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Sometimes, love and marijuana don’t mix.

Marijuana HandcuffsAn irate Pennsylvania woman, arguing with her boyfriend, called police and told them he was growing cannabis plants in her house. The incident occurred in August, but details were withheld until January.

Police in Uniontown, Pa., reported that an unidentified woman called 911 Aug. 14 and made the allegations against her boyfriend, James Ferguson. Prosecutors waited until December to file formal criminal charges against Ferguson – but not the girlfriend who allowed the indoor grow.

Woman gave police permission to search

The 50-year-old man was allegedly tending multiple marijuana plants in the woman’s home, said police Lt. Tom Kolencik. They got into a heated argument, during which she phoned police. She then gave officers permission to search her home. Ferguson had no legal say in the matter, but police said he also consented to the search.

“I also spoke to Mr. Ferguson as well,” Kolencik said. “He said, ‘Yeah, you can come in.’ And that he does have some marijuana plants growing for his own personal use.”

Officers reported that they discovered four small plants in the house, along with boxes of ziplock bags, soil, planters, and plant nutrients. Ferguson allegedly said he used the supplies on a garden in the back yard, but police said there was no large garden there.

Up until the argument, Ferguson had apparently done a good job of keeping a lid on his alleged operation. His girlfriend was the only reason police learned of it, Kolencik said.

“I’m sure that caused some tension afterward,” Kolencik said.

Both Ferguson and his girlfriend moved after the incident, but it was unclear from press reports whether they are still together. A local reporter tried to reach them in late December for comment, with no success.

Lack of trust

hydro marijuana plantsThis case offers a clear example of why personal relations are so critical in any illicit business. Rage and a lack of trust give people a reason to seek revenge, and tipping off the police is an ideal option for many angry people.

Among other considerations, it’s usually a bad idea to grow marijuana plants in someone else’s home. That creates a legal risk, which leads to fear, which could incentivize them to turn you in. This is especially true in a romantic relationship, where feelings are often raw.

The takeaway: Unless your significant other also grows cannabis, never tell him or her that you do, at least not until you’re headed for marriage. And definitely don’t try to drag them into the game unless they want to do it.

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About the Author: Matt Brooks

Matt is a journalist from San Francisco who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than six years.

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