Open on me standing in front of a bungalow in the suburbs. “Here we are in front of a bungalow in the suburbs. To the naked eye it looks to be a regular bungalow in the suburbs, but to the trained eye it is actually a marijuana grow-op.”
I begin walking up the driveway. “Using the everyday family life of suburbia as a disguise, grow-ops are becoming more popular every year.”
I pause at the front door. “And it’s no wonder when you add up the numbers. The average sized suburban grow-op consists of 15-20 plants, each yielding about 2 pounds of marijuana. At 6 crop cycles per year, with a street value of $2000 per pound, these mad scientists bring in an average of $480,000. Not bad for a bunch of stoners if you ask this reporter.”
I ring the doorbell. “Luckily, through an anonymous connection, I’ve arranged a sit down with a group of ‘farmers’ who have agreed to speak with me about their operation.”
The door is answered by Garth*, a scraggily haired twenty-something in a Big Lebowski Achiever t-shirt. It’s 10 in the morning and he’s already stoned, and greets me as one would expect: “Duuuuuude. You remembered. Awesome” We fist bump. “Come in. Come in. Hey, you wanna a Pop Tart or some Captain Crunch or something?”
He leads me through the house. “Notice how normal everything appears. Decorated in a long forgotten fashion, pasted with wallpaper that would make Martha Stewart cringe, and the shag carpet – this could be the dwelling of any blue-collar family.”
Upon entering the kitchen I meet the other farmer, Cooper*. The first thing that comes to my mind is: They sure as hell don’t live like people who make in the neighbourhood of $480,000 a year. The second is: When can I start?
As a bowl of Captain Crunch, with chocolate milk, is thrust into my hands they explain that their latest strain, Buffalo Soldier, is a hybrid of the infamous Noosh Kush crossed with Diablo Inferno. This leads Garth (the Achiever) to wonder: “Have you ever eaten Captain Crunch on weed?” Before I can answer, and with more enthusiasm than one would expect from stoners, they jump up and lead me downstairs to begin the ‘tour’.
As we enter the Proving Grounds – their smoking room – I am hit by the overwhelming smell of sweet ganja. “So gentlemen, why marijuana?”
They answer simultaneously: “Duuuuuude. It’s the easiest job ever. Plant a seed, water it, cut it, sell it, and smoke the rest.” As if on cue, Garth fires up a joint only Cheech and Chong could dream up. I stare in amazement as it slowly makes it way towards me. So as not to appear rude, I take a few hits. “This is dope guys.” Once again, they speak in sync, “We know.” I smoke a little more then pass it to the cameraman.
Producers note: Unfortunately, this is as far as the team got. After getting stoned, they left the camera on and proceeded to record 5 hours of a rusty toolbox. Luckily, they also left the mic on and managed to record the entire conversation that took place during their session. Here are a few excerpts from the upcoming album Marijuana Mishaps.
“…and then the monkey was like, ‘What does that mean?’, and I was like, ‘Toothpaste’.”
“Who do you think would win in a fight? Me? Or Captain Crunch?”
“Does anyone else feel like rubbing butter on their feet?”
“My final economics paper was based on the plausibility of the Caramilk secret. I got a C-. And gained 6 pounds.”
“Argyle is a fun word to say. Argyle. Argyle. Gargoyle.”
*Names changed for privacy and legal purposes