Tales of the Drug War: “Don’t you Dare Grow Plants Indoors” Edition

Via the AP:  Kansas couple: Indoor gardening prompted pot raid.

Two former CIA employees whose Kansas home was fruitlessly searched for marijuana during a two-state drug sweep claim they were illegally targeted, possibly because they had bought indoor growing supplies to raise vegetables.

Every time I read one of these types of stories (and they are often worse because they involve no-knock raids), I want to think that we are going to come to our senses and rethink how we deal with drugs, especially marjiuana.  The notion that one’s home could be searched because one buys gardening supplies is not exactly what I think of when I think of the “land of the free.”

Actually, the lede paragraph is incorrect, as the search was not fruitless, as law enforcement did find tomato and melon plants in the basements (although, perhaps they had not yet fruited).

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Edmondo says:

    Your tax dollars at work.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    The notion that one’s home could be searched because one buys gardening supplies is not exactly what I think of when I think of the “land of the free.”

    No, but it is what one thinks of when one thinks “Land of perpetual stupidity”. Or as Winston Churchill once said, “Americans always do the right thing…. But only after trying everything else first.”

  3. I feel for Kansas, I really do. My brother and I drove out there a few weeks ago and our Colorado plates got much scrutiny from the state troopers. We’re getting industrial with our weed supply and they’re….still fighting the old battles.

  4. J-Dub says:

    Never buy porn or hydroponics with a credit card.

  5. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Tales of the War on Poverty: Detroit, Stockton, Camden, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Chicago, Baltimore

    Tales of the War Against High Rents: Manhattan, San Francisco, Chicago, D.C., Los Angeles

    Tales of the War Against Unemployment: California

    Tales of the War Against Lack of Diversity: Graduation and Unemployment Rates for Blacks and Hispanics

    Tales of the Drug War: ‘Don’t you Dare Grow Plants Indoors’

    What’s amazing is that liberals are so loopy they can’t connect the obvious dots nor appreciate the obvious ironies.

  6. wr says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: The dots between federal agents busting people for growing tomatoes in Oklahoma and high rents in San Francisco? You’re damn right I can’t connect those dots — you’d have to be clinically insane to find any connection between them. Or “appreciate the obvious ironies.”

  7. Barry says:

    @Tsar Nicholas: I was going to reply, but frankly your comment was idiotic, with nothing to justify anything.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    @Tsar Nicholas:

    Your one talent is for combining stupidity and condescension. It’s like reading a five year-old declaiming on sex: clueless and yet utterly confident.

  9. JKB says:

    Well, so far these people got off quite well. They didn’t have a illegal growing operation but the police and prosecutors have to cover themselves. So they thrash about looking for something, anything to charge their victims with to avoid accountability. They are just bureaucrats with guns after all. So far, no charges against these people. But wait until the lawsuit is filed, then we’ll see some charge over having a leaky faucet appear.

    Bureaucracy is evil.

  10. Franklin says:

    I believe they should consider themselves lucky – no housepets were shot this time.

    A friend of a friend belongs to one of these SWAT teams. In no uncertain terms I communicated that he is essentially evil. I don’t give a rat’s ass if he needs a job. You might as well be a medieval executioner.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Bureaucracy is evil.

    Except, of course, when it is in the private sector…

  12. @JKB:

    Bureaucracy is evil.

    Bureaucracy is actually central to modernity, including, as AIP notes, in the private sector.

    Any large organization of any type has a bureaucratic structure.

  13. 11B40 says:


    I live out in the San Francisco Bay area, a kind of epicenter in the medicine equality war. One of the non-told Tales of the Drug War in these parts is the number of fires that occur in so-called “grow houses” when the medicinally approved electrician fails to make either correct calculations or correct connections. Sometimes the fires occur in commercial areas but other fires occur in strictly residential areas. But I guess watching a neighboring building assume a gaseous state is a small price to pay when the goal is equality. Forward.

  14. @11B40: Ok, because some people are careless this means that law enforcement should search the homes of people who buy legal products?

  15. 11B40 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Greetings, Steven L. Taylor:

    Well, as I think you might very well know, no. What it asks, however implicitly, is “Why the one “Tale” and not the other?”

  16. anjin-san says:

    @ Steven L. Taylor

    Bureaucracy is actually central to modernity, including, as AIP notes, in the private sector.

    Well, keep in mind that the conservative mindset seems to be that the old, proven ways from the 14th-19th century are best.

  17. anjin-san says:

    Tales of the War Against Unemployment: California

    Let’s see, something like 12% of the US population lives in California, and you are surprised unemployment is high here?

    We made a huge mistake in the 50’s & 60’s, we encouraged the rest of the country to visit. Naturally, a lot of them wanted to live here. We should have gone with “nothing to see here folks, visit Arkansas, America’s wonderland.”

  18. anjin-san says:

    @ 11B40

    People grow pot illegally as a result of the idiotic war on drugs. If we legalized pot, we could spend more money on schools, and less on prisons. We could do a lot of worthwhile things.

    So pull your head out of your ass, and look at the disease, not the symtoms. Or, you could just continue your badly failed efforts at sarcasm. I recommend trying to grow up a bit. The world needs adults.

  19. @11B40:

    I am constantly amazed at the notion that my post on X is somehow invalidated because I did not write about Y (This is a common Tsar Nicolas mode of “argument”). The bottom line is that the fact that I did not write about Y really has nothing to do with whether the basic point about X is valid or not.

    Unless you are suggesting that any kind of indoor gardening ought to be outlawed because of the fire risk.

  20. An Interested Party says:

    Unless you are suggesting that any kind of indoor gardening ought to be outlawed because of the fire risk.

    You’ll have to forgive 11B40…considering his views, that he lives in the San Francisco Bay area means that he is obviously a bitter masochist…it would be like him living in Mecca…the poor dear…

  21. 11B40 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Greetings, again, Steven L. Taylor:

    It was not my intention to invalidate your posting. I accept the information you posted even though the CIA aspect was a bit of a distraction. I accept that law enforcement consists mostly of fallible human beings. Back in the early ’70s, while I was cab-driving my way through college, I transported a couple of interesting looking gentlemen from Manhattan to an address in the Bronx. Upon our arrival, we were surrounded by six or eight police cars. After demanding my hack license and trip log, officers asked me to open the cab’s trunk. I refused and shortly thereafter the officers went on their way, leaving me with two smiling passengers and a quite large tip. Life can be funny like that.

    The essence of my comment was to provide a “compare and contrast” opportunity which my understanding is use to be an educative technique and thinking stimulator. I understand that standards are not only hard, but pretty much always attack-able at the margin. Yielding to standards can certainly challenge ego-driven life-forms. And, if the speed limit is 55 mph, is 56 mph really that much of a danger to society? Now, out in my neck of the woods, part of the folk wisdom is that the local electricity provider provides local law enforcement with information about unusually high electricity consumption in the hope that some leading edge “grow house” can be identified before it turns into a bleeding edge conflagration. While your posting didn’t provide any information in that regard, perhaps that was involved as the basis for the search warrant.

    My philosophical problem with sub-rosa attacks on drug access restrictions has a fundamental underpinning. Does society benefit from making more intoxicants approved and available? I think not, but in these days of “medicinal equality” I am not optimistic that our society can resist another faux-equality onslaught even though so many of those in need of “medicinal equality” seem to look like “stoners” to me.

    Lastly, thanks for expressing your upset. It’s good to get those things out.