Friday, July 06, 2007

Greetings From the Emerald City

...or the dope grower next door.

From the sidewalk, the house on a sleepy cul-de-sac in Renton looked like a sweet slice of suburbia: four bedrooms, vaulted entryway, roses blooming out front.

But inside, the home was a marijuana factory. Furniture had been shoved aside to make room for banks of halogen bulbs with foil lampshades. Tubes of flexible ducting connected to an industrial-grade air scrubber. Power was diverted around the electric meter by splices direct from the main line.

In place of a family, the home's primary "occupants" were 658 marijuana plants. In a good year, the harvest would be substantial enough to pay off the mortgage on the $500,000 house and buy another home.

Growing pot indoors has old and deep roots in the green-thumbed Puget Sound area. But homes such as the one discovered in late 2005 in the hills above downtown Renton represent a new level of sophistication and scale in the lucrative cultivation of premium-grade marijuana that was once the franchise of British Columbia.

The homegrowers steal electricity so that the police can't use the electric bill to bust these guys. When you are using 10 times the juice as your neighbors, suspicions arise.

Maybe people are turning to weed because beer is getting so expensive.

No comments: