Charleston police find 20 marijuana plants growing in downtown community garden at Robert Mills Manor

The unofficial community garden at Robert Mills Manor on Logan Street in Charleston, where 20 marijuana plants were found Monday. Buy this photo

A budding marijuana farmer lost his cannabis crop this week when Charleston police found 20 pot plants growing amid cabbage and collard greens in a community garden at a downtown public housing complex.

Police were tipped off Monday that someone was growing the pot in a plot near 105 Logan St. in Robert Mills Manor, home to 222 families.

Officers found the plants growing in plain sight in a small patch between two rows of brick buildings, near a row of communal clotheslines. Each stood 3 to 8 inches high, police said.

Neighbors said they hadn’t noticed the illicit plants until police showed up.

“It’s amazing,” said one tenant, who wouldn’t give her name. “It looked like some type of vegetables to me.”

Lt. Sterling Dutton, a police narcotics unit supervisor, saw no signs of a sophisticated growing operation. “It looks like someone was just playing around and threw some seeds out there,” he said.

Police yanked the plants and placed them into evidence, leaving only the dirt and some legal weeds behind. The grower has not been identified.

Don Cameron, president of Charleston Housing Authority, said one of the agency’s assistant managers initially spotted the pot and alerted police while making rounds at the complex. The plants didn’t appear to have been there long, he said. Cameron said the community garden is not authorized by the authority. “But we’ll be keeping an eye on it, just in case something else sprouts up there,” he said.

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