In the last few days I have read several stories on the AP wire about the lights used for indoor marijuana grows starting house fires or garage fires. I realize cold weather is tough on weed distribution (yes, that was sarcasm), but maybe it’s time to stop and think, people. Maybe the best place for unattended questionable lighting is not next to your only vehicle or in the baby’s closet.
As a member of a fire and rescue team, I understand that all fires can be very dangerous, both to property owners and the firefighters that have to deal with them. And in the case of a grow operation, the danger can be worsened by the unknown. If a person is growing illegal plants, what other toxic and illegal substances are in their home or garage?
So, serious subject with serious results. Gotcha. Yet I fight the need to giggle like a little kid every time I read about yet another fire started by ganja grow lights. Think Cheech and Chong or the end of the movie “History of the World Part I.”
I get this mental image of fire fighters running around preparing to fight a fire, then stopping to dance or being attacked by the munchies as the smoke settles in around them.
“Steve, get the nozzle! Bill, we need the axe over here! John, grab the Doritos and pump up the volume…Let’s dance, dance!”
I spend a lot of time reading criminal complaints and attending various court cases, and it never ceases to amaze me that almost everyone charged with hemp crimes seems genuinely astounded that they were caught. I mean, these people are just floored that someone figured out what they were up to.
“Holy cow! Light burned from my basement day and night, the neighbors noticed me hauling in fertilizer by the truckload even though I don’t own so much as a houseplant, strange characters stopped at the property for a few minutes at a time at all hours of the night and most people get a mild buzz when I walk by just from the fumes on my clothes. Then everything just seemed to burst into flames slow motion. I can’t believe the cops got me!”
After all, drug task force agents, police officers and the DEA are no match for a dude with a little extra space in his two-car garage, a High Times magazine and the need for wacky tobacky.
Have none of them read the research that shows smoking dope kills brain cells? Have they not seen the commercial of the frying egg that declares “This is your brain on drugs” a billion times?
Yes, I know. Stereotypical and all that jazz, but sometimes there are darn good reasons behind stereotypes, and this is a classic example. Because adding heat lights to your home for the purpose of growing illegal substances is not a smart thing.
Take Dan Doobie-doer, who decides, after smoking pot for an hour or two and is at his best, that the most clever spot to grow year ‘round bud is in the basement directly below his family and their earthly possessions. He jumps a breaker, wires in a few electric cords he clipped from the wife’s vacuum and adds a bunch of light bulbs, and pretty soon it’s last dance with Mary Jane for him.
Check out this quote from a criminal complaint in the Twin Cities:
“(The defendant) told an officer he was growing it for himself because marijuana is very expensive. He was trying to cut expenses because of financial trouble since purchasing the town house.”
Yeah, that would be the townhouse he burned to the ground with grow lights from his joint junk.
Don’t forget — once the now homeless Dan is charged for the reefer operation and goes to court, we get to pay for his public defender and help welfare feed his kids.
C’mon people. Just say no.