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Computer hobbyists and gadgetphiles, (a description that fits us and many of our readers) often have higher than normal electric bills because of all the electronic toys that require power. We have Web servers, a mail server, a couple of domain controllers, two file servers, our primary workstations, the "kitchen computer," the Media Center PC, the iMac and the firewalls, all
of which stay on all the time. Then there are the laptops that have to be charged, not to mention two wide-screen TVs, home theater/audio equipment, the external hard disks, surveillance cameras, and more mundane household
appliances. We cringe every month when the bill from the power company comes in.
If you're like us, though, it's worth the extra cost to be on the cutting edge of technology. But now there's a new worry to go along with how to pay
the bill: is your high usage of electricity going to get you in trouble with the police?
You might think that's a silly idea, and a suburban family in Carlsbad, California probably would have thought so, too - until their home was raided
last month due in part to their $250-300 per month electric bills. Police suspected the high power usage indicated that they were using high intensity lamps to grow marijuana, and got a judge to sign a search warrant based on their suspicions. You can read a summary of the story at: http://www.shortnews.com/shownews.cf...233&u_id=31509
Given the huge number of consumer electronics on the market today, most of which consume electricity, along with spouses and children who leave doors open when the air conditioning is on and don't turn off the lights when they leave the room, we hope this doesn't become a trend. It seems that even as the "smart house" becomes more of a reality, even for non-billionaires, the
"home as castle" concept is fading fast. What do you think? Should your electricity usage be scrutinized and used against you to prove that you
"might" be dealing drugs? Was this just an isolated incident of a judge exercising poor judgment, or do you think our fifth amendment right to be secure in our houses against unreasonable searches and seizures is in danger?
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'06 Acura TL - Anthracite Metallic
'96 Land Rover Discovery SE7 - Beluga Black
crap, that sucks for that family...although i don't grow any marijuana, i can't have cops barging into my house and finding all my "borrowed" software...not to mention the illegal gambling ring, prostitution, and sweat shop i got going on in my basement...
seriously tho, my TV and computer are on 24 hours a day...i sleep with that stuff on...my entire room is a fire hazard as i have 6 port surge protectors all filled up on each of my outlets...
I think most people know my stance on this one. I am no fan of the "War on Drugs" in regards to marijuana. As I posted it before I am sure that between highschool and college many on this forum have done some epxerimenting. Some here may even use it with prescription from their physician and it may be legal in their state. But who would come out and say it. With current marijuana prices being at $350/ounce in most areas of the US for medical grade marijuana you would not only be subject to dealing with the federal government but also you would risk local thugs trying to steal from you as well.
Look at BC and Ontario. They have done just about everything but decriminalize the possesion of marijuana and the police in Vancouver won't even site you for possesion. You can smoke in certain coffee shops and it is really out in the open. Do they have a huge crime problem associated with marijuana? No. In fact I am sure that this has freed up the local law enforcement to go after the real drug problems like methamphetimine, herion, cocaine, etc. These drugs cause real problems in communties and should be the ones that our money is going after.
Oh and the government shouldn't be trying to take away our civil liberties so looking at energy consumption and using drug sniffing dogs to walk around the property in order to get a search warrant are not acceptable. What's next heat imaging equipment so they can see what you and your partner are doing inside your home?