 to the grower and 5 to taxes.
    That's cheap where I'm from. But not that I would really know either.

    Self, Zero's example envolves someone willing to make it a hobby. For those people, it wouldn't matter how cheap it was. But you're right in that the prices would not remain as high as they are.

  • ||

    ""I think the analogy to homebrewing makes sense. Some people would grow their own as a hobby. Homebrewers have contests, prizes, and the best sometimes "go pro.""""

    And the winner would get to go to the world finals in Amsterdam!!

  • ||

    I am one who is somewhat suspicious of the level of surveillance that the government levies on our individual activities.

    I have been an avid gardener ever since my father taught me to grow marigolds in dixie cups on a windowsill when I was four years old. In the 26-odd years that have followed that day, I have become increasingly interested in growing various plants, including orchids, which require light, moisture, and heat year-round.

    I wonder if my orchid greenhouse is, at this very moment, under surveillance as a possible den of marijuana growth, and my basement a source of pot distribution.

  • Chlor O\'Phyllia||

    When they came for the orchids, I didn't speak up...

  • ||

    Do you suppose LED grow lights would work? Save electricity, wouldn't heat up the house? Just asking, I don't grow or use this stuff, not because there's anything wrong with it or any danger, but I don't want to give these busybodies an excuse to make me the bad guy in a news story, break my door down and treat me like a criminal. Perhaps if I were a well-connected right-winger I could get away with it, but I'm not, so I'd be a criminal to use at this point in the history of this deeply sick country.

  • ||

    There are growers currently working on LED setups, but the technology hasn't been dialed in yet (it's a helluva lot more complex than an HPS light) and the costs are still prohibitive. They seem to think that it'll be the wave of the future, but not any time soon.

  • ||

    "High School Education Finally Pays Off: Cops Figure Out Suburban Pot Plot".

    Near where I used to live, there's a 'burb with low crime, high taxes and bored cops. And there was a shop in a strip mall that sold grow equipment (for growing tomato plants, har har ). The cops set up surveillance of the shop. People who loaded their car with equipment had their license plates recorded, and then later, if the car belonged to somebody in the cop's jurisdiction, that home went under surveillance. Not sure if they passed the info on to other law enforcement agencies (not sure if what they did was actually legal, seems like harassment, but that never stopped ambitious drug warriors).

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