GardenDrumKansas indoor gardeners became drug suspects

A Kansas couple are suing the state to find out whether their purchase of hydroponic equipment to raise vegetables seedlings indoors led to a full-scale morning raid on their home.

Hydroponic tomatoes Photo by Our Photo Stuff

Hydroponic tomatoes Photo by Our Photo Stuff

On April 20, 2012, drug-enforcement deputies in bullet-proof vests and armed with assault rifles burst into their home, terrifying their children aged 13 and 6. The family had added a hydroponic system to their basement for raising vegetable seedlings. The deputies decided not to take their 6 plants – 3 tomatoes, one butternut squash and 2 melons – as evidence.

The couple have been trying for months to find out why they were targeted and why the state issued a search warrant without probable cause.

It’s easy to be amused by this story but at that same time it’s pretty scary. Rather like those movies about innocent and unsuspecting people swept up into a nightmare story when they have no idea why.

This family hadn’t been using the powerful grow-lights used by illegal hydroponic marijuana growers which often cause a noticeable spike in power use. Nor did they have any history of drug use or illegal activity of any kind, which isn’t surprising as they were both former CIA employees which has rigorous screening.

So beware! If you buy hydroponic gear to grow their your own vegetables indoors you could easily fall under suspicion of illegal activity.

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4 thoughts on “Kansas indoor gardeners became drug suspects

  1. A neighbours brother – a nightshift worker – pasted cardboard over his bedroom windows so he could sleep.

    He received the same rude awakening by armed and snakey plod. No apologies were offered either.

  2. The story about the vegetable growing “drug suspects” reminded me of a time some forty years ago when I managed a nursery which supplied indoor plants to offices around Melbourne. I was dreamily hand watering the pots in a glasshouse when in burst two uniformed policemen. They had recieved a hot tip that the plant hire business was a front for a drug growing operation. A truck driver delivering fertiliser had seen lots marijuana plants in one of the glass houses. I was a bit surprised, puzzled and then momentarily worried if the apprentice had a crop going which I didn’t know about. It quickly dawned on me though that we grew lots of plants of Aralia elegantissima (now Shefflera elegantissima) in large terra cotta pots and “Yes they did look like marijuana plants and no I didn’t blame the truck driver who was only doing his duty as a good citizen.” Satisfied the policemen offered their apologies and drove off (very fast).

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