Ah, this brings me back to the days of the Phototron. Who doesn’t remember this icon located in the advertisements at the back of nearly every magazine back in the day? Billed as the only all in one self-contained hydroponic grow box. The picture always showed either kitchen herbs or some type of house plant inside the box. As if anyone would grow anything in this box but marijuana. The Phototron was to “pay for itself harvest after harvest.” As I recall, this thing had a hefty price tag. Somewhere in the neighborhood of around $500. That’s a lot of basil one would have to grow in order to make up for the cost of a Phototron.
The Stack!t advertises as a way to dry all your “garden herbs” at once in this giant drying rack. At over six feet tall, one could put a lot of herb in this thing. Although, I would advise against this little number. Decades ago, I went over to a friend’s house and discovered a small-scale marijuana grow operation. The smell of weed upon walking in the door was overpowering. Just what you want when the police show up trying to chase off a burglar. Thankfully, this friend later went through a divorce and subsequently got rid of all of his marijuana grow operation. That little project was a felony waiting to happen. I have personally witnessed small hobbies like this turn into a major problem for clients. In Lubbock, it was always rumored that law enforcement had a plane that could detect infrared heat signatures. As everyone knows, these devices do exist. If you have a grow operation in your house, the heat signature is going to light up your house like a Christmas tree. Remember THC and marijuana are still illegal in Texas. If you get caught with a grow operation, it is going to result in a hefty charge. In a raid, I have seen law enforcement pull up the plant and weigh the whole thing; roots, dirt, and all which tends to be heavy. The higher the weight the higher the penalty.
Texas defines drug paraphernalia as:
“Drug paraphernalia: means equipment, a product, or material that is used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, containing, or concealing a controlled substance in violation of this chapter or in injecting, ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter. The term includes:
(A) a kit used or intended for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, or harvesting a species of plant that is a controlled substance or from which a controlled substance may be derived;
(B) a material, compound, mixture, preparation, or kit used or intended for use in manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, or preparing a controlled substance;
(C) an isomerization device used or intended for use in increasing the potency of a species of plant that is a controlled substance;
(D) testing equipment used or intended for use in identifying or in analyzing the strength, effectiveness, or purity of a controlled substance;
(E) a scale or balance used or intended for use in weighing or measuring a controlled substance;
(F) a dilutant or adulterant, such as quinine hydrochloride, mannitol, inositol, nicotinamide, dextrose, lactose, or absorbent, blotter-type material, that is used or intended to be used to increase the amount or weight of or to transfer a controlled substance regardless of whether the dilutant or adulterant diminishes the efficacy of the controlled substance;
(G) a separation gin or sifter used or intended for use in removing twigs and seeds from or in otherwise cleaning or refining marihuana;
(H) a blender, bowl, container, spoon, or mixing device used or intended for use in compounding a controlled substance;
(I) a capsule, balloon, envelope, or other container used or intended for use in packaging small quantities of a controlled substance;
(J) a container or other object used or intended for use in storing or concealing a controlled substance;
(K) a hypodermic syringe, needle, or other object used or intended for use in parenterally injecting a controlled substance into the human body; and
(L) an object used or intended for use in ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marihuana, cocaine, hashish, or hashish oil into the human body, including:
(i) a metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic, or ceramic pipe with or without a screen, permanent screen, hashish head, or punctured metal bowl;
(ii) a water pipe;
(iii) a carburetion tube or device;
(iv) a smoking or carburetion mask;
(v) a chamber pipe;
(vi) a carburetor pipe;
(vii) an electric pipe;
(viii) an air-driven pipe;
(ix) a chillum;
(x) a bong; or
(xi) an ice pipe or chiller.”
So basically, anything your little grow operation contains that comes in contact with THC or marijuana will become illegal. This sounds trivial. I get that. But consider that I recently had a client arrested with a vape pen that had previously been used with THC oil. While the THC oil was long gone, the vape pen still tested positive for THC and therefore landed this young man in felony land. If you put a drop of THC in a Coke, the whole Coke becomes illegal.
Ron Voyles is both an attorney and a chiropractor with over twenty years’ experience in the litigation of personal injury claims, the defense of drug and alcohol crimes, and the handling of dental and medical malpractice cases. Ron practices in Montgomery, Walker, Grimes, Madison, San Jacinto, and Leon Counties.