Government will examine your energy bill if your neighbor grows pot

If you thought police using thermal imaging devices to peer into your homes was bad, welcome to the new police state, where the government may, unbeknownst to you, look at your residential energy bill if your neighbor is suspected of growing pot.

As reported at the Woodbury Bulletin:

According to the complaint, Washington County Sheriff's Office, acting on a tip about marijuana growing in a detached garage, obtained a search warrant for thermal imagery of property in the 4600 block of Birchbark Trail N. in Lake Elmo.

To get the search warrant from a judge to bust the fellow for growing pot, Washington County officials first used an administrative subpoena, which is a government warrant issued without probable cause and not signed by a judge, to get residential energy bills of the suspect and his neighbors:

All the garage windows were boarded up, frequent short-term traffic to the residence was observed by a deputy, and energy bills at the home were considerably higher than other comparable residences. According to the search warrant, the Washington County Attorney's Office issued an administrative subpoena to obtain the energy bill for the residence and other comparable residences in the area.

That’s right: if the government suspects your neighbor of growing pot, it may look at your residential energy bill, and you’ll never know about it.

Government snooping into the private aspects of our lives and businesses is out of hand.  It’s creepy, and its long past time to eliminate the ability of government to use judge-less administrative subpoenas, which give government the power to be peeping Toms.  They are impossible to reconcile with the Fourth Amendment, and they pose the most under-reported threat to liberty and privacy in America.

If you thought police using thermal imaging devices to peer into your homes was bad, welcome to the new police state, where the government may, unbeknownst to you, look at your residential energy bill if your neighbor is suspected of growing pot.

As reported at the Woodbury Bulletin:

According to the complaint, Washington County Sheriff's Office, acting on a tip about marijuana growing in a detached garage, obtained a search warrant for thermal imagery of property in the 4600 block of Birchbark Trail N. in Lake Elmo.

To get the search warrant from a judge to bust the fellow for growing pot, Washington County officials first used an administrative subpoena, which is a government warrant issued without probable cause and not signed by a judge, to get residential energy bills of the suspect and his neighbors:

All the garage windows were boarded up, frequent short-term traffic to the residence was observed by a deputy, and energy bills at the home were considerably higher than other comparable residences. According to the search warrant, the Washington County Attorney's Office issued an administrative subpoena to obtain the energy bill for the residence and other comparable residences in the area.

That’s right: if the government suspects your neighbor of growing pot, it may look at your residential energy bill, and you’ll never know about it.

Government snooping into the private aspects of our lives and businesses is out of hand.  It’s creepy, and its long past time to eliminate the ability of government to use judge-less administrative subpoenas, which give government the power to be peeping Toms.  They are impossible to reconcile with the Fourth Amendment, and they pose the most under-reported threat to liberty and privacy in America.