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Keeping Your Grow Secure – By Tony, Dutch Passion

Over the last decade or two there has been a massive expansion in the number of self-sufficient cannabis growers.  Ironically the failed prohibition of cannabis has been largely responsible for this.

For many people the best way to get the best quality pot for the lowest price and ensure a continuous supply of it is to grow it yourself.  For the average cannabis lover it is possible to grow your annual stash needs with just 1 or 2 indoor grows a year.  Outdoor growers can produce a years supply from a few well grown plants.  Those lucky enough to have a greenhouse and the privacy to grow can also easily produce their own stash in large amounts.  Once you have grown your own weed, and realised how easy it is, you never really look back.

It’s called weed for a good reason, anyone really can grow it, which raises just one crucial question.  How do you keep your indoor/outdoor grow secure and ensure the crop reaches harvest safely?

Indoor grow-room security

Indoor growers enjoy some significant benefits which can be used to great advantage.  The growing environment can be carefully controlled, pests are rarely a big problem and you can plant your seeds at any time of the year.

From a security perspective the carbon filter is perhaps the most important ally in your indoor grow room.  A good carbon filter will last a year or two and is essential to remove the tell-tale cannabis odours from the air extracted from your indoor grow room.

Even in places where it is fully legal to grow cannabis the extracted air should be cleaned to avoid unwanted attention from thieves.  The experienced home grower will replace the carbon filter at regular intervals and may keep a spare one just in case.  It’s important to keep checking the extracted grow room air to make sure your filter is doing it’s job.

Assumption is the mother of disasters.  And some people will supplement a carbon filter with Ozone for a really professional air-scrubbing. Ozone devices are available online or from many growshops, the Ozone they produce reacts quickly with smell-producing molecules to oxidise them and neutralise odour.  But for many home growers with a small 1.2m x 1.2m tent, an ozone device is not considered essential.

Indoor self-sufficient growers tend to be way too paranoid about police helicopters.  Yes, a helicopter with a thermal camera may be able to spot a commercial grow due to the heat signature of two dozen 600W lights.  But they will not be able to spot your indoor tent with a single 400W HPS,  a domestic household radiator has heat signature several times stronger.

If you have a garden one easy way to get rid of the old trim, leaves, roots and stem is simply to bury it in the garden.  Normal biological processes break down the plant material quickly rendering it unrecognisable.  Don’t make the mistake of burning it unless you want an attack of paranoia when the ganja fumes waft over the neighbouring properties.  A friend in Paris had a freezer full of good quality trim which he was saving to make medical oil with, but fearing a neighbour had grassed him up, he made a hasty back-garden pot bonfire to dispose of the evidence.  Within a couple of minutes everyone in the neighbourhood was enjoying the fruity hash-scented bouquet of Mazar.

For those growing in apartments it can be more difficult to get rid of waste.  Some people simply chop it up into fist sized balls and flush it down the toilet.   Of course many connoisseur home growers will keep the old leaf and trim material to make ice hash or oil.

Plant waste can easily be flushed down a toilet or simply buried under soil for bio breakdown.  If waste plant material contains solvent (from oil extraction) then the material should be left to dry before burying.  The responsible home grower doesn’t want to be introducing organic solvents into the earth.

Disposing of old unwanted cannabis plant material in the household waste bin is not advised due to the smell and risk to security.

Those growing indoors should try to keep on good terms with neighbours and avoid drawing too much of the wrong kind of attention.  If you treat your neighbours like second-class citizens and subject them to lashings of late night music then don’t be too surprised if you eventually get a knock on the door by the local community police officer.  Just hope that your carbon filter is working well when you open the door.

Cannabis prohibition is in it’s last years.  For those still stuck with dinosaur politicians that are dragging their feet behind public opinion it is important to be careful.  Try to avoid being one of those pointless Government drug statistics if you can.

Many Police Officers, Judges and Magistrates still believe the concept of medical marijuana is a lie and honestly believe the best solution to the issue is to give you a criminal record, which is more damaging than the cannabis itself. These people have been stripped of their vindictive powers in places like Colorado, Washington and Uruguay.  The prohibitionists may be seeing the sun starting to set on their delusional world, but the rest of us still need to be wary of them.

Outdoor grow security

The outdoor grower has perhaps fewer worries than an indoor grower.  There are no concerns  about busts or indoor fires, however unlikely they are for the organised indoor grower.  The main three areas of concern for the outdoor grower are preparing the seedlings at home ready to plant, driving your harvested crop home and drying it.

Outdoor growers often germinate their seeds at home and grow the seedlings for 2-3 weeks before planting out.  This allows the seedlings the protection they need during the first few vulnerable weeks.  The seedlings are then taken to the outdoor plot which will have been prepared with knee-high chicken-wire plant tubes to protect the plants from rabbits.  Often the outdoor plant will have a slug-proof copper ‘collar’ around the base.  Most outdoor growers invest a lot of their time to find safe growing plots and maintain them.  Often this involves plenty of hard digging, sweat and graft.   A good outdoor grow plot is worth protecting, don’t risk compromising it by leaving spades and other garden equipment there.  Likewise never leave waste such as empty slug pellet or nutrient containers there, it just attracts attention.  When you have harvested your outdoor crop it only takes a few minutes to dig a hole and bury the waste leaves and plant material left over from the harvest.

Trail cameras are used by some outdoor growers to see if anyone else is visiting their plot.  These are disguised outdoor cameras that are motion-triggered and store photo’s/video inside on a card for you to review.  For most outdoor growers these are an expensive amount of overkill.  But for some outdoor growers they have been useful to give them an idea of the privacy at their plot.  Just make sure that the camera doesn’t store images of you on it’s internal memory card or the technology could backfire in spectacular fashion.

Outdoor growers are usually keen to avoid over-visiting an outdoor crop.  No-one wants to leave a clear path through the undergrowth to their guerrilla grow.  So vary your approach to the plot so that you don’t inadvertently create a clear track direct to the stash.

Some growers design ‘crawl’ holes through nearby bushes in order to create a stealthy entrance to their secret plants – highly recommended.  Some outdoor growers deliberately target thick plantations of wild bracken and hack out the centre of the bush to grow their ganja.  This offers great protection from people and grazing wild animals such as deer.  Plots such as these often provide years of faithful service, even more reason to make sure they are not compromised by litter, obvious entrance points or other poor practices

And many guerrilla growers often take advantage of darkness when visiting their crop.  It may sound like a lot of precautions.  But many outdoor growers use their crop as medicinal marijuana, so a compromised crop means they lose all their medicine and have to buy it off the streets instead.

For many outdoor growers the most nervous part of the outdoor adventure is the trip home with the freshly cropped harvest. It’s an adrenaline fuelled ride. The plan is simple enough, get the crop harvested and bagged up as well as the situation allows.  And then get the stash home safely to dry.  Normally this is a straightforward job with a few simple precautions.

But who wants to get caught on a routine traffic stop with a sports bag full of aromatic Frisian Dew stinking the car out?  Driving weed back home is important enough to plan carefully.  Ensure the car has all the brakes lights and side lights working,  You don’t want to invite a routine stop from a bored junior traffic cop trying to meet his quota of stops.

Stick to the speed limit on the nervous drive back home with your outdoor harvest, you don’t want to offer the slightest excuse for a routine traffic stop.  Maybe do a dry-run the day before to see if the police are staking out a particular road with e.g. hand-held radar cameras.

Fore-warned is fore-armed.  When you do get home make sure you have somewhere to dry the crop without stinking out your house.  Perhaps a mini grow-tent designed for seedlings could be adapted to dry your weed but you would need a carbon filter and an extraction fan to do the job correctly.   Leaving it to dry in a spare room without odour control is asking for trouble.

Those lucky enough to do their outdoor growing on their own land/greenhouse have far less to worry about.  The main issue is simply ensuring that you protect your plants from prying eyes.

Personal security

Many growers have switched to vaporisers as a more economical and stealthier way to enjoy their pot.  Those growing their own weed at home are often usually keen to keep their grow room a secret and sometimes prefer to vape than smoke.  Joints fill a room with pungent smoke, even a spliff in the garden can be smelt by a nosy neighbour.  A vape produces hardly any smell and no smoke, if you want to really reduce your canna profile then switching to a vape is an increasingly popular way to do it.  Not only is it a discreet and healthier way to enjoy your stash, but a good vaporiser will allow your weed to last 2-3 times longer than it would if you were smoking it.

The self-sufficient cannabis grower is naturally below police radar so long as they maintain the normal common sense rules.  Don’t tell other people about your grow, don’t sell weed and ensure that you use proper odour control for indoor grows.  Just following these 3 basic rules will ensure your security most of the time.

The small-scale domestic cannabis home-grower has very little to worry about so long as they take a few simple precautions. Be sensible with your grow security and you will be happily harvesting your own stash for many years to come.

Written and Published By Tony, Dutch Passion Seed Company, Amsterdam, in Weed World Magazine issue 112

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