Pot, Police, and Your Electricity Bill

Here is a disturbing email I received from the NORML list serv. An Austin citizen is concerned about the police using electricity bills to justify home invasion searches. I’m trying to verify this story, until then here is the email.

I live in Austin Texas and the police have signed an agreement with the local utility company Austin Energy. They now have their own account login that they use without getting a subpoena. The narcotics department is using this to data mine the utility records for high utility usage. This in my opinion is a warrant less search. This is enough for them to get search warrants for those residents looking for marijuana indoor grows. They have performed dozens of raids based on this and are ramping up and expanding their task force due to the massive amounts of properties and $$$ seized in the raids. They are now getting the DEA involved which is splitting a slice of the pie because they have a lot less oversight and the overwhelming negative odds of winning at the Fed level.

Think the war on pot only affects cannabis consumers? When the police raid the wrong home, citizens die. When the police steal private property, freedom dies.

I think the market is missing an opportunity here. I want to open a line of “Freedom” businesses. For example, “Freedom Bank” would fight Patriot Act requests and make privacy a foundation of the institution. “Freedom Cell Phones” would also fight federal attempts to subpoena information. Or at least make those attempts public. “Freedom Electricity” would keep local law enforcement from looking at your light bill. It’s none of their business. Now I just need some investors….

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6 responses to “Pot, Police, and Your Electricity Bill”

  1. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    I’m a bit of a computer geek so I typically have a lot of computers running at home along with TVs, DVD players, Tivos, etc. I’m also hot in the summer and cold in the winter, so I like to keep the temperature at an even temperature. By their logic, they could get a warrant and come into my house to look for pot. This just doesn’t pass the smell test to me.

  2. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    if u have dod nothing wrong why would u mind if the cops raided ur home and took everything u have, confiscated ur bank account with no chance of getting it back, why would you mind huh

  3. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    This is another example of a state gone crazy. Really it is all about the money. The police like to be able to take ones property and then keep the money they recieve to buy more equipment. They will do anything to get the money.This needs to change and we should have our rights. What happen to unlawful serach and seizure. I guess it went out with 9/11.Dennis

  4. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    IF true, the utility should be ripe for the same type of suit as the telecoms are facing for disclosure if information without a warrant.

  5. <img src="http://www.blogger.c says:

    I can hardly wait for the Austin PD to raid a tomato growing operation. They need mud in their collective eyes.By the way, polish up those ideas in the closing paragraph and get back to me. I like the idea.

  6. <img src="http://www.blogge says:

    I blogged about this on my blog, CapitolAnnex.com, in hopes some of my many Austin readers could help verify this. If it’s true, APD and Austin Energy, a municipally owned electric utility, had better get ready to start writing checks in civil torts brought by those who were wrongfully searched. I fail to see how this could be constitutional. Of course, I’ve never believed that the equipment law enforcement uses to “scan” suspected drug houses for high electricity and excess heat usage were constitutional either, since that is pretty close to a warrantless home invasion, but law enforcement gets away with using the technology.Of course, I’m also aware of at least one instance where an East Texas county had to pay out a couple hundred grand to an old woman whose house was raided as a result of one of those scanning machines, because all they found was her pottery kiln. 🙂

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