|OK gardeners, you're busted. Don't tell|
the DEA you're just starting tomatoes indoors
They know it's drugs!
In some areas of the Midwest, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is staking out garden centers that sell hydroponic equipment, then conducting raids on households whose occupants were seen buying the stuff, says the Huffington Post, Patch, and other media outlets.
Of course, a number of people who buy hydroponic equipment indeed use it to help grow pot. One of the people who were staked out indeed had some.
Angela Kirking, 46, was arrested in a raid on her place three weeks after she bought a bottle of organic fertilizer at one of these garden centers. It turns out she had less than a third of an ounce of pot at her place.
Yeah, possessing a third of an ounce of pot is illegal in Illinois, but staking out a garden center, conducting a three week investigation then having a big SWAT team conduct this huge raid on Kirking's place seems to be a bit of overkill don't you think?
DEA officials were asked that very question about overkill, but they're not answering questions.
It was even worse for the Harte family in suburban Kansas City last spring, according to the Associated Press. Adlyn and Robert Harte, both former CIA employees, thought it would be fun to buy some hydroponic equipment to teach their kids about gardening.
But the DEA surveillance caught the couple buying the hydroponic equipment. So the DEA, like they seem to like to do, conducted another one of their dramatic SWAT team style raids on the Harte home last spring.
The "illicit" plants they found in the house were: Three tomato plants, one melon plant and two butternut squash plants.
I wonder how much this raid cost taxpayers? The gall of the Hartes! Growing vegetables under grow lights and hydroponics!
And it could get more expensive. The Hartes are suing, because they said police and drug officials had no basis to carry out the raid. (They seem to have a strong case)
So, gardeners, now that it's spring, don't garden suspiciously! No grow lights to get plants started early indoors! No hydroponics! Even buying fertilizer is suspect.
The DEA is watching, and they know that tomatoes are a gateway drug. You grow one tomato plant, and soon you'll graduate to a pot farm and a meth lab.
Or something like that. Maybe the DEA wants us all to stick to McDonald's and Twinkies?