Lawsuit: California utility targeted Asians in pot searches

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A data privacy watchdog’s lawsuit says a Northern California utility routinely fed customers’ power use information to police so they could target illicit marijuana grows, without requiring a warrant or suspicion of wrongdoing. It says customers of Asian descent were targeted by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Sacramento police. A SMUD spokeswoman said Thursday that the utility shares information on specific properties to stop what it believes to be power theft. A police spokesman couldn’t comment on a pending lawsuit. Extraordinary use of electricity has long been a telltale sign of illegal grow houses producing thousands of marijuana plants hidden in seemingly ordinary homes.