Remember When the Constitution Meant Something? No?

Grow Lights for sale at Charley's Green HouseA crime in progress?

Did you know that owning a grow light now means the police can come into your home?

Friday, April 6, 2007 · Last updated 12:45 p.m. PT

Police bust tomato grow operation in Pullman apartment

PULLMAN, Wash. -- A Pullman landlord notified police about a grow lamp in a closet, and police got a search warrant for a drug raid.

Eight officers with guns drawn surprised three roommates in the apartment last weekend and discovered they were growing tomatoes.

Commander Chris Tennant says it's the department's duty to investigate all credible complaints regarding marijuana growing operations in Pullman.

(From Rory Curtiss, KRPL)

There is so much wrong with what happened here.

Unless the landlord was repairing something in the closet, he has no business going in the closet.

The landlord reported the tenants have a grow light and a plant, and that was enough for a judge to issue a search warrant? Why even bother with judicial review of search warrants if this is all it takes.

They sent 8 cops into the apartment with guns drawn. There are roughly 27 patrol members employed by the Pullman police department. Now, assuming they have 1/3 of the officers on the clock at any given time, that means there were probably 9 officers covering the city the day of this raid. 8 were assigned to this ridiculous raid.

Nearly every cop on patrol was sent to this apartment, with their guns drawn, because someone reported a grow light.

Unfortunately, the article doesn't say whether or not this was a no-knock warrant. I hope they weren't stupid enough to do that, considering there was no evidence of a crime. Unless owning a grow light is now illegal.

Because these tenants grew a tomato plant.

And while Tennant may feel it's his duty to investigate credible complaints, there is a beg difference between investigating an accusation that someone owns legal equipment and busting into an apartment with weapons drawn.

I hope the Seattle Police Department is more sensible. I'm sure there is already a file on me. Since I grow Basil, Oregano, Chives, Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Rosemary, Mint, and assorted house plants indoors, I have 6-8 grow lights running in my apartment. Of course they are in a big window. And you can see my grow lights and herbs from several blocks away, so there's would be no reason to bust down my door.

Hopefully the craziness that infected the Pullman police department isn't infectious.

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