Criminalizing science: chemistry student arrested for home lab

A Canadian college student majoring in chemistry built himself a home lab – and discovered that trying to do science in your own home quickly leads to accusations of drug-making and terrorism.

Lewis Casey, an 18-year-old in Saskatchewan, had built a small chemistry lab in his family’s garage near the university where he studies. Then two weeks ago, police arrived at his home with a search warrant and based on a quick survey of his lab determined that it was a meth lab. They pulled Casey out of the shower to interrogate him, and then arrested him.

A few days later, police admitted that Casey’s chemistry lab wasn’t a meth lab – but they kept him in jail, claiming that he had some of the materials necessary to produce explosives. Friends and neighbors wrote dozens of letters to the court, testifying that Casey was innocent and merely a student who is really enthusiastic about chemistry.

Full Story: io9

(Thanks Justin!)

5 Comments

  1. Ah! I live here! That’s a little scary…

  2. Oh sweet, a new Dark Ages!

  3. Thanks you officers, for making sure that the ambitious students shape up and stop using their brains as much!

  4. Well, he had all the necessary equipment to make meth or explosives (as in the following joke):

    A young couple once rented a cabin near a lake for a vacation. He liked to fish, and her favorite pastime was reading. One morning, the husband rose early and took the boat out on the lake. He returned around noon, and went to the cabin for a nap. The wife looked at the little boat and thought it might be nice to read her book on the water. Though she knew nothing about boats, she managed to row into a nice, calm area of the lake and settled down to read.

    After a short time the Game Warden motored up in his boat and asked her what she was doing. Although she thought it was obvious, she responded, “I’m reading a book.”

    “You’re in a restricted fishing area, I’ll need to take you in and write you up for this”, he said.

    Astounded, she argued, “But I’m not fishing. You saw me here, reading my book!”

    “But you have all the necessary equipment,” he said, pointing out the poles, nets, and bait her husband had left in the boat, “so I’m going to cite you for fishing in a restricted area.”

    “Then I will press charges on you for rape”, she said.

    “Rape!? I haven’t touched you!”

    “No,” she said, “but you have all the necessary equipment.”

    *****

    Similar logic (or it’s absence) applies in this case.

  5. Bill, that’s a hilarious story — thanks for that nugget.

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