Texas regulation: Organic farms or fertilizer plants?

Sometimes, you’ve gotta wonder about Texas:

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.

Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.

Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including “grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises,” Smith’s statement said. She said the police didn’t produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn’t be identified.

The state of Gov. Rick “Remember My Name Because I Don’t” Perry unloaded a swat team against an organic farm because its grass was too tall? Texas thinks this is worth regulating, but it won’t regulate this?

That’s the fertilizer plant that blew up in West Texas this past April. This is what Rick Perry said a few days after the explosion (from the Dallas Morning News):

Gov. Rick Perry said Monday that spending more state money on inspections would not have prevented the deadly explosion. He said that he remains comfortable with the state’s level of oversight and suggested that most Texas residents agree with him.

People “through their elected officials clearly send the message of their comfort with the amount of oversight,” he said.

Now obviously, the brain trust in Texas saw organic farm, thought “Hippies,” and came up with “They must be growing pot.” Except “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers” are not pot. But even if there was weed amid the acreage, a burning field of marijuana, at worst, gives everyone a contact high. A burning fertilizer plant explodes and kills more than a dozen people and leave a bunch more injured.

So which one does Texas feel is the bigger threat to the population. Organic farms.

Oops!

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