First They Came For The Chemists…

A retired Massachusetts chemist had his home raided (without a warrant of course) and his property stolen by authorities. Why?

Experiments. That’s right. He was doing experiments.

Deeb is not accused of making methamphetamine or other illegal drugs. He’s not accused of aiding terrorists, synthesizing explosives, nor even of making illegal fireworks.

Pamela Wilderman, the code enforcement officer for Marlboro, stated, “I think Mr. Deeb has crossed a line somewhere. This is not what we would consider to be a customary home occupation.”

Wilderman thinks he has crossed a line…somewhere. Sounds like reason enough to me. I’m really scared by precedents like this when they go unchecked. It’s a threat not only to people who like to tinker with science as a hobby, but also to people who homeschool and people who may be developing new products or processes in their spare time.

One day it may be illegal to develop WordPress themes, and there won’t be any chemists to stand up for us.

via Slashdot


Reader Greg Compton sent this via Twitter–“inspector is a former theatre major“.

At least Massachusetts residents don’t have to worry about getting their doors kicked in during charades night.

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5 Replies to “First They Came For The Chemists…”

  1. I hate the Red Sox, the Mass. Supreme Court, Ben Affleck, and clam chowder. However, I didn’t see anything in the actual article about warrantless search, but even if it was, a warrant is not always required. It looks like the fire department was trying to keep his house from burning down when they discovered the chemicals. I have vague recollections of a plain view doctrine. I also see that there is some prohibition in the zoning code about about doing science expierments in residential areas. Careful, you libertarian bloggers may give the mainstream media a good name.

  2. @TCH I can’t tell if you are angling to go to work for one side or just trying to build a strong case so that one of your colleagues can charge extra to beat it on the other side.

    Just ’cause it’s a law don’t make it right. Chances are the code was written that way as a compromise by some county commissioner in order to keep a restriction on proper drainage out of the code for one of his developer buddies.

    Careful, you libertarian bloggers may give the mainstream media a good name.

    If I had that kind of power, do you think I’d be sitting here typing on a keyboard?

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