Drug Cops Raid an 81-Year Old Womanís Garden
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Drug Cops Raid an 81-Year Old Womanís Garden
Posted by CN Staff on October 08, 2016 at 06:12:18 PT
By Christopher Ingraham
Source: Washington Post
Massachusetts -- Margaret Holcomb, an 81-year-old woman from Amherst, Mass., grew a single marijuana plant in her garden, tucked away behind the raspberries. She used it to ease the ailments of old age: glaucoma, arthritis and the occasional sleepless night.She hadn't tried to get a medical marijuana card, because of the challenges of getting a doctor's approval, she told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. And traveling to the dispensary in the next town over and paying for marijuana grown by someone else would be too costly, she feared.
So on the afternoon of Sept. 21, a team of Massachusetts State Police and Massachusetts National Guard troops sent a helicopter, several vehicles, and a handful of troopers to Holcomb's house to chop down the plant and haul it away in a pickup truck.Holcomb wasn't the only one targeted by the marijuana raid. State police spokesman David Procopio told the Gazette that authorities also seized 43 other plants from various properties that day. The largest of these seizures involved 20 plants. Several properties netted only two plants each. None of the property owners were charged with crimes, according to Procopio.Procopio said these operations were done under the auspices of the Drug Enforcement Administration's Cannabis Eradication Program, which gives state authorities money to uproot pot plants. This year, the DEA gave Massachusetts $60,000 for marijuana eradication efforts, according to federal documents obtained and published by journalist Drew Atkins.Last year, Massachusetts received $75,000 and destroyed 3,138 plants under the program, a cost to federal taxpayers of about $24 per plant.Responding to criticism from a local government official in western Massachusetts, DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson told the Boston Herald that the state decides when and how to conduct raids for pot plants.The Cannabis Eradication Program's stated goal is to "halt the spread of cannabis cultivation in the United States." But with more and more states legalizing recreational marijuana use in recent years, some lawmakers are questioning whether an $18 million federal program to pull pot plants makes sense.The program has also been the subject of controversy and ridicule. In the mid-2000s, DEA data revealed that most of the plants destroyed under the program were "ditchweed," naturally growing marijuana plants that weren't being cultivated for any particular use.Last year in Utah, a member of an eradication team testified that a medical marijuana law could lead to an epidemic of stoned rabbits and other animals. The incident became fodder for late-night talk shows.Even residents carrying licenses in medical marijuana states can fall prey to the program. In a Massachusetts raid last month, Procopio told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that 10 plants were seized from a couple's back yard because they were not kept in an enclosed area protected by a lock, as the statute requires. The growers, Patti Scutari and Francesco Compagnone, dispute that, saying that their entire yard is surrounded by a fence with a locked gate. Under Massachusetts law patients may grow as many marijuana plants as necessary to meet their medical needs.This summer, a task force consisting of National Guard troops and state troopers used a helicopter to aid in seizing four marijuana plants from 81-year-old former cancer patient Paul Jackson on Martha's Vineyard, according to the Martha's Vineyard Times. Like Margaret Holcomb, Jackson didn't have a medical marijuana license."I figured what I was growing was such a small amount, what the hell was the big deal?" Jackson told the newspaper.In 2014, marijuana eradicators in Georgia raided a retiree's garden after mistaking okra for marijuana.Margaret Holcomb's case is providing additional fodder for critics of strict anti-marijuana enforcement, particularly now since voters in Massachusetts will consider whether to legalize the plant for recreational use this fall."This raid, and similar raids in recent weeks, exposes the rank falsity of prohibitionist claims that law enforcement resources aren't being used on marijuana enforcement," said Jim Borghesani of the group Yes on 4, which is running the campaign to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts. "It's difficult to say what's worse: the waste of taxpayer dollars or the violation of an elderly woman's peace."Efforts to reach the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, the group opposing legalization, were unsuccessful.Holcomb told the Gazette she is considering simply growing another pot plant. "I donít picture them out here and putting an 81-year-old woman in jail," she said.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author:   Christopher IngrahamPublished: October 7, 2016Copyright: 2016 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #13 posted by Hope on October 13, 2016 at 10:40:28 PT
Another plant they should keep their unjust
laws off of.DEA ban on herbal supplement leads to mixed reactions
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on October 12, 2016 at 16:38:04 PT
I agree with you. This has gone on way too long.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on October 12, 2016 at 11:22:50 PT
Thank you, FoM.
I am sad or angry and sad nearly all the time about the state of affairs with cannabis prohibition. But I know it's not nearly as as ugly as it was ten years ago. It's just so sad and truly wicked and they just keep doing it. They are bringing great harm, on purpose, to people whose only crime is owning, using, selling, or growing a plant.My God. (Not an expletive, but a heart felt cry of grief to that invisible being that "we live and breathe and have our being in." I believe the universe exists within him and he isn't completely deaf or unfeeling.) Punishing and persecuting people because of a plant they use? That's so obviously wrong. The self righteous hypocrites believing people that use the plant cannabis should be punished, obviously are blind to understanding the differences between right and wrong concerning the people and their use of the cannabis plant.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on October 12, 2016 at 05:59:13 PT
Government thugs attacking people for plants.
Marijuana Arrests Outnumber Those for Violent Crimes, Study Finds
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on October 12, 2016 at 04:30:20 PT
Don't ever feel bad about feeling emotions. They have caused millions of Americans so much grief.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 12, 2016 at 04:28:52 PT
Prison Food Provider Donates 
Legalizing Cannabis: Prison Food Provider Donates To Keep Marijuana Illegal In Arizona
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on October 11, 2016 at 14:07:52 PT
My hope and faith are not wavering...
I just would like to refrain from public outbursts like that. 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on October 11, 2016 at 13:32:38 PT
Sorry about that...
One of those moments when you just have to cry out. I know better. A lot of us have been praying about this for a long time. Some prayers have been answered positively. I'm grateful for that. Some not. Today? The end of it? I do doubt it... sorry... unless it's somehow oblivion time. That would do it. I'm not looking for that.Soon? That's so relative. Losing my cool.*sigh*
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on October 11, 2016 at 08:48:45 PT
This article....
I'm having a hard time here. Hating. I don't want to hate, but this kind of stuff... still happening... the excrement of prohibition. I hate it.Do the people that perpetrate these atrocities against the citizenry have no sense, no conscience, no sense of right or wrong?I feel so badly towards them, their laws, and their enforcement.Prohibitionists are horrible, vicious, and foolish and they're dragging the rest of us along to pay for their wickedness and foolishness.When will it ever stop?It's not hard to see who the real CRIMINALS are.... and it isn't the little old lady with the plant!This whole "War" has been so distressing. So evil. So wrong.I know Vincent and so many more think I'm just foolish about what they term my "Imaginary" friend, but to me, He's real. So bear with me, please, in tolerance, if nothing else...God, my God, That I Am... help us end this horrible prohibition! Now! Please!
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Comment #4 posted by The GCW on October 10, 2016 at 05:04:24 PT
Go California and the world
Yes on 64: A tribute to Paul McCartney
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Comment #3 posted by observer on October 09, 2016 at 21:18:02 PT
Saving the Children - Taking Drugs off the Streets
Clearly saving the kids from dope. Without a doubt, taking drugs off the "streets". Of course, this is another felony lawbreaker caught: nabbed by the righteous forces of law and order. No question about it; this could be your daughter too: so thank god she could be helped by government to break the addiction, the addiction to illegal drugs. There can be no argument that this is what drug courts are all about, all about the compassion of government helping people - venerable women - to give them a new start on life, a second chance to be good people, good drug-free citizens. We all know how illegal drugs ruin people's lives, so we need to be thankful this person was stopped in her abuse - and now has the helping hand of concerned police, social workers, and prison officials, to help her lead a drug-free life: free of addiction and abuse. She should be thankful!
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on October 08, 2016 at 12:05:47 PT
Freedom is coming
we're getting close to election day here in Massachusetts, the excitement is building and I invite all my friends from Cnews to view this WONDERFUL video….enjoy!>>>Target of helicopter-led medical marijuana raid blasts Northwestern DA David Sullivan at Greenfield forum (video) on the video halfway down to begin - you have to sit through a few minutes of the DA's lying propaganda, and then it gets interesting!! What a courageous woman, so proud to be in the same state has her!!!
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on October 08, 2016 at 06:28:49 PT
Utah takes $73K finds no superplants...
& Washington takes more eradication $ even though rec cannabis is legal! -0-Lawmakers want to defund DEAís marijuana eradication program""" Christopher Ingraham, The Washington PostIn 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration gave $20,000 to the state of New Hampshire to eradicate marijuana plants, according to federal documents. But the Granite Stateís law enforcement agencies didnít have much luck finding any weed to pull that year Ė their efforts uncovered a single outdoor grow site with a grand total of 27 plants.Do the math, and U.S. taxpayers paid $740.74 for each pot plant uprooted in New Hampshire that year.Thatís an expensive weeding operation, but it could be worse. Utah received $73,000 in marijuana eradication funds, according to the federal documents, obtained by journalist Drew Atkins as part of a FOIA request. But agents failed to find a single pot plant to eradicate.The DEAís $14 million marijuana eradication program has been the subject of a fair amount of criticism in recent years. Twelve members of Congress have pushed to eliminate the program and use the money instead to fund domestic-violence prevention and deficit-reduction programs."Cont."Rounding out the top 5 marijuana eradication states are Tennessee, Georgia and, perhaps unexpectedly, Washington. The aptly nicknamed Evergreen State legalized the recreational use of marijuana in 2012, and pot shops opened for business in 2014. So it may seem odd that the DEA is spending $760,000 this year to eradicate pot plants in the state.But Washington is the only recreational marijuana state that doesnít allow people to grow their own plants for recreational use. (In District of Columbia, incidentally, the situation is reversed: Homegrows are okay, but you canít buy weed at the store.)Washington also receives more marijuana eradication money than any other state with a recreational pot regime in place. Oregon received $200,000 this year, while Colorado and Alaska didnít take any federal money for marijuana eradication."Cont.-0-It's time for a MASS end to cannabis prohibition.
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