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Re: Hydroponics and the Fuzz

Someone recently posted a warning regarding the alleged surveillance of
Hydroponics Stores and their client lists by federal agents

In response, someone else said that if you've got nothing to hide, why

Sounds logical, right? Unfortunately, logic and federal drug enforcement
agents (from _any_ country) seem to be mutually exclusive. I don't use
illegal substances (OK, not any more....I'm getting too old for that sort of
thing...), however several years ago, in the middle of a Dinner Party, my
apartment was entered by FIVE (I counted 'em) armed Police Officers
(Toronto's finest...), with their guns DRAWN. My guests and I were ordered,
politely but very firmly to remain in our seats at the dinner table while
the Police conducted their search of the apartment. I was given a copy of a
Search Warrant which listed my name as "Persons Unknown" (I'm listed in the
telephone book, on the Listing Board in the lobby, and I was also at the
time President of the Tenant's Association in the building). My objections
were ignored until one officer, who had entered my bedroom to search it,
returned to the living room to report his findings to the lead Detective.

After a quick huddle, the Detective in charge started to apologize - saying
that a mistake had been made. It seems that the young officer discovered the
cause of the "lead" which had led to the raid. In my bedroom at the time I
had a 90 gallon marine reef aquarium illuminated by a combination of Metal
Halide and Actinic lights. This brilliant and rather bizzarly coloured light
got filtered through a very large fig tree and several hanging baskets in
the window before it escaped outside and was visible to neighbours. One of
my new neighbours must have seen the blue glow and all of the green plants
and assumed that I was growing pot. He called the cops and reported me.

The Police found no illegal substances of any kind during their search
(indeed, there _were_ no illegal substances in the apartment).

The Police did apologize, but even _after_ they discovered their mistake,
they required _everyone_ present to provide identification and they took
down names and addresses of all of my guests. They were polite, but _very_
firm and there was _no_ question of refusing to cooperate.

Quite a way to end a party!

When I consulted a lawyer the following day, I was told that under the drug
laws as they exist in Canada I got off easy - the Police could have ripped
my apartment apart, on suspicion _alone_, and I would have had _no_

So, just because you are innocent, doesn't mean you can relax...

James Purchase