Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Ridiculous Warrant Application Behind a Fruitless Marijuana Raid

A Texas cop was sure those hippies were growing pot on their farm.


Garden of EdenOn August 2, 2013, a SWAT team of 15 to 20 officers stormed the Garden of Eden, a farming commune in Arlington, Texas, looking for marijuana and weapons. The cops handcuffed commune leader Quinn Eaker and seven other members for a couple of hours while they turned the place upside down, searching for the cannabis plants, buds, marijuana cultivation equipment, scales, packaging, and drug sale records mentioned in the warrant application. They found nothing. Police detained the commune members for another seven and a half hours while city inspectors went over the property, looking for code violations. They also found no contraband. I would say the raid was fruitless, except that the code enforcement officers did uproot and cart away a bunch of hackberry bushes.....To Read More.....
 
My Take - For the record - I hate hippies.  I've always hated hippies.  I will always hate hippies.  But they have rights!  I know, I know they pretty much ignore everyone else's rights and are constantly undermining traditional values but.....what's that have to do with abuse of power?  Abuse of power unchecked can trun into a contagious disease. 
 
This kind of thing happened in Ohio a few years ago at a co-op store because a Lorain County official decided this family, the Stowers, were operating a retail market,  described as “a folksy place with old wooden floors, that was "not open to the general public. Co-ops are membership organizations. To obtain food, you have to join."  So  you can see what was so frightening and why “Officers rushed into the Stowers’ home with guns drawn and held the family – including 10 young children – captive for six hours.” 
 
"Sheriff deputies made an unannounced “haphazard entry” into the Stowers’ home, “with guns drawn, as other officers surrounded the property, with guns drawn.”   Determined to prove ongoing illegalities, agents from the Lorain County Health District and ODA searched not only the storehouse but “the Stowers’ entire personal residence and their entire 26-acre property,” "confiscating computers, cell phones, invoices and other business records – and a year’s supply of the family’s food." 
 
Let's try to put this into perspective.  What if they had really been operating a retail business open to the public while trying to claim otherwise, what level of crime would this have been.  A third-degree misdemeanor!  A massive armed raid on a peaceful family home full of children for a third-degree misdemeanor.  Are we nuts?
 
Here's a bit of irony in this 2009 case.   The Stowers’ oldest son, Chad, 27, was stationed in Iraq where he was a Seabee with the U.S. Navy.
 

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