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Hydroponics Shopping

At the risk of extending an off-topic conversation . . . .  but since I
do shop at hydroponics stores for my planted aquaria supplies, and
because I refuse to allow any intimidation of the sort recently
mentioned, I will comment on Amelia's comment:

<<< Perhaps CA has stricter laws about what police can and can't do than
NM but here I could easily see the police pulling a stunt like that.
Here they require that the contraband be in "plain view", which only
means that a law enforcement agent _could_ see it without breaking any
laws.  Flying over your house hanging out of a low helicopter would be
considered acceptable as a means of getting the evidence to get a
warrant.  I also wouldn't feel too safe just yet.  We do still live in a
country where if you are charged of almost any drug crime gov. agencies
can confiscate everything you have and even if you are found not be
guilty of anything you have no right to have anything that was
confiscated returned, nor will they compensate you for your losses.  A
bit unconstitutional, but no one's complaining too loudly yet, so the
gov't doesn't care.>>>

I AM a US lawyer, but since I don't practice 4th amendment law, take
this with as many grains of salt as you like.  The American constitution
doesn't vary from state to state.  It is ultimately interpreted by US
federal courts.  A state may have laws which are more protective of
citizen's rights than the US constitution (as does California), but not
less protective.  So the US 4th amendment is the same whether you're in
CA or NM.

The "plain view" doctrine is the current federal standard for searches
(when I last checked) but the problem (for the police) is that blue
light is absolutely NOT contraband.  It is after all just blue light.
One would have to research the case law to know for sure, but blue light
does not give rise, it seems to me, to a "reasonable suspicion" which
would form the basis for the "probable cause" required for the issuance
of a search warrant.  (I have no idea what the Queen might require in
Canada under similar circumstances! <G>)

Nor is it true in the US that if the government confiscates one's
property, one is not entitled to return of the property or 'just'
compensation.  This issue concerns the 5th amendment which prohibits
takings by the government without compensation.

When I was illegally and falsely arrested years ago, when my vehicle was
seized by the government and illegally broken into without a search
warrant, when the police perjured themselves in court in violation of
their sworn oaths, I fought back step by step and charged the police
with false arrest, illegal detainment, civil breaking and entering, and
illegal conversion of property!  And that was before I became a lawyer!

For heaven's sake, stand up for yourselves and have some spine.  Pay for
your hydroponics supplies with checks and credit cards!  I do.
Otherwise, you'll get the government you deserve!  (meant lightly)

Regards, Steve Dixon in San Francisco where the police wouldn't give
blue light a second thought (I hope) <G>