Drug cops raid an 81-year-old woman’s garden to take out a single marijuana plant
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.