Stories like this scare me. They show that we are descending into a new Dark Ages, where we will be ruled once again by Fear and Ignorance. Had I been born a few years later, this could have been me. I remember the absolute glee I felt in high school, when I discovered that my uncle had left the majority of his college laboratory equipment and chemicals in my great grandmother's garage, and that she would let me poke around in there if I listed to some of her stories on the weekend. All the glassware, the hard to obtain chemicals, and the endless possibilities. That is the very thing we are losing these days, the endless possibilities that we have when someone with a real passion is allowed to explore their imagination. No, in the 'post 9/11 world' we must stamp out such passion. We must treat it with suspicion, and send it off to jail.
Imagine if you would the idea that Tomas Edison had been born in our time. Imagine his famous 'boxcar fire', where he accidentally started a chemical fire on a train. In the UK, the cops would have shot him in the head and then later claimed to have seen wires sticking out of his jacket. In the US, he would have been 'extraordinarily rendered' to some unpronounceable country and nobody would have ever heard of him again. In Canada, apparently, they would have accused him of building a meth lab and hauled him off to jail. This is what happens when we allow police departments to discriminate in their hiring practices because the applicant is too smart; they take a quick look and if they don't understand what they see it must be against the law.
Crimes Of The Future: Teen with Home Chemistry Lab Arrested for Meth, Bombs
By Annalee Newitz, 8:16 PM on Sat Dec 27 2008
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.
[Follow the link above to read about how the authorities just wont admit a mistake, to the point of ruining this kid's life.]