Yesterday’s headline: “Police Bust Grow House in Henderson.” (source)
Well, at least now the good people of the Las Vegas Valley are safer…
The house is five houses down from a school.
“We act upon every tip that we get. It makes us feel good that we are getting a steady amount of tips every night,” Lt. Laz Chavez of Metro Police said. “We have a lot of children that walk by this house to go to and from the school, and that just goes to show the disregard that these criminals that put together these grow houses.”
Police said the house posed a danger to the residents living near by and to a school just a half block away. (source)
Because, umm, you know… plants growing in a house… that, ummm, yeah, that shit is dangerous.
Lt. Chavez, shut the fuck up. Fine, marijuana is illegal. Fine, you have a job to do, and that includes busting people for growing marijuana. Fine, maybe you don’t have the luxury of saying “this is a complete waste of taxpayer money and my time to send me out to arrest people for growing plants that some stupid bastards in the legislature are afraid of.” For all that, I’ll cut Lt. Chavez a break. Perhaps he was just doing his job.
Of course, “I’m just doing my job” was what the East German Stasi and Ceaucescu’s secret police said too, but … you know, lets just let that go for a moment.
Go ahead, take Mr. Prue (the guy who was inside the grow house) and lock him up. Toss him in jail, prosecute him, destroy his life because he was cultivating plants that the government doesn’t like.
But, Lt. Chavez, shut your fucking mouth if you can’t keep the bullshit from oozing out of it.
The mere suggestion that marijuana inside a house poses a threat to children walking by is just asinine. It shows the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the war on drugs. If you really need to stoop to that level of lying, that level of bullshit, then you should turn in your badge and go be a Wal-Mart greeter, because it displays that you suffer from either a complete lack of intelligence or a complete lack of integrity. Nobody should be walking around on the street with a gun and a badge who lacks in either of those categories.
Do your job, if you must, and you lack the courage to actually stand up for what is right.
But stop fucking lying.
Although I basically agree with everything you say, and deplore the war on drugs, I would add that it is possible that the copper here isn’t off the mark.
The problem with grow-ops is that they consume a lot of energy – in fact, one of the ways grow-ops are discovered is when a house uses a disproportionate amount of energy relative to the neighbourhood. So to get around that, it is pretty common that grow-op operators bypass the electrical meter and tap directly into the power grid. Which is a pretty significant fire hazard.
So it is entirely possible that there was a danger to the community in this case. But it didn’t arise directly from the presence of drugs, but from shoddy electrical work.
Think of the children! The black, crispy, street-fried children!
Isn’t this just another dubious excuse to demonize people who grow marijuana? “Oooh, they could burn down the whole neighborhood!”
I assume by “tapping into the power grid” you mean bypassing the meter. But there is nothing inherently dangerous about bypassing a meter. Years ago (in my penniless sociopathic days) I did it many times. You just need to use heavy-gauge wire. I would bet that overloaded extension cords are a much more common fire hazard than bypassed meters, especially when the extension cords are routed underneath area rugs. If we have to demonize someone, let’s demonize the little old ladies who try to run air conditioners off 5A extension cords. Certainly they should not be allowed to live near schools.
They could do that, and allow communists and terrorists to feel more secure. 9/11 happened because of marijuana.
Fair enough, then let the headline state “electricity thieves busted!” Or “unsafe wiring secured!” I could live with that. Let the cops put as much energy into actually unsafe conditions, and I’d respect it.
I think we both know that the cops are not talking about faulty wiring here.
Lack of integrity, check (that’s a given for every drug warrior who goes all-out to fight the government’s war on our friends and neighbors, sorry I mean the war on drugs).
Lack of intelligence, check. Just read the statement that Lt. Chavez made to the reporter. “We have a lot of children that walk by this house to go to and from the school, and that just goes to show the disregard that these criminals that put together these grow houses.” Sorry, that’s not even English, just some dumbass’s clipped, stunted approximation thereof.
Thanks Marc, for calling out these badged buttholes and the noxious lies that they keep spreading.
Plants growing in a house are obviously not dangerous. But when plants are being grown by organizations, often cartels or gangs, the safety issue does come into play.
Right, so it would seem that the endangerment comes from making the plants illegal, not the plants.
Yes and no. I think we both agree the plants by themselves are not harmful (except to Cheetos). But it is what is done to grow, distribute, and secure through all stages that is the issue. Let’s assume the plants are legal. The type of group operating a large scale grow house is not going to abide by whatever legal system of regulation is imposed. From the minimal to the invasive. As criminal organizations they do not have the ability, nor are they going to have the desire to participate. So we are back to some house down the street from a school and the safety issue of gang or cartel activity in the immediate proximity to the school. Legal or illegal, we still reach the same result.
So, Tom, if marijuana becomes as legal as alcohol, it will create the same kind of threat that is currently posed by gangs distilling booze in their tenements and peddling it in inner-city neighborhoods across the nation. Do I have that right?
I see your point – if the plants are illegal, then those who cultivate them are criminals, and therefore likely to commit other crimes.
I think the flaw is that you’re presuming a lot of criminal activity where nothing is in the report to suggest that. Had they said “we also seized a bunch of machine guns and some explosives,” then maybe I could see it. But, its just as likely that this was some hippie with neither the desire, nor the ability, to do harm to anyone.
I’m sure that if there was a single element of that here, the cops would have relished the opportunity to report it. While I don’t think the absence of it in the report is 100% conclusive that there was no such thing there, it is 98% conclusive.
Meanwhile, there very well could be “gangs” or “cartels” just living in the neighborhood, in houses where no criminal activity takes place. Maybe a smart “cartel” member would be savvy enough to avoid shitting where he eats? Does that create danger?
Again, I see your point, but it seems to be based in this impression that most people growing dope are members of these “cartels” that daytime TV likes to crow about, but that has little basis in fact.
re: Chavez, you wrote: “you suffer from either a complete lack of intelligence or a complete lack of integrity”
You seem to think this disqualifies him to be a cop. I think it rather overqualifies him. At the very least, some police departments provably discriminate against hiring anyone deemed too smart. (By “provably”, I mean, “they’ve been sued by people rejected for having too high an IQ and have had the courts uphold their right to discriminate on this basis in hiring as intelligence has been officially deemed detrimental to performance as a cop”. Seriously. This is not a joke. http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95836&page=1#.TuaY0tXeK8D , among many other links.)
There seems to be quite a lot of PCD (political cognitive dissonance) in the WOD (“war” on “drugs”)… So it’s really refreshing to see the BS called out for what it is!
The PCD is most obvious when LEOs have to tout not only their increased discovery rates of Houses/Crops of Mass Drugs – which apparently proves the taxpayer’s dollar is being spent – but also admitting the huge and continuing increase of HTMCs (home-grown terrorist-comforting marijuana crops).
I guess in their minds, that justifies not legalising the most useful plant ever known to mankind, and consequently that justifies their continued use of taxpayer’s money in, er, well, not being able to keep up with those terrorist-comforting hippies…
Meanwhile, I think we all know what happened to the plants “rescued” by the sharp-witted Lt. Chavez. They were ritually cremated – or at least they will be, once they’re dried out, packaged up, and sent to friends and colleagues.
Penalty flag on the play.
I don’t see any call to insinuate that Chavez is actually “crooked,” in that he would steal the contraband. Is he full of shit? Yeah, he’s provided evidence of that in his statements.
Is he a thief? I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt that he is not one. I see such an accusation as out of bounds speculation that does not help the debate.
I suggest we stick to what we can prove. Otherwise, we’re as bad as him.
Ah crap. Fair call.
Yeah, mea maxima culpa on the accidentally specific generalisation. I didn’t intend to imply Lt. Chavez in particular would be distributing any vegetative evidence that happened to fall on the floor of the evidence wagon. It’s unlikely as a Lt. that he was even involved in the physical handling of the process, so I’m assuming he’s a press contact of some kind.
I could have put that better. I have much more respect for those guys than you’d expect. It’s the bad apples that ring my dinger, but after all, they’re the ones we rarely get to see.
I’m sorry, but I have to ask why have you insulted Wal-Mart greeters? The Wal-Mart greeters I have encountered are almost always elderly, but I would bet that they have intelligence and integrity far beyond that which the police in Henderson, NV have demonstrated. We’d be better off if they we replaced officials such as Lt. Chavez with your typical Wal-Mart greeter!
Good point. I apologize.
My name is Luis; I´m a Mexican lawyer that stumbled upon your blog from one reference in Popehat (I stumbled with Popehat after the Inman vs Carreon thing) and I´ve followed your blog since; most of the things you write kind of make sense still reading your post something poked my eye; you seemed oddly comfortable insulting Wal.Mart greeters in this quote:
“If you really need to stoop to that level of lying, that level of bullshit, then you should turn in your badge and go be a Wal-Mart greeter, because it displays that you suffer from either a complete lack of intelligence or a complete lack of integrity.”
I´m not a Wal-Mart greeter nor friend of one (we don’t have those over here) but most of the greeters I´ve seen are old people still working from need more than from will.
None of them seemed to me suffering from either a complete lack of intelligence or a complete lack of integrity.
I wonder what prompted your comment and why no one else has commented on it?
The point was not that Wal Mart greeters are dishonest or full of shit. The point was “do another job.” You could insert any other “easy to get job” in there for Wal Mart Greeter.
Maybe is the language barrier, but still if you change wal Mart greeter for any other easy to get job, the way you phrased it I still get an insult for anyone doing the easy to get job you input instead of wal mart greeter
i think I rather have your previous answer (that somehow I missed!)
“Good point. I apologize.”
somehow I missed your last post. Sorry about that