Police State

It’s not only a police state, it’s an incompetent police state.

So in August, 2011, a member of the Missouri Highway Patrol spots Bob Harte doing something suspicious. He was leaving a store with a small bag of merchandise that he bought from that store. It happened to be a hydroponics store.

Bob Harte didn’t think he was doing anything suspicious. He thought he was doing a father-son project to grow tomatoes and squash.

Seven months later, the Missouri Highway Patrol passes on that “tip” to the Johnson County Sherriff’s Office, which then puts together an investigation spanning several weeks involving early-morning searches of the Harte’s trash, but apparantly not involving any actual… investigation.

Using notoriously unreliable field testing kits and a complete lack of intelligence, they determine that plant matter in the trash is marijuana, and get a warrant to serve a SWAT-style search of the home, terrifying the family.

They found… tomatoes and squash.

Here’s the story

There are several things to take away from this story. One is, of course, the incredible amount of incompetence displayed by law enforcement.

Another is the disconnect involved in expending this much effort on a chance of arresting somebody for something that most Americans think should be legal. Is there no other crime to combat?

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