Repeat after me “no smell, no sell, no tell!”
Stick to this and you will almost undoubtedly stay safe and sound. You are going to want to talk about you growing and it’s really difficult trying to keep your mouth shut. If you’re a blabber when drunk then don’t get too drunk around people.
You shouldn’t tell anyone, but you’re going to because it’s so ridiculously difficult. Find at most 1-2 people that you can tell. Those people should either live with you or are fellow growers.
You don’t want to sell because the laws are so much worse if caught selling than growing. Even if you live in a place where it’s legal to smoke and grow, it may not be to sell. Many states where it’s illegal have the same severity of laws for growing and possession, but selling has way worst consequences.
I can’t say whether this next part is true or not, but I have heard that when weighing marijuana, law enforcement will weigh whatever is attached to the flowers. So, you might think it’s safe to grow under 2 oz because you are only fined. But that 2 oz on your plant weighs a whole lot more when the buds are wet and attracted to everything including the soil still on the roots after the plant has been pulled.
If you’re worried about getting caught, grow one plant at a time. You can grow enough for multiple people and it’s much easier to claim that you were growing for personal use with no intention to sell.
Read that over again and again, because today the law doesn’t really care about people growing for personal use. But if you give them a reason to think you sell, then in their eyes you’re potential selling to kids.
Also, no one has ever been arrested in the United States for buying seeds. Customs could potentially find them, but they just send a warning that will unsettle you for a bit, but you will be fine.