Regardless of how you feel about marijuana being illegal, the fact is that there are still many laws against growing, selling, and possessing it. When police raid a home where it is being grown illegally, they not only confiscate the plants, they also confiscate the growing equipment – equipment that is perfectly good and legal to use for other crops.

Last year in West Chester, P.A., right outside of Philadelphia, police raided a basement that was being used as a hydroponic marijuana farm. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that they confiscated a $43,000 crop of marijuana, plus all the equipment used to grow it hydroponically.

Instead of letting the equipment languish in an evidence room, it’s been put to good use in a West Philadelphia empty storefront. The equipment is being used for an indoor aquaponic plant and fish farm. Aquaponic farming takes hydroponic farming to the next level by integrating it with fish cultivation, or indoor fish farming. In the West Philadelphia indoor urban garden, vegetables, herbs and fish are being raised in the Urban Food Lab of the Partnership Community Development Corporation.

Eventually, the food grown and raised in the Urban Food Lab will be sold. The intention is to create revenue and jobs in the neighborhood that’s in need urban development. There aren’t many positive things that come out of the war on drugs. Even law enforcement officials see that it’s been failing for decades. This positive use of confiscated equipment certainly isn’t a reason to keep the war on drugs going, but as long as the equipment is being confiscated, it would be good to see other programs like this put in place with it.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

From pot to peppers: Seized marijuana equipment used for indoor urban garden
When police near Philadelphia confiscated useful hydroponic farming equipment in a drug bust, they put it to good use in an indoor, urban aquaponic garden and f