Should I grow or should I not?

I am planning on growing only one time to reduce my risk of arrest and jail. I have a hard time believing that they can find many growers since Texas is such a large state.
I will be growing 45 plants of three different varieties. After sexing, I figure I will have 20 plants growing to maturity. To camouflage them I plan on pruning them and tying the tops down so the main stems will bend parallel to the ground.

I live on an acre of land just outside of a small town in Texas. My backyard is secluded and can’t be seen from the road and is completely secure from prying eyes on the ground. My question is about spies in the sky. I’m worried about helicopters and satellites.

Do the helicopters mostly fly over houses or do they look in uninhabited areas such as forests? What happens if they get a tip?

Is it safe to grow in your backyard? Am I being overly paranoid or is my concern justified?

Pollen Boy,

Your concern is justified. There were over 700,000 marijuana arrests last year. Over 88% were for simple possession. The cops and criminal justice system are very serious about persecuting marijuana users.

Most arrests are the result of snitches or accidents of one sort or another. Growers should keep their activities very private. Typical snitches are disgruntled business partners or employees, peeved lovers, jealous friends, self-righteous neighbors, house repairers and the ever-popular paid informer. Being stopped by the cops smoking a joint doing 90 miles per hour, auto breakdowns, noise violations, fires and violence are all typical accidents.

Do you have lots of friends over? Will you be proud of your garden and show it to close friends? Do you like passing phat cigars around? Do you have frequently changing lovers over? Are you sometimes an impulsive person?

If you answered yes to just one of these questions you are placing yourself in very serious jeopardy by growing. If you are able to be very private, almost hermit-like, enjoy the feeling of risk and are an adrenaline junkie, this might be the job for you.

Law enforcement does use helicopters and small aircraft in rural areas, but in urban and suburban areas they are rarely used. The police may notice you flying over on other business. Planes or helicopters might be used to check out a tip, or to confirm suspicions. Courts have confirmed the legality of their use as long as the flights are conducted at a certain height, usually over 1,000 feet.

The laws in Texas are quite stringent and the courts are conservative but not compassionate. So your decision could have serious consequences or could lead to a joyful harvest. The decision to gamble is entirely yours.

One more thing ? despite the government’s great efforts and the use of twisted science, researchers never have been able to show that marijuana is physically addictive. However, growing marijuana is highly addictive. I doubt that you will stop after one crop if you experience even a modestly successful harvest. When you start growing marijuana you are entering a very powerful vortex that can change your life in the most unexpected ways.

Readers with grow questions (or answers) should send them to Ed at: Ask Ed, PMB 147, 530 Divisadero St., San Francisco, California 94117, USA. You can also email Ed at [email protected], and send queries via his websites at All featured questions will be rewarded with a copy of Ed’s new book, Best of Ask Ed: Your Marijuana Questions Answered. Sorry, Ed cannot send personal replies to your questions.