Thanks to snow and stupidity, police can see exactly where your illegal weed grow is now.
There a few things in this life that you just don't do. Murdering people is one, playing Eminem in the company of people you love is another. But now, thanks to a healthy dose of snow and stupidity, we now have one more thing to add to the "Never Do This Ever" list: growing illegal weed above ground in the winter.
Because, enterprising marijuana cultivators, the heat from your grow lamps melts the snow off the roof of your house, providing police with a blisteringly obvious tip that you're growing weed.
We've got a few Dutch weed growers to thank for this priceless knowledge. Last week, police in the Netherlands swooped in on a house in the town of Haarlem, arresting the owner for growing weed after they noticed that his house was the only one in the street mysteriously not covered in snow.
Was it possible that this particular apartment just happened to be in a Bermuda triangle of summery snowless-ness? Was there an invisible force field around the house put there by a warlock with a preference for dry climates? Did the tenants just climb up there and brush the delicate dusting of snow off because they were sick and tired of following the same status quo as their neighbors?
No, no, and no. Drugs are the only natural phenomenon that could have created this beacon of illegal activity.
Once inside, police found industrial-scale cultivation of cannabis, and the heat lamps used to nurture the plants.
The previous week, police had used the same snow-searching technique to identify and raid an illegal weed farm in the city of Zutphen, where they found a bedroom filled with 88 marijuana plants. Two days later, one person was arrested in Arnhem after police discovered a similar plantation.
But the Dutch police are not the only ones smart enough to use heat signals to detect the presence of nefarious marijuana.
In 2013, the West Midlands Police department released a video on YouTube that showed a grow operation in Birmingham seen through a thermal-imaging camera.
Police described it as being "lit up like a beacon". When authorities then raided an apartment, they found 143 cannabis plants.
The technique isn't infallible though. In 2009, police raided a home in Yorkshire, proud that they'd discovered a pot plantation, but instead, they found that the heat coming from the property was from a wood stove.
We're pretty sure that if they raided our house, they'd find that the heat radiating into the atmosphere was coming off our bikini bodies, which prompted us to invent a new pickup line: "Are you an illegal grow operation being scouted by the DEA thanks to your property's heat signature because you are hot."
Anyway, lesson of the day: grow your illegal weed in your basement or don't live somewhere with a roof. Good talk.