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How can police tell if someone has been growing marijuana?

On Behalf of | Dec 17, 2021 | Drug Crimes

In New Jersey, it is now legal to possess marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes. This does not mean it is legal to grow it. In fact, growing a single marijuana plant can result in drug charges that are punishable by up to five years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Further marijuana reform measures may arrive in the coming years, but in the meantime, police will be on the lookout for marijuana grow operations.

Signs of cultivation

A number of sights and sounds may raise suspicions that someone is growing marijuana in their home. Some of these signs include:

  • Condensation on windows: Marijuana plants require a lot of water, some of which tends to condense on windows. Some people cover their windows to hide this excess moisture, an act that in itself can raise suspicions. Of course, people have every right to cover their windows for any reason at all. And moisture may have an explanation that has nothing to do with growing cannabis.
  • Unusual machinery noise: Marijuana operations also require a lot of power. A spike in a power meter is a telltale sign of a grow operation, which is why growers often use their own power generators. These generators, as well as sprinklers and other equipment, can make a lot of noise, which may draw the notice of neighbors and passersby. Is there an innocent explanation for such noise? Of course. Many kinds of power tools and equipment make the same kind of noises as those coming out of a grow house.
  • People coming and going at odd hours: An actual grow operation may have buyers showing up at odd hours. Again, there may be an innocent explanation, and it’s generally nobody’s business but the homeowner who visits their house.

Remember, suspicions and gossip regarding marijuana cultivation are not proof of anything. If you have been accused of operating a grow operation or even a growing single cannabis plant, you are innocent in the eyes of the law until proven guilty.