Medical Marijuana Grower’s Diary – Entry #1: The Longest Drive

April 6, 2010 – The last time I felt so uneasy behind the wheel of a car was when I took my newborn son home from the hospital. The world never felt as dangerous as it did outside the walls of the maternity ward — every driver on the road was a lunatic, every intersection a deathtrap.

I got the same feeling last weekend as I carefully motored from one end of the city to the other, my car filled with a different sort of precious cargo: I’d just picked up six large marijuana plants. They filled the back seat, and even though the windows were tinted, I was sure they were as obvious as if I were in a convertible. It was a short drive to my grow room, but I’m pretty sure I passed every cop, sheriff’s deputy and meter maid in the city. Of all the equipment involved in growing pot, most people’s cars are at the bottom of the list. Mine is a beaten-up SUV that’s beginning to show its age. The tilt steering wheel has lately been interfering with the wiring for the turn signals and brake lights; unless it’s in the precise position, none of them work. The license tags just expired and should anyone run the plate numbers, they’d find enough parking tickets to string up a Tibetan prayer flag.

I took care of most of the SUV’s lingering problems before going to pick up the plants. I wanted the chances of being pulled over by a cop to be as close to zero as possible. I spent half an hour aligning the steering wheel so that the turn signals work. I paid to renew the license plates and, critically, remembered to put the sticker on the plate. I paid off most of my parking tickets and overdue E-470 toll fees. When I picked up six of my new best friends, each about a foot tall in two-gallon buckets, I used the cruise control to keep to the 30 mph speed limit past the university. I picked a good day for this mission; it was dusk on Easter Sunday, about as sleepy a time as one could choose to shuttle marijuana plants from one place to another.

I should point out that I was doing nothing illegal transporting the plants, at least not under state and local laws. I am a bona fide medical marijuana patient and my paperwork was on the passenger seat just in case I got stopped. Regardless, it still felt like I was smuggling a few hundred pounds across the Rio Grande, and I didn’t want to risk anything going wrong.

I should also point out that I don’t need to grow my own marijuana. I just want to. Colorado is one of 14 states that allows the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes, but it is also the easiest in which to shop. One of my new favorite pastimes is astonishing out of state friends by describing the cornucopia of marijuana dispensaries here, some of which offer as many as 60 different strains of weed. If I don’t like the service or the vibe of one place, I can just walk across the street to another.

Although it sounds like an excuse you’d lay on a spouse (“It’s just for research, honey”), I’m growing dope so that I can understand it better. Compared to other people in this industry, I know next to nothing about marijuana. I rarely smoke it recreationally and until I received my doctor’s recommendation in November, I barely gave it any thought. Now that it’s on the front page of nearly every newspaper in the country at least once or twice a month, I want to know as much as I can about it. And what better way than the full immersion experience of growing some?

I’ve always been one to enjoy getting my hands dirty, and in this case, I mean that literally. My next trip is to the grow store to stock up on actual dirt: soil and fertilizer.

Stay tuned for Diary Entry #2

By DJ Hayes.  Source.

About this column: “DJ Hayes” is a pseudonym for an amateur Colorado pot grower, who works as a professional writer and editor when not obsessing over a grow room. With medical marijuana inspiring increasing numbers of people to test out their green thumbs or go into business, DJ has agreed to share thoughts and experiences as a first-time grower with GreenZone, a section dedicated to the issue of medical marijuana.

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