Curious: Part two – “I never got caught. I was clever about business”
As time went on
“As time progressed, I sold more drugs, made more money and spent a bit more. I ate well. I travelled. I went to London every weekend, at one stage when I was making thousands a week selling ecstasy mostly. That was back in 2007 – 2009 when pills were deadly. I was still working in the nightlife industry and especially on the techno scene so ecstasy and that went part and parcel.
“I started with hundreds then I’d get more and more and always sell them. My supplier left the country and put me in direct contact with his ‘boss’ so I had moved up a few links in the chain. I still wasn’t sure where exactly they were coming from but he did swear to me he wasn’t involved with the IRA or gangs. I didn’t know for certain though. They seemed to be the ones with all the drugs. From then on I was getting in thousands of pills and making thousands of euros each week.
“The suppliers constantly and persistently offered me various other drugs because what I was buying in large quantities off them, I was moving faster than most other people at the time. At one stage I didn’t even touch the ‘stock’. I had people working for me, it was a business. I would just pay. It got collected and brought to a house. Everything would be sold off almost immediately, then the money was dropped to me.
“When cocaine came on the scene in Dublin there was a lot of money to be made. Nearly everyone who was regularly buying pills off me had asked about cocaine. You’d be surprised by the people who bought it off me.
“I had always thought I wouldn’t get involved with cocaine but the money was too tempting. It was an expensive drug on every level though; to buy, to sell, wholesale, purchase, moving it from one part of the city to the other. An ounce (28grams) was costing me €1200.00 from my supplier. I charged €100.00 for one gram so I was making €1600.00 profit from cocaine alone on top of selling pills and eventually ketamine. Ketamine was harder to get back then because it was still relatively rare but the market was there.
I never got caught, I was clever about business
“There was a music festival coming up, which as a drug dealer is a huge opportunity to make a small fortune. People gag for anything they can get. I got an ounce of cocaine, three thousand pills and I couldn’t get my hands on any K (ketamine) so I got two ounces of weed instead. I didn’t even have to sell the stuff, I paid a guy €500 to keep it all in his house, then over the next few days people came, bought it all up and my money was delivered.
“Down at the festival I did have my one and only close call with the law. I was caught with two ecstasy tablets in my pocket which were confiscated by the Gardai. They then proceeded to question me on whether I had any more drugs with me for the weekend to which I obviously responded ‘no’, despite having nearly five hundred pills behind me in my tent. Luckily they left it at that and I was able to carry on doing business. I did stop selling for a few weeks when I got back.”
Personal drug use
“I had a love/hate relationship with cocaine. I had stopped doing ecstasy myself early in the game. I didn’t like how it made me feel. I had always sort of battled with bouts of depression and I think drugs like ecstasy intensified that low feeling. I took quite a lot of cocaine but then again I soon developed a disliking for how it made me feel. It was K that broke me in the end.
“In 2011 it all got very rare. Drugs became a pacifier. Ketamine numbed my personal issues. Everything had gotten on top of me. I was weak, I succumbed to it all. I’d get up in the morning, do drugs, eat breakfast, do more drugs, go to work – ketamine. It’s horrible. I don’t really know what it even felt like anymore because frankly, I don’t want to remember. In the end, I wasn’t even getting much off it anyway.
“The downfall of the market and the debt lead me deeper into my own addiction. My debt built up to extreme levels and the pressure got worse from above. He wanted money more frequently. He didn’t understand how it was at my level. He was into coke himself in a big way and not the most stable person. My life was put on the line and I knew I had to get out of this but I genuinely didn’t think I could. My mental health was at shattering point and I was using heavily to block that out.
“Everyone was selling by then; people got better quality drugs than I had. I got rubbish pills, my guy went downhill and I never really found out why. Orange Sonics (a type of ecstasy pill) came out and I couldn’t get them, people were getting them for f**k all and selling for a tenner each making a €9.50 profit on each pill. I had stock for weeks that I couldn’t shift so I started getting in more be it cocaine, weed, hash, ketamine – anything I could sell to clear off my debts.
“I couldn’t go to other suppliers because my guy gave me stuff on tick (like having a tab). My supplier was a typical drug pusher – nice while you were selling, making him money then when things slowed, he was down on you like a tonne of bricks. He was Irish, in his mid-thirties. I do know his real name now but at the time I didn’t. He had a nickname which I can’t really divulge for obvious reasons. When I was starting out doing business with him he was known merely as the bill man, he didn’t even tell us his nickname. He was one to be feared. There were guys above him I didn’t even want to know.
“This was a very low point for me personally and ‘professionally’. My own addiction had reached its climax. I was drinking heavily, every day, doing large quantities of K and extremely run down. I was lucky to be alive, and I know that now. I collapsed and ended up in hospital following one binge when it had all just become too much for my body or mind to take.”
My life had fallen apart
“I was living back at home when I hit my all-time low – the beginning of the end. My mother confronted me about my lifestyle and told me straight up she knew I was selling drugs. Her obvious disappointment was the wakeup call I needed and her empathetic, supportive approach to the whole situation was far more than I deserved. I can’t even begin to comprehend the level of pain and anxiety I caused not just my family but indirectly the families of the people I sold to. They were somebodies sons and daughters at the end of the day and I often thought of that when I was selling. It did bother me but I was greedy and the money overtook all other concerns. It was too much of a pull factor for me to walk away… until I had no other choice.
‘How can WE get out of this?’ asked my mother.
I knew my debts needed to be paid to ensure my own safety and selling wasn’t an option, I needed out of that lifestyle and scene fast. I got a substantial bank loan along with a loan from my Mum in order to clear my debts and I practically gave the leftover stock away selling it in bulk for a lot less than it was worth but I just wanted rid of it.
I was free
“From the moment my mother confronted me I was determined to make something of myself and turn my life around. I am an intelligent person but I was lazy and greedy and wasted my talents. I had dealt with depression in the past which was a contributory factor to my demise I think. I sought some counselling but for the most part, I just worked to channel that energy into something positive and within a year I was completely clean and working as a Marketing Director. Now I had a purpose and was earning my money earnestly so life had gone full circle. It’s true what they say when you hit rock bottom there is only one way you can go.
I was lucky with my recovery in the sense I didn’t replace one addiction with another. Once I was clean and healthy, physically and mentally, my mind flooded with ideas and opportunities just seemed to arise. It isn’t always that easy but it is worth every second of the withdrawals once you get there. You’ll never look back if you value your life at all. I couldn’t resort to that way of life again, I have too much to lose and I know my mother would never forgive me. That alone is reason enough to steer clear.
If I could offer any advice to students now I would say don’t make the same choices I did, I learned a lot of tough lessons. Don’t sell. The greed takes over, it really does.”
Series concluded. Got anything to add? Comment below or email [email protected]
Curious: Part two – “I never got caught. I was clever about business” As time went on “As time progressed, I sold more drugs, made more money and spent a bit more. I ate well. I travelled. I
Stealth Growing: How to NOT get Caught Growing Weed
by Sirius Fourside
If you’ve ever gone to a forum for advice on growing cannabis, you’ll know that there is no shortage of opinions on what you can do to become a better grower.
Learning new tips and training techniques give you an edge in growing and help you increase your yields. However, there is one thing that I consider to be the most important part of advancing your growing knowledge…
NOT GETTING CAUGHT!
No matter how good you are at growing cannabis, if you get caught and end up in jail, you’ll be in a place where your skills are useless and wasted. Even if growing cannabis is legal where you live, there are still thieves and nosy neighbors you don’t want to learn about your garden.
But fret not! We’ve compiled this easy-to-read list of tips to help keep you out of the sight and minds of people who could ruin your life just for growing a plant.
Remember, the only thing better than increasing the potency and yields of your harvest is making sure you get to keep said harvest.
Let’s get into some tips for Stealth Growing – keeping your grow “under the radar” of other people.
First, the mantra: “No smell, no sell, no tell”
There are a lot of ways to keep you and your grow safe, but this is the heart of it all.
- No smell – No one should be able to smell your grow or smell cannabis on you. This makes you an easy target for police and marijuana haters
- No sell – Statistically, people who are growing cannabis strictly for personal use deal with far less legal trouble than people who sell their cannabis. This even applies in places like Colorado where it’s legal within the state
- No tell – Having fewer people know about your grow reduces the chances of you getting busted by law enforcement or burglarized by thieves. I know it’s hard not to show off your awesome growing skills, but this one secret that needs to stay a secret. In fact, telling someone about your grow is the easiest way to get yourself in trouble. Remember, if you can’t keep your own secret, how can you expect them not to tell someone else?
Growing Indoors vs. Outdoors
There are benefits to both of these growing methods, but when it comes purely to stealth, indoor growing is the way to go. Indoors, you can completely control smell and sound, plus your plants are out of view. Outdoor growing has one potentially major problem that indoor growers are pretty much safe against… people wandering by. This is especially problematic when the plants are being grown on your property. Many outdoor growers have been busted by nosy neighbors, city/utility workers, or just bad weather (floods have revealed hidden outdoor grows, for example). If you can grow indoors, you’ll make yourself that much harder to find.
It’s more stealthy to grow indoors – no one can stumble upon your plants
In the vegetative stage, some plants have a cannabis smell from the beginning, but most strains tend to make a clean, fresh smell akin to the gardening section in a home improvement store. But once plants get bigger and especially after flowering kicks in, the smell can range from tame to “WHAT IS THAT SMELL?!”
Luckily, this can be easily corrected with several products like carbon filters for in the grow room, or odor neutralizers for living spaces. Some growers use diffusers or candles to help cover up smells on an emergency basis. Additionally, you can try growing cannabis strains that are known for having a more neutral smell (like the ones listed below). The goal is to make sure that the smell stays within your grow space, and doesn’t find its way into your living areas.
Important Note: Odor neutralizers with perfumes should not share the same air as your plants, meaning they shouldn’t be placed in your tent with your cannabis or the perfume smell might get onto your buds. Check out this PSA for more info.
Low Odor Marijuana Strains – Strains known for producing low/non-marijuana-like odor:
- Blue Mystic
- Master Kush
- Jack Herer
- Auto Duck is an example of an auto-flowering strain that is great for stealth growing due to its smell (or lack thereof) and a unique shape that doesn’t look quite like cannabis leaves
- Northern Lights Auto
Note: Smells are usually more intense when the environment gets hot and humid.
Low odor strains definitely aren’t fool-proof, but they can help make things easier. These are just a few examples of strains that are known to have a relatively low or neutral smell, but there are many others. Learn more about researching strains.
“What’s that smell?”
When buying any kind of electrical device, look up reviews on the product to make sure it runs quietly. A low-quality exhaust fan or air pump will cause people to be suspicious since they make lots of noise and typically run all day and night.
Exhaust fans and air pumps of especially low quality can raise even more suspicion by vibrating. This can make your grow noticeable through multiple walls!
Tips for quiet operation
- Use stealthy devices known to be quiet – it often helps to get quality equipment
- Don’t get a fan that’s way too powerful for your space, as bigger fans are noisier
- Install your exhaust fan inside your tent instead of outside, and try to hang it as opposed to letting it sit on something. Hanging your fan from the inside of my tent (which you can easily do with rope ratchets, large zip ties or even bungee cord) will reduce the amount of fan noise greatly.
- Keep the path for ducting as straight and short as possible. Extra bends and length will increase noise because of the air moving through the ducting, as well as because it makes your fan work harder.
- Use insulated ducting to help keep sounds inside
- Make sure your cool air intake hole is big enough. Your intake hole(s) where you get air should be near the bottom of the grow space and in total about 4x as big as the exhaust hole. If the fan is having trouble getting enough air it will run louder (and it’s hard on the fan)
- Use something that reduces sound around the outside of the fan, like egg crate material or foam. If there is foam between the fan and the place where it’s mounted it will help reduce vibration. Some people will also use an insulated box around the exhaust fan.
- Be aware of where the noise is going. Keep fans away from shared walls, the entrance of the room, near windows where sound projects, etc
To the outside world, it should appear as if you’re doing everything as normal. As paranoid as it sounds, you should assume that anyone who sees you doing growing related activity will know what it is and report you.
- Move any growing equipment at night so you’re less likely to be seen. It’s also a really good idea to cover any growing equipment you’re transporting, for example in black trash bags. This way, no one can see exactly what it is you’re moving
- Be careful about what you throw in your trash. On the rare occasion that I do throw cannabis trash (like stems) in a trash can, I usually cover it in food trash or kitty litter so no one will want to go through it. Also, throwing away your cannabis-related trash on the day trash is picked up means there is minimal time for a snooping person to find your secret garbage.
- Make sure nothing stands out. Pick a couple of days to walk around your house at a few different times of the day to see if anything stands out as suspicious. Example of something suspicious: Super bright yellow light (HPS) coming from a window at 11:00pm. Learn how to make a stealthy exhaust system.
- Be a good neighbor! A lot of people think of cannabis growers as criminals. When you continue to act like the intelligent, well-mannered, amicable person you are, your neighbors naturally become less suspicious.
- Don’t look like a stereotypical stoner. There’s nothing wrong with wearing Rastafarian colors or pro-cannabis clothing, and it’s your right to dress and act as you wish. Just remember that police, nosy neighbors, and marijuana haters are more likely to ‘judge a book by its cover’ and harass a person based on their clothing… regardless of how unfair that is.
A Google search for “house fire marijuana” will yield stories for events in at least 7 cities (in the first 2 pages alone) where people have accidentally burned down their cannabis, their home, and everything they own in electrical fires. Most electrical safety mishaps can be prevented with a few healthy habits:
- Only purchase quality equipment. Quality parts mean fewer failures, which means fewer fires started. Fire is bad.
- Keep water and other liquids below waist level and electrical equipment above waist level. Even if this isn’t always possible, it will help to accomplish the real goal: keeping water and electrical devices separated.
- Clean up all spilled water. Having a few towels or a roll of paper towels handy makes this a breeze.
- Get a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter)These are made to interrupt power when they sense a problem with the flow of electricity. These devices can also save you from being electrocuted, so they’re definitely worth the investment.
- Don’t overload your circuits. If you live in an older house, you probably don’t want two 1000w HPS lights and high powered exhaust fans running from one room unless you know how much your circuits can take. Sticking only to what you actually need will help you in this department. For example: for indoor growing that’s strictly for personal use, a single 600w HPS can keep most people in constant over-abundance all year, every year.
- More Electrical Safety Tips (including how to figure out how much electricity your circuits can handle)
Technology and the way we communicate changes so rapidly these days, that many of us aren’t aware that we now do things that give away a lot of information about what we do. You don’t need to be a computer wizard, but these terms will definitely help you maintain your privacy in the digital age:
- Proxy: Many websites track your computer information and where you are. Proxies trick those websites into thinking you’re in a different place. Here’s a free site to try: http://www.vpnbook.com/webproxy
- Anonymous Search: I love Google and use it often, however, they do track information about searches. Google is still safe to use for normal use, but for things pertaining to cannabis, try a search engine that doesn’t track information, like https://duckduckgo.com/.
- Exif data: Exif data is a little chunk of information that comes attached to pretty much any picture you take nowadays. This can be dangerous if the picture is taken on a device with GPS (such as a smart phone), because the data will also include the location where the picture was taken. Follow this link for text instructions on how to remove this data from your photos.
Know the Law
In the U.S., many states have their own laws on how marijuana is treated. Some states will send marijuana users to jail for years, some will give them counseling, others will just give a fine, and some do nothing at all.
However, it’s important to remember that marijuana is still illegal according to U.S. federal law, as well as the law of most countries. In fact, cannabis is still classified as ‘Schedule 1’ with the US federal government; Schedule 1 is the highest (worst) classification a drug can have, and cannabis shares the classification with hard drugs like Methamphetamine and Heroin. Although this classification is obviously motivated by reasons other than public safety, it’s important to remember that you can still be prosecuted and jailed just the same.
It’s imperative that every grower spend at least a little time making sure they know the laws that apply to them to help minimize the risk of being prosecuted. Here are some resources to get you started:
- Learn where in the world it’s legal to grow cannabis
- U.S. residents, see NORML’s page for detailed up-to-date marijuana laws state-by-state: http://norml.org/laws
- Outside of the U.S., get the basics at Wikipedia’s page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_cannabis
This is a lot of information, and it still only barely scratches the surface of what it takes to grow stealthily. Over time there will be more pitfalls to watch out for, but growing your own cannabis has actually gotten easier and safer over time.
If you have quick, easily digestible tips to share, feel free to contact us.
What tools do you need for Stealth Growing?
Quiet Electronic Devices – Get devices that work without making noise:
- Silent Air Pump(for hydro)
- Low-noise Water Transfer Pump(for changing your reservoir when growing with Hydro/Bubbleponics/DWC)
- Cloudline – Very Quiet Exhaust Fans (though expensive and HUGE)
- Soler & Palau – Pretty Quiet Exhaust Fans (also expensive and big, a little less quiet but more powerful)
- Duct Silencer (these can help muffle the noise by about 50%, but it won’t make it silent; works best if you can put one before and after the fan, though you can use just one on the exit side for pretty good results)
- Carbon Filter (learn more about how to use carbon filters correctly)
- Odor Neutralizers like ONA, diffusers or candles (for use in living areas, not the grow room)
- Read the full tutorial on how to control smells
- DuckDuckGo.com – A free search engine that doesn’t track you or what you search for
- Tor Browser – Browse anonymously!
FOR SERIOUS GROWERS ONLY
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I thought I already knew it all, but after I went through this grow bible, I discovered that there were still lots of little pieces of information I could use to increase my yields and grow even more potent buds! I have gone back to it for new ideas.
Let’s get into some tips for Stealth Growing – keeping your grow “under the radar” of other people.