Heres some info that every grower should know. 1. Know the punishments for cultivation. a. The government doesn't care if you have a male or female, a sprout or fully matured plant. As soon as it sprouts it is a marijuana plant and is considered 100 grams. b. Find out how many plants you are willing to grow. For instance you could be growing 6 plants and the minimum punishment might be a year in jail but if you grew 5 plants theres no jail time. That extra plant isn't worth the risk. Know the cultivation laws for your state. c. You can Click Here for NORML's state by state cultivation and possession laws, but it doesn't always seem to be accurate. For instance someone brought to my attention North Carolina. Heres what it says for NC which can't be right. Possession: More than 1 1/2 oz felony 8 - 13 months, Sale or Cultivation: 5 g to 10 lbs misdemeanor 5 - 6 months. Ohhh how i wish 10lbs was a misdemeanor. Canadians can Click Here for cultivation laws. Sorry UK i don't know of a site for you guys yet. d. If you have any scales or baggies in your house and get raided you will be charged with cultivation and selling. 2 felonies. e. If you have any guns and or kids in the house you are growing in the punishment will be increased. f. You should not grow, sell, or transport marijuana anywhere near a school, daycare or anything like that because the punishment will be increased. Depending on where you live it could even be any place that is publically funded (anything from a park to your local vet hospital). Where i live it is 1000 feet, where you live it could be less or more. g. Keep the number of illegal items in your house down to a minimum. You don't need 3 bongs 2 pipes and a box of zig zags along with your pot, shrooms, and extacy. They will charge you with everything they can and having more charges than Charles Manson won't help things. h. Don't keep any records to previous illegal activity. i.e. pictures of prior grows, or a list of people you have sold too. i. Forfeiture laws allow the government to seize and keep any property that is either connected to a crime, purchased with the proceeds of a crime, or anything that was in any way intended to be used to commit a crime. It could be anything from your house to spare change. If you have any cash you can expect the police to take it, and if you have any records to a saftey deposit box they will probably take whats in there too. In order to get your property back you have to be able to prove that it wasn't connected to a crime or purchased with the proceeds of a crime. j. In order to be convicted of possession the state must prove all of the following. 1. That you had physical possession of the marijuana or dominion and control over it. 2. That you had knowledge of the marijuana's presence. 3. That there was a sufficient amount of marijuana to use as a controlled substance. If the prosecution can't prove even one of these then you should be found not guilty. k. If you grow in your parents house and get raided your parents are the ones who will be charged. Don't be a ass. 2. Know your rights. a. 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. b. You do not have to answer "knock & talks". It is considered consensual contact. If you see a cop at the door pretend your not home. If however it is obvious the officer is being ignored, he could come back later and charge you with failure to comply with and officer. c. If you would like to end a conversation with the police at any time ask him if you are free to go. If the answers is yes then you may leave. If he says no ask him if you are being detained or arrested. d. You have the right to remain silent. If you are being arrested use that right. What you say can be used against you. You can make your defense in court based on what you and your lawyer feel is best. You shouldn't make any decisions in your case without having talked to a lawyer first. e. Miranda v. Arizona says that the police can't question you about your decision to exercise your rights. f. If you are being detained the officer may frisk you if he has reasonable suspicion that you are armed. However, he can only reach into your pockets if he pats something that feels like a weapon. However i have heard some conflicting information on this. Some say that they can reach in your pockets if they feel something and can identify it as marijuana. If this is true you should keep it in something other than a baggie when walking around. Maybe a tin of Altoid mints? g. You can't be detained for ever. You can only be detained for a certain amount of time depending on your jurisdiction. Where i live its 30 minutes. You should keep track of time because it can be vital information incase the officer detains your for longer than he is allowed. If it happens then don't say anything. The case should be thrown out because any of the evidence they got will be considered illegal since your rights were violated. h. If for some reason you do consent to a search you can revoke it at any time unless the officer has already found enough evidence to charge you. i. The US Supreme Court ruled that infared detection was considered a search and requires a warrant. You shouldn't have to worry about helicopters using heat detection to spot your grow. j. If you live in a apartment in almost every situation your landlord has to give you 24 hours notice before entry and only in reasonable circumstance. Beware they can also come in to search for breaches in the contract. Some people have said they just come in and briefly look around each room, and others have said their landlord has searched through dressers and under the bed. How thorough they are legally allowed to search i don't know. k. If you are arrested, the police can search you and the area close by in order to secure the area and look for any weapons that could have been accessible at the time of the arrest. If you have a bag of marijuana sitting on a cabinet your going to be charged, but if it was locked in the cabinet you would be safe. If you are in a building, "close by" usually means just the room you are in. l. Shop for a lawyer before you get arrested. Then all you have to do is carry his number in your wallet and when your being raided you know who to call and he can help ease the process of being arrested. Click Here and enter your zip code & select "Criminal Law" from the drop down box to find a lawyer in your area. Some questions to ask a lawyer. 1. Is there a consultation fee? 2. What sort of experience do you have with marijuana cultivation cases? Without breaching client confidence, please tell me about them. 3. How many cultivation cases have you handled in the past year? 4. What is your record of wins vs losses? 5. Do you have any references? 6. How will you charge me? What is your hourly rate? 7. What would be the possible outcomes of my case if i had x amount of plants? 8. What would be the alternatives in resolving the matter? 9. How would you keep in touch with me? 10. Would anyone else be working on the case? 3. Know why people get caught. a. 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. b. Selling is the same as gambling. Your chances of profiting are almost guaranteed however if you lose, you lose your freedom AND your money. It only takes one person to get caught and give your name to the cops till they are on to you. If you do sell it is probably best to sell to a middleman because if you are caught selling that is enough probable cause to get a warrant and search your house regardless if you have been convicted or not. That would lead to cultivation and selling. 2 felonies. c. The smell of pot and visitors don't mix. A carbon scrubber may be expensive but so is a lawyer, felony charge, and your freedom. If purchasing a already made carbon scrubber is to expensive you can make one relatively easily. If you want visitors either invest in a good carbon scrubber or use a low odor strain. If the smell is noticeable outside your grow room and you have visitors you might as well be breaking rule #1 and telling them about your grow. d. Do not leave a paper trail. If you are buying in person pay in cash. If you are buying over the Internet get a money order from a gas station. It is also best to have thing shipped to a address other than your growing location. e. Computer Security: I have yet to hear of someone who was caught because they posted on a website but there seems to be a number of posts asking about Internet security. Everyone should have a anti virus scanner and if you are broadband you should have a firewall. If you don't have a firewall already you can get Zone Alarm which is a very popular and free firewall. For surfing the net it is also a good idea to have a proxy to stay anonymous.. Proxies: Every computer on the Internet is given a unique IP address by their Internet Service Provider, and if the police have a warrant for your ISP records they can match your IP address to you. Using a anonymous proxy will hide your IP address. Configuring your browser for a proxy is easy as pie. All you need is a IP address and port number of a proxy server. Here are some sites that have lists of anonymous proxy servers. It is best to pick one that is in a different state or even a country near you. You can find a IP address and port number to a proxy server below. StayInvisible.com FindProxy.com AllProxies.com Once you have found a anonymous proxy server you like on the top menu of Internet Explorer click Tools / Internet Options / Connections / LAN Settings. Now check the "Use a proxy server" and "Bypass proxy server for local addresses" check boxes. Next enter the IP Address and Port number of the proxy server and your done! To make sure the proxy is working simply go to GRC.com and click on "Test My Shields!" If it is working correctly you should see the IP address of the proxy server you entered and not your real IP address. 4. Know the tactics police use. a. Trash pulls: If they suspect you of growing they will probably pull your trash a few times looking for evidence of illegal activity. Never throw anything away that has to do with something illegal. b. Knock & Talks: 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 (and you will have a felony charge). Your gambling growing for the rest of your life to save one harvest. It hurts i know, but its not worth it. c. Sometimes a cop might put his foot in your door when you try to close it for whatever reason. Heres what a cop says about that: "If a cop came to my house and put his foot in my door and would not remove it I would tell him to remove it and if he didn't charge him with criminal trespass. If he asked me why I would tell him that it does not matter and if he doesn't you will call the police. And if he doesn't I would call the police. He has no right to keep his foot in your door... These are the actions of a badge heavy bad cop who makes it harder for the good ones. If I came upon one of my officers doing any of these things I would have his ass." Now i don't know if i would go to that extent because more police isn't a good thing, but i would tell him that if a door to door sales man did that to him he would probably charge him with criminal trespass. And that i have been nothing but nice and cooperated short of giving up my rights and don't appreciate him resorting to gestapo tactics. Remember you can avoid this from happening in the first place by not answering knock & talks. d. It is not uncommon for the police to use grow shops as a front to look for suspicious people buying a HPS light. Sometimes even store employees will take it upon themselves to write your license plate number down and call the police if you look suspicious and are buying something growing related. Never even hint about growing marijuana when buying it in a store and don't look suspicious. e. 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. Often the reward is four figures, but depends on how many plants were growing. f. If a dog detects narcotics that is probable cause to search. That is why they spend thousands of dollars training them. Regardless of wether a container is air tight the smell is able to escape through it. How much depends on things like the material used and temperature. A guy who trained dogs to detect narcotics said the best material for containing odors was cellophane, which is the shinny material that candy and bags of chips are wrapped in. If you have enough space in the container you can fill it up with sand and add some water to wet it and compact it as much as possible. The gains of sand will lock together and the water will fill in any gaps making the odor much harder to get out. The most common mistake people make is they put the marijuana in a "air tight" container and leave a residue on the outside of the container. When the dog detects it, he is detecting the residue on the container a lot more than what is in it. However, a well trained dog can find a baby's tear drop on a football field so i certainly wouldn't feel very confident in trying to get past one. Helpful Info Click Here for a good legal forum. If anyone knows of some more please let me know. Click Here for legal research links. Click Here to find a lawyer in your area. Click Here for the ACLU "bustcard" with your rights and what to do in certain situations. Click Here for NORML's printable "Freedom Card" with your rights so you can put it in your wallet. Books on marijuana and the law Marijuana Law by Richard Glen Boire Ask Ed: Marijuana Law: Don't Get Busted by Ed Rosenthal Marijuana: The Law and You: A Guide to Minimizing Legal Consequences by Ed Rosenthal Sources CrimeLynx.com OnlinePot.org NORML.org ACLU.org OverGrow Forums Hemp Cultivation Forums MPP.org The Cannabis Grow Bible by Greg Green How to Grow Medical Marijuana by Todd McCormick *NOTE: I am not a lawyer however i have talked with them and have done some research. If any of this seems wrong to you check it out yourself and let me know what i got wrong.