Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Laws

Kansas Couple Whose Tea Was Mistaken for Marijuana Loses Lawsuit

Last week, a federal judge in Kansas ruled against a couple whose home was raided in 2012 in an unsuccessful “SWAT-style” search for marijuana.

According to Reason.com, U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum said that police acted “legally and reasonably in planning and conducting the fruitless raid on the home of Robert and Adlynn Harte, former CIA agents whose children were 7 and 13 at the time.”

The family was held at gunpoint for over two hours while Johnson County sheriff’s deputies ransacked their house, finding nothing and refusing to say why they thought the Hartes were growing marijuana.

The couple reportedly spent a year and $25,000 in legal fees to find out what “probable cause” police had to support a search warrant.

“It turned out that the genesis of the search was a tip from a Missouri state trooper who saw Robert Harte leave a Kansas City hydroponics store on August 9, 2011, carrying a bag,” Reason.com reported. “Inside the bag supplied for a horticultural project involving tomato, squash, and melon plants that Harte thought would be edifying for the kids. Since people often buy indoor gardening supplies for such perfectly legal purposes, that purchase itself was not enough for probable cause. But eight months later, sheriff’s deputies rummaging through the Hartes’ trash came across wet “plant material” that the Hartes think must have been some of the loose tea that Adlynn favors. Although a field test supposedly identified the material as marijuana, a laboratory test (conducted after the raid) showed that result was erroneous.”

The Hartes filed a civil rights lawsuit, arguing that police should have known better than to have trusted a field test, which has a false-positive rate of 70 percent, but according to the judge, the field test in addition to visiting a hydroponics store added up to legal probable cause.

Although they lost their lawsuit, the couple’s case did prompt the Johnson County sheriff’s office to now require lab confirmation of suspected drug material, according to the Kansas City Star.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The son of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield faces a one-game suspension from Georgia’s football team after his arrest on...

Culture

Marijuana arrests in Virginia have been increasing over the last decade, and the racial disparity in marijuana possession arrest rates has been getting worse...

Politics

Beginning January 1, police in America’s fourth largest city will cease filing criminal charges against minor marijuana possession offenders. Under a new directive issued by...

People

In an effort to deal with prison overcrowding, as well as liberate some of those people serving unjust sentences for non-violent drug crimes, the...

Laws

The success of cannabis legalization across the United States over the past several years has somewhat convinced the American public that the War on...

Laws

Although Washington was one of the first states to repeal prohibition in America, we have seen reports over the past year that indicate some...

Culture

Editor’s Note: This extremely well-articulated letter was submitted to High Times, and we liked it so much, that we decided to publish it unedited...

People

New York City’s posh Upper East Side and East Harlem are mere subway stops apart, but if you live in East Harlem and are...

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!