Kansas couple: indoor hydroponics prompted “pot” raid

by Walter Olson on April 1, 2013

The couple say they believe they were raided because of their use of an indoor gardening setup to raise six tomato, melon and squash plants in their basement. “A drug-sniffing dog was brought in to help, but deputies ultimately left after providing a receipt stating, ‘No items taken.’” [Heather Hollingsworth, AP]


1 No Name Guy 04.01.13 at 11:43 am

Well, since you can’t grow wheat and peanuts without permission from our Federal Government, squash and tomatoes are certainly within the purview of law enforcement (especially if it’s in your, gasp, front yard). Better send in the swat team to see if they have their FDA approved license, equipment, approved operational procedures, etc. “for the children”.

2 David Smith 04.01.13 at 12:34 pm

I’ve never done this, but I am prepared to keep my mouth absolutely shut, and then, under the principle “I don’t do LEO’s job LEO does LEO’s job” raise holey hell if they don’t provide receipts, signed acknowledgements, etc. without my asking.

They better start being better trained than the idiots that think killing poodles is macho.

3 Leland D. Davis 04.01.13 at 4:34 pm

The sad part is, this raid actually makes more sense than many because in many places, hydroponics are frequently used to grow marijuana, and as a suburban couple growing stuff indoors, if I were a cop, charged with finding marijuana grows, it might be the sort of thing that, while I might not want to run and get a search warrant, it would prompt me, at a minimum, to ask neighbors some questions. The problem is, the police have turned conducting drug searches on peoples homes into a high risk, violent scenario. So, we shudder to think our homes might be searched by the police. Police routinely break stuff – often intentionally – and then don’t pay or replace the stuff that they broke during the search. We have peppered the rule books with so many laws, that even those of us who might think that we have nothing to hide can get ensnared, etc. And we excuse acts of violence if they are committed by the police. If we lived in a sane world, having the police search your home, if you aren’t doing anything really wrong, would be little more than a minor inconvenience. But we don’t live in a sane world.

4 Robert 04.01.13 at 5:19 pm

I’m shocked…that they didn’t shoot the dog!

I hope their legal efforts pay off.

5 Richard Nieporent 04.01.13 at 6:53 pm

i>f we lived in a sane world, having the police search your home, if you aren’t doing anything really wrong, would be little more than a minor inconvenience. But we don’t live in a sane world.

You have it backwards Leland. If we lived in a “sane world”, the police would not be searching our homes without probable cause that a crime had been committed; and buying a grow light is not probable cause. Since we don’t live in a “sane world”, we have the Fourth Amendment to prevent such abuses by the Government. Unfortunately, the Government appears to abide the Fourth Amendment as well as they do the Second Amendment.

6 David Smith 04.01.13 at 8:36 pm

New way to avoid “no knock” searches: Don’t have a dog.

But hide any small children.

7 No Name Guy 04.02.13 at 12:47 pm

Oh, and the reason “no items were taken” is that this particular couple was smart enough to keep all their savings safe and sound (in a Cyprus?) bank and not have any as cash at home, which CLEARLY would have been ill gotten gains from their drug dealing. Seizure would, of course, had been necessary and the couple would have had to prove it wasn’t drug money – which would have been impossible, since they OBVIOUSLY were drug growers (see the original raid for proof that they were drug growers) with drug growing paraphernalia (e.g. the grow lights).

Oh, also be glad they weren’t fanciers of, say, high end sporting rifles either….would have seized (typical “high power armor piercing sniper rifles preferred by drug dealers” is what the prosecutor would have said) and probably destroyed those as well.

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