Safety and Security!
by Jorge Cervantes
Unfortunately we must include a security chapter in this book. You must keep your crop secure from police and thieves alike. Ironically, the police will cause you more problems than thieves!
Successful indoor growers are good citizens and keep a low profile. They keep their yard and home clean and in excellent repair. They always drive a street-legal car and there are no outstanding warrants on the drivers. Remember, an overdue traffic ticket turns into a warrant for the violator’s arrest. Smart growers pay bills on time, are nice to neighbors, and do not throw noisy, wild, crazy parties.
Do not throw out any garbage that could prove that you grow. Cops pick through it like rats to find evidence to make a case against gardeners. Growers live by the motto “loose lips sink ships”.
Growers and tokers have been made into the enemy by the American government in the War on Drugs. It is the job of law enforcement to arrest the flower-growing enemy. To wage this war on US citizens, law enforcement wields an impressive arsenal, including draconian laws, misinformation and high tech surveillance gizmos.
The cardinal rule of growing is: Never tell anybody about any garden.
Clandestine growing is as simple as the name implies. The name of the game is secrecy. Tell nobody and cause no suspicion. Countless underground growers have been harvesting crop after crop for decades in Drug War – torn America. These benevolent souls supply much of America today.
Stay away from other grow houses, wild parties, real criminals, etc. Always take a friend’s car to the grow store and go seldom. Travel with others whenever possible. Your car is easy to trace and follow. Keep your consumption habits reasonable; don’t show large cash income. Buy large assets, houses and cars, over time. Don’t ever tell anybody you are growing or even joke about growing. Always have a job and a reason for your activities. Keep a low profile.
Keep your home and surrounding property in god repair. Make sure the house is painted, lawn mowed, and garbage picked up. Keep electrical use to a reasonable amount, and keep the air clean around the house. Have very few visitors, and keep to yourself. Have minimal conversations with neighbors.
Never trust anybody – friends, family – brother, sister, children, even your mother! In America, “Land of the Free,” a grower can go to jail just for giving another grower advice! The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations [Act] (RICO) conspiracy laws were enacted to break up the Mafia. Today RICO laws are used against growers and non-growers alike. Under the aw, a person that advises a grower to “water in the morning” is equally guilty of growing the marijuana garden, even if he never saw the garden. RICO laws tread n the very essence of the American Constitution.
The new Homeland Security Act further erodes personal rights of individuals.
Never visit or telephone other growers, If visiting another grow room, that grower can implicate you with circumstantial evidence, and you are considered as guilty as the grower!
DO NOT use booby traps, bear traps, firearms attached to trapwires, etc, to protect your crop.
I know of people who use infrared systems that take pictures and / or start recording video when an object of particular size / temperature enters the vicinity.
Depending upon the country in which you live, law enforcement must first have a search warrant to use infrared or thermo imaging devices to secure a search warrant. But if they have a search warrant, such high tech snooping is perfectly legal. If you want to take a look at what they see, rent heat-sensitive night vision glasses from your local military supply store, or take a photo of the outside of your grow operation with infrared film. You can also add a filter to your digital camera and convert the photographs with a few clicks of Photoshop to show heat signatures.
Law enforcement has sophisticated telephone bugging devices, super-sensitive directional microphones, infrared scopes, thermal imaging, etc. They can also subpoena telephone, internet, and electrical company records. Intimidating cops coerce electric company employees to break the law and give them the records of unsuspecting customers. Tracking telephone numbers, including location, is very easy. There has been more than one case where US law enforcement illegally acquired telephone records and placed illegal taps on garden store telephones. American police use telephone records to target grow houses. Always use pay telephones with an untraceable phone card or pay with coins. Lazy narcs also watch garden store parking lots and follow clients home.
Pay all bills and make all purchases with cash. Cash tells no tales and leaves no trails. Pay for mail order merchandize with a money order. Have the merchandize sent to a “safe” address.
If you want to take photos of your garden, use a digital camera. Using an old fashioned film camera, you risk discovery when getting the film developed.
Growers who cultivate cannabis, including medical cannabis, should never show their grow to anyone! Never tell anyone you are growing. Deny growing to everyone, always! You immediately change from a Weed Warrior to a helpless victim subject to extortion the instant anybody knows you are growing in the USA. When the cops arrest a “friend” that had seen your grow show, they can legally use deception and intimidation to trick your “friend” into squealing on you. beware! Interrogations can last for months!
Law enforcement rewards jealous, hateful, and vindictive “friends”, lovers, and enemies for implicating a grower under the RICO laws and Homeland Security Act. Hundreds of thousands of growers have had their lives ruined in a matter of moments on testimony from a vindictive “friend”.
All electrical outlets, fuses, and connections must be grounded. Inspect electrical connections for signs of heat-blackened wires, melted connections, and smelly wiring. Have a current fire extinguisher rated to put out wood, paper, grease, oil, and electrical fires.
When law enforcement has evidence of a growing operation, they look for more. In the USA they look at telephone, electric, and shipping records, for starters. A thermal imaging camera is most often used at this point. Occasionally they use dogs trained to sniff out marijuana. The information is used against the grower to obtain a search warrant. If there are pants discovered at the house, they continue to build the case against the grower by using anything the grower says. The police collect most of the information on the grower from the grower!
Surround your property with a bed of cedar shavings instead of bark chips in the flowerbeds. Cedar shavings disguise other odors. Use a carbon filter and an zone generator to neutralize the marijuana fragrance. Have a ready reason for extra electrical consumption Unload grow supplies a little bit at a time or from within a locked garage.
Remember the quote from Bart Simpson: “I didn’t do it. Nobody saw me. You can’t prove a thing!”
Absentee owners are the best landlords. Make sure home inspections are done before you move into a a home and the rental agreement should allow for an advance notification of inspections. Put the telephone, electricity, garbage, etc., in a friend’s name. Grow in a rented home. If you have bank accounts and stocks, own property such as a home, automobile, ATV, etc., in the USA, they are often forfeited if you are “suspected” of growing. You do not need to be convicted of any crime for your assets to be confiscated!
Curb noise and odors by sealing and insulating the grow room with “sound board”. Similar to sheetrock, sound board muffles sounds well. Install rubber feet or grommets on fan feet. Build an extra room or box (allow for airflow) around ballasts to avoid vibrations. In-line fans are much quieter and more efficient than squirrel-cage blowers. If light escapes from vents, give venting a 90 degree turn and paint the vent black where it turns. This will eliminate unsightly light leaks. Ozone-treated air should discharge through a roof vent or chimney to decrease ground-level odors. Be careful when installing a ceiling vent or when venting out chimney. Light shining out the chimney and around roof vents looks very suspicious.
“All electric” homes are few and far in between. Electrical use information from previous tenants might be available from the electric company. On the average, growers in the USA can use one 1000-watt lamp per bedroom. This means a two-bedroom home can host 2000 watts, a three bedroom home 3000 watts, etc. Unhook the dryer and other appliances that draw much electricity. Turn the water heater down to 120 degrees, and take showers at the gym.
Stealing power from the electric company causes even more exposure than paying for it! The extra risk is insane, and it’s wrong to steal!
Now, relatively inexpensive (less than $10,000) thermal imaging devices are becoming more affordable for smaller police forces. Thermal imaging devices have been used legally to measure the heat signature escaping from structures. This invasive “evidence” is used with other “evidence” to secure a search warrant.
According to US police sources, the devices are legal only to find heat escaping from windows, vents, etc. Most often narcs use the cameras illegally to secure a search warrant. They slither around the neighborhood early in the morning or under the cloak of darkness to snap the hot shots. The law stipulates specific parameters for the camera, and the technology is relatively arcane. The “approved” imaging devices are able to record differences in heat levels outside of buildings. In the USA, it is illegal to search the inside of a structure for the “heat signature”. However, today there are devices that can actually “see through walls” to provide an image based on the heat a person emits.
Avoid thermal imaging problems by turning grow lights on during the daytime. The daytime heat and light make accurate measurement of heat coming from vents and windows impossible. Thermal imaging cameras are rendered useless; the technology will not work during the daytime. Shield and insulate walls and windows from heat loss from lamps. Store ballasts in separate rooms, and channel the heat away from the grow room air before exhausting outdoors. Air vented out underneath a structure is nice and cool before mixing with the outdoor environment.
In June 2001, the Supreme Court decided a case brought against Oregon resident Danny Kyllo. The decision determined that the use f thermal imaging devices constitutes and illegal search. High tech thermal imaging devices often get as much press as policy bullying tactics. Law enforcement officials can legally lie, cheat, and steal to acquire evidence against peaceful, plant-loving growers. Deception is one of their biggest weapons, and snitches their best allies. Law enforcement legally coerces terrified growers into squealing on their friends and family. The lesson here is simple; do not tel anybody, under any circumstances, that you are growing in the United States of America. Growers are arrested daily on “hearsay” evidence from an arrested informant. Stay away from the heat.
One last bit of simple security detail: grow efficiently! Growers in a Drug War torn America should harvest 0.5 grams of dried bud every month for each watt of light in the flowering room. Growers that do not harvest this much are cheating themselves and need to master the basics of growing. Always grow fewer than 99 total plants in America. Federal laws require a five year minimum sentence with no parole when convicted of growing 100-1000 plants.