Grow or Not to Grow

That’s a good question
By: Mel the Bumbling Gardener


Yes. Under Prop. 215, the cultivation of marijuana plants for the personal, medical use of a patient is permitted. PROPOSITION 215, the California Compassionate Use Act was enacted by the voters and took effect on Nov. 6, 1996 as California Health & Safety Code 11362.5. The law makes it legal for patients and their designated primary caregivers to possess and cultivate marijuana for their personal medical use.


Patients with a physician’s recommendation and their primary caregivers. Still in development: Current version 9/17/03: Adult marijuana patients with the approval of a San Diego County doctor may keep up to 1 pound of marijuana and grow up to 24 plants. Check your local and state laws for growing and plant count guidelines.


Patients and caregivers are permitted to cultivate marijuana plants in amounts consistent with the physician-recommended needs of the patient(s).

Indoor Plants
A patient may possess a maximum of twenty-four unharvested plants growing in an area of no more than 64 square feet, or an amount consistent with the doctors recommended need of the patient(s), or whichever is less.

Outdoor Growing Prohibited
No outdoor marijuana cultivation shall be permitted. Growing marijuana shall only be permitted in a fully enclosed greenhouse or structure that must be locked and contained. The amount of marijuana grown in the enclosed greenhouses or structures that are locked and contained will be limited by the indoor plant guidelines.

Wow, did I miss something when I first read the new liberating Medical Marijuana Laws?  Hell yes! I did, I blew it, I missed that whole part about the “Outdoor Growing Prohibited” thing.

Okay, what does a San Diego patient have to do to be compliant and grow their own? In the next four issues of NUG, our quest will be to find an easy to understand, easy to set up, and most importantly easy to operate “turnkey” indoor growing system.

My adventure started back at the THC Expose in Los Angeles.  I was a kid in a candy store; everything was out in the open for all to see. Most of the major suppliers had booths and I found four completely different indoor growing systems. Talking with their reps was very interesting because I learned that I had more choices than ever before. Each system was very different, but they all had the same goal, “to grow the best medicine possible.”  Pleased, but a bit confused, the trip home gave me time to think about what I really wanted. I knew I needed to do more research before choosing the unit that would best suit my needs. The size of the machine, power consumption, and harvest time were all taken into consideration when making my decision.  It wasn’t easy, they all build a better “mouse trap,” but the trap that caught this mouse was the “Spinner.” In the 80’s, I acquired a Phototron, a small indoor soil growing system. It had tinted plastic panels and horrible U-shaped fluorescent bulbs that were extremely temperamental, popping glass in my face every time I had to change a bulb. You could grow three or four spindly little plants to about 18 inches, but they never really got very medical. The bud was disappointing with small flowers due to the lack of light. The only advantage this system had was the ability to adjust the light schedule, which cut your outside harvest time in half.  It worked pretty well until winter came along, then the ballast just wouldn’t get warm enough to light the fluorescents. I had to wake up every morning at six with a hair dryer in hand to blow hot air inside the unit until the bulbs came on, what a pain in the ass.  The Spinner promised to be so much more.

Because Newport Beach was so close, I decided to pick up my unit. During the drive north, I thought about the good ol’ days. The days when I would save up a bag of seeds, throw them in the ground, and wait to see what popped up. There were no sexed seeds, no mother plants yielding clones, and I was lucky to find a tiger striped seed. Planting would begin in April and harvest would be in October.  Yes, that’s right, only six months before you were able to smoke your harvest. Most of the time your plants would be male, and if you were lucky enough to get that desirable female plant, she would be riddled with seeds. By the time you finished drying, de-stemming, and shaking out the seeds, the bud you were left with was pretty pathetic.

The Spinner warehouse was easy to find.  When I walked into the building, it immediately caught my eye, that big, beautiful, silver, UFO-looking machine.  I had to take a step back…I was in awe. It looked bigger and better than anything I had seen on the internet or at the THC Expose. Tom came around the corner with a smile on his face because he had been anticipating my arrival. He wasted no time and got down to business, he explained each part and its features. The disassembled Spinner fit neatly into one box. Tom made sure I had a complete starter kit filled with all the things I needed to get going. The kit had nutrients, a PH tester, 2 timers, a 600 watt bulb, digital ballast, water pump and tank, 2 Hydroplex t-shirts, and a walkthrough setup DVD. The only thing missing was the twelve clones needed to fill the Spinner’s rotating baskets. Back at my grow spot I set up this alien-like grow machine. It was a three bowl assembly; everything went together without a hitch.

When I was mixing the nutrients and adjusting the PH, I couldn’t wait any longer; I was ready to turn it on for the first time. I plugged it in and the light came on at 50% and was blinding. At 75% my face got tanned, and at 100% I grew 2 inches. “Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”…I’m ready to plant!

Next month…picking and transplanting the right clone, making my first trip to the hydro store, and OK Scotty, turn it up to 100%.

bringing you that fire! stay tune for more posts.

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