Cannabis cultivation can be a rewarding experience in many ways, but few words have been written about the potential pitfalls of the lifestyle that comes with growing pot. HIGH TIMES’ senior cultivation editor Danny Danko lays down some harsh realities in this expose of marijuana manufacturing mishaps.

Ed. Note: We realize times have changed and not all of these apply to everyone growing pot these days, but unless you’re one of the lucky ones in Colorado or Washington who can put “Professional pot growing” on their resume, most of these will resonate with you in one way or another.

You Lie to Everyone You Meet
Friendly lady at the library trying to have a conversation with you? She’s gonna want to know what you do for a living. Meeting your new girlfriend’s parents for the first time? They’re gonna want to know what you do for a living. Sitting at a bar having a drink and minding your own business? Bartender might want to know what you do for a living. Understanding the pattern developing here? It’s hard to be an honest outlaw when you’re lying all the time.
Which leads to…

You Become Reclusive and Paranoid
It’s easier to stay inside and play X-Box 360 than to deal with being around people who all seem to be potential risk factors to your ultimate goal. Besides, there’s always work to do in the garden. Plus, hasn’t that van been parked on the street for a week? Did I throw out that cardboard box with “Hydro Harvest” printed on it? Did you hear that noise? Is that a helicopter? Cue the Good Fellas scene with Ray Liotta trying make the sauce with the Feds on his tail and you now know what life in a growhouse feels like sometimes.  

Police and Thieves
You and your garden are prey to a variety of pests besides spidermites and whiteflies. Cops and robbers both view you as an easy target. The cops know you’re probably not gonna freak out and start shooting. They also know that they will most likely go home safely to their families if they bust pot growers. Robbers, on the other hand, know you can’t go to the cops if you have a problem. This leads to many bad and worse situations until you actually have real cops robbing growers. If you think you’re safe from this type of thing out in Humboldt County, take a look at this.

Partners?
Want to know how most busts happen? Disgruntled business partners, angry girlfriends or scorned wives drop a dime on you and the cops just come to your door and make a simple arrest. This means you have to keep all potential partners happy. Think it through before you bring anyone in on your horticultural hobbies. What do they bring to the table that you can’t handle yourself? If there’s no answer, there should be no partnership. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard of someone’s partnership or relationship leading to the demise of the grow project. Choose wisely.

So the next time you think growing marijuana is just about seed germination, climate control and harvesting massive amounts of pot all the time, think back to the dark ages described here and decide if this sometimes scary profession is really for you.