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They're WATCHING you!!! (only kidding)
> It seems HIGHLY unlikely
> to me that the U.S. government is well enough staffed (or motivated) to
> conduct regular midnight raids on aquatic gardeners.
I think it is more likely to be overzealous local police or sheriff's
office that would cause trouble rather than the DEA, and I have not
heard of any midnight raids from reliable sources. But you are wrong
about motivated. The motive is money -- the police get to seize your
property (including your house, cars, and any cash they find) if they
find you are growing marajuana with the possible intent of selling it.
So if they have any reason to suspect that you might be growing
marajuana in your basement, they will show up to make sure they get
their piece of the action. If you were hypothetically growing pot, they
could take everything you own into custody, drop the criminal charges
against you due to insufficient evidence, and you would never get the
People are detained at airports for carrying an unusually large amount
of cash. The cash is seized because, "nobody carries $10000 in cash
with them unless they are a dope dealer". No charges are ever filed,
and the money goes into the coffers of the police dept that seized it.
Mike Wallace did a report on this on 60 Minutes a couple of years ago.
My point is, government agencies can move very quickly when they are
motivated, and the prospect of seizing property is a good motivator.