Saturday, August 22, 2009

If Only We Had a Way to Stop Illegal Grow-Ops.

An Alberta court has ruled that the police cannot monitor a citizen's power usage without the blessing of the court (wow, judges think other people should defer to judges; I'm shocked). From the National Post:

CALGARY -- Alberta's top court says police use of a digital recording amp-metre without judicial authorization, to determine if there is a marijuana grow operation in a home, violates the homeowner's privacy rights.

In a split, 2-1 decision released on Friday, the Alberta Court of Appeal ruled that Calgary police should not have requested Enmax to install the device to create a record of when electrical power was being consumed at Daniel James Gomboc's southwest home in January 2004, before obtaining a warrant.

Generally, I'd be inclined to agree with the court in this sort of situation, though I'd actually welcome a utility accurately measuring how much power I use, rather than sending me estimates that bear no resemblance to my actual usage, but this case is stupid.

We should not be concerned with marijuana grow-ops, because marijuana use, sale and production shouldn't be illegal. In this case, we have wasted police resources; we have tied up the courts; we have thrown money needlessly at lawyers, and we have wasted a whole lot of time.

Why does this make sense?

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