Know before you grow pot at your home

We own a rental home. A friend of ours with a pot card would like to rent our house and grow several plants (or the whole house). I’m cool with it, as long as the feds can’t come in one day and take our home from us. What are the legal ramifications as a landlord?

—Home Stink Home

It seems like such a simple idea: Use a room in your house to grow cannabis, make a little money to cover the mortgage, and have a little head stash of your own. What can go wrong?

All kinds of things can go wrong. How good are you at keeping a secret? How good is your friend? What measures will you use to minimize odor? How well do you know your neighbors? Are they cool? Nosy? Cannabis users? Methamphetamine addicts? Does your friend have any experience setting up a grow room? Anyone have any crazy current or ex-boyfriends? Are you sinking your savings into this project? Will you be financially devastated if the first crop goes wrong?

I could go on and on. Growing marijuana seems easy, and it is if you just have a few plants in your garden. But a grow room, even a small one, is more like a part-time job than a serious hobby.

I asked cannabis attorney James Anthony about the odds of a small grow house being raided by the feds. His response: “What am I, a bookie? 972-to-1.”

Then, he added, “The feds aren’t your problem. I would ask, ’Where is your heart? Why are you growing?’ And I would say, ’Don’t piss off your neighbors.’”

I think Anthony’s right. The odds of the feds trying to seize your house are pretty small. But, unless you or your friend has extensive experience, the odds of shit going wrong are pretty high. So, think it all the way through before you commit to anything.

I haven’t smoked in years; simply don’t enjoy it. I plan to help friends with their harvest. Will even being around 50 plants and breathing be enough to give me a positive drug test? Think it would be fun to hang with them and lend a hand, but if it could put my job in jeopardy, I will need to bow out.

—Helping Second Hand

I love harvest season! Trimming weed can be a very social activity. You get to hang out with your friends, talk about stuff, listen to music, eat good food (insert “potluck” joke here) and have a great time.

Don’t worry about your drug test. Dr. Frank Lucido, a cannabis expert, told me that it is virtually impossible to test positive for pot just by being around a bunch of it. Even if there is cannabis smoke in the air, you should be fine.

“I heard that the only way you can test positive from inhaling secondhand smoke is if you were with 10 other people in a phone booth,” Lucido told me.

You won’t be trimming in a phone booth, will you? Do phone booths even exist anymore? Doctor Who’s Tardis doesn’t count. You should be fine.

Do be mindful of repetitive stress injuries. Take breaks. Use your other hand every once in a while. If you need any extra help, give me a call. I will make those buds look like a High Times centerfold. Have fun.

P.S. Don’t worry that you don’t enjoy marijuana. I will enjoy it enough for the both of us.