Is Growing Marijuana at home Legal?
Growing marijuana did not end well for dealers and neighborhood residents turned illegal pot manufacturers/distributors, when police in Renton, Washington busted up the operation, seizing thousands of dollars in cash, cars, and pot.
The police officers did a good job of demonstrating that just since marijuana is now legal in Washington, it does not mean that legislators and law enforcement will tolerate criminals in the now legitimate cannabis industry’s black market.
While officers on the scene and those who made the drug bust noted the multi-million dollar operation to be “sophisticated,” it didn’t necessarily need to be fancy. Although it is not exactly hard these days to own and tend to one’s very own cannabis plants, either. Marijuana growing tips are readily available, with plenty of information floating out there on the web, in cannabis publications, and special how to grow marijuana features and websites.
The illegal marijuana growing and distribution operation had been apparent to a number of residents for months. Some neighbors reported what sounded like brazen or reckless behavior or both, when they told reporters that those involved did not even try to hide their movements or the smell of the marijuana plants that they were growing.
They also did not attempt to adopt any kind of cover story to conceal operations or thwart investigators. When it comes to recreational marijuana, this is obviously not how to grow marijuana indoors, which, according to Washington’s initiative 502, is still only legal for licensed growers or “producers.”
(Patients who wish to grow medical marijuana, on the other hand, can possess up to 24 ounces of medical marijuana and up to 15 cannabis plants for personal—medical—use.)
The special task force, consisting of over 60 officers, came in after an investigation that lasted two months. Receiving tips and information from neighbors, police successfully carried out a raid—resulting in two suspects’ arrest, yielding $2 million in plants and processed cannabis, and additionally taking $440,000 in cash.
The operation relied on growing marijuana indoors, in seemingly regular neighborhood homes. One neighbor (unidentified), who was able to offer police assistance by way of information, described entire rooms, cleared out to make extra space, filled with plants and marijuana grow lights.
Officers believe they will be making more arrests in the future soon, too. They thanked the local residents for their assistance, without which they may not have been able to successfully pull off the drug bust as they did.
Watch this video to see the inside of another home drug operation, post-raid, and carried out by Las Vegas PD.
Police officers’ confidence and gratitude and the general warning they posed to other criminally minded dealers or operators within Washington, who might consider growing marijuana, is a position adopted by other in-state law enforcement as well.
This past September, Washington’s new open container law took effect. This law is similar to the laws that restrict open containers of alcohol in vehicles. It says that any buds or pot-containing products that aren’t still sealed within the container they were sold in (read: unbroken seal or package) must thereby be held where drivers cannot reach them—meaning a no-go on glove compartments, passengers’ seats, or center consoles.
Though officers have mostly been issuing warnings to noncompliant drivers, they are able to issue a ticket for $136. So to avoid any run-ins with the law and save your wallet, your best bet is probably the trunk.