Friday, September 28, 2007

Home grown and growin' his own...

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."...Fourth Amendment to the Constitution

I've met a lot of good people in the construction business in the last 35 years. One of my favorites is the man that has been our drywall finisher for about as long as I've been in business. Lee is what could probably be described as "old school". Raised up hard in the hills, he's a craftsman with an old-fashioned work ethic and a lot of pride in what he does. He's also managed to hold onto several of the traditions he grew up with.

He grows his own chewing tobacco. Says that way he doesn't have to worry about bug spray on it. I tried some home grown chew a few years ago, and I think bug spray might be the least of worries I had. But that's not what this story is about.

When Lee cut this years crop, he carried it up to an empty room above his wife's beauty shop, opened the windows and hung it to dry. An electronic communications technician, who doubles as a reserve police officer, who was stringing some wire in the neighborhood, saw the mysterious hanging plants. Shortly there after, four officers and two police dogs entered the beauty shop, explaining that there had been reports of screaming emanating from the second floor. The beautician's explanation that she had been there all day without a peep from upstairs did nothing to dissuade the officers and dogs from charging up the stairs to rescue their imaginary screamer.

They came in with no warrant and no witness,and they left with no explanation and no apology, and we're all a little worse off because of it. Ayn Rand called it the ultimate inversion, when government and the police are free to do whatever want, and citizens can act only with permission.

At least Lee was able to keep his tobacco, for now. There is presently a movement to put tobacco under the control of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Then he will have to ask permission to grow it. Most likely they will tell him no.


Blogger Unknown said...

Another fine blog post, Rex! Keep writing!

2:59 PM  

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