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Ask a Stoner: Do hemp houseplants count as marijuana?

Dear Stoner: I've always wanted a hemp houseplant. What are the rules and regulations for growing hemp on a small, non-commercial scale? And does that count as one of the six plants that I'm allowed to grow? I realize that if I'm already growing marijuana, I'd need a male hemp plant to avoid cross-pollination — right?
Spring Haze

Dear Spring: Technically, there are no special laws regarding the non-commercial home cultivation of hemp — mostly because few people would really care about growing such small amounts of a commercially valuable crop they can't sell or get high from. That means that if you're going to grow hemp at home, it will fall under the guidelines for recreational marijuana and count toward your six plants. (Just think of it as growing really low-grade ganja.) And while hemp plants don't produce buds worth smoking, they do go into flower — so you'll have to make sure only three reach that stage at a time. Keep in mind that you'll need tall ceilings: Hemp isn't short and squatty like the ganja you've got in your basement.

Also, you want to avoid male plants: They produce the pollen that fertilizes the female plants. Once that happens, it causes the girls to divert their energy into making seeds instead of bulking up on THC. A male plant in your house — even in a separate room — would have a great chance of ruining your garden. For that matter, there's a good chance that it could pollinate your neighbor's garden, too, if the pollen gets outside of your house. All in all, it's probably not worth the effort. But, hey, to each his own. Send us some photos if you get it up and growing.

Dear Stoner: I was charged in Denver in 2001 with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. I've heard that I might not be able to get a job in the marijuana industry because of that. Also, I saw last month that charges and "convictions" such as these might be able to be reversed, dropped and deleted from your record because of Amendment 64.What's the deal?
Chakra Khan

Dear Chakra: You're right that drug and drug-paraphernalia charges can prevent you from getting certain jobs that require state licensing, but you can work in the marijuana industry with prior misdemeanor drug charges. As for getting your charges cleared, you're more than a decade past the eighteen-month window for appeals of your misdemeanor, so you're probably out of luck. If the courts do toss charges, it will only be for cases that are active or currently on appeal.

 
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