By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
'The Last Time I Checked, It Wasn't Illegal To Grow A Tomato Plant,' Man Says
Hundreds of marijuana plants were seized by police officers in Independence, Missouri on 4/20, a day celebrated by pot smokers. But when the cops came busting in at one man's door looking for cannabis, they found a tomato growing operation instead.
"What I saw today was not protection," the man told KMBC's Cliff Judy. "That was harassment, all because of where I made a purchase."
See, it turns out the Missouri Highway Patrol "monitors" stores that sell hydroponic growing equipment -- and they use those sales to track down illegal marijuana growing operations. That information -- couple with the asinine assumption that any customer at a hydroponics store must be involved in cannabis -- led them to the tomato farmer's door.
"The last time I checked, it wasn't illegal to grow a tomato plant but it makes you wonder," the man said.
The tomato grower asked KBMC News not to identify him because he's an emergency responder and his job would be put at risk for speaking out. He said there's a good chasnce he could end up working with several of the officers who came to his home looking for marijuana. (Welcome to modern America, where you can be wrongly raided for "drugs," but you'd better not complain about it.)
The man said he thinks labeling him as a possible drug dealer because of buying hydroponic equipment is profiling.
"I understand that a lot of people use hydroponic equipment for illegal ways, but that's just like saying everybody who buys a gun is going to be a criminal and murder someone," he said.
Independence police said the same tactic which took them to the tomato grower's home also led them to a different residence in Independence on Wednesday morning, where they busted an active marijuana growing operation. Coincidentally, the cannabis was just as safe as tomatoes, but far more illegal.
Police claimed hundreds of marijuana plants were seized throughout the Kansas City metro area on Wednesday, 4/20, in addition to the Independence bust.
Word on the street is that the cops didn't even make a dent in the weed supply.
Article From Toke of the Town and used with special permission.