Sept. 21, 2016, drug raid. Image, if you will, sitting at your 81-year-old mother’s table eating lunch
not expecting a drug raid. The sound of helicopter blades whirring fills the house and vibrates the windows. You look outside to see a low-flying helicopter hovering and moving slowly about. Two persons are in the open doorway holding something. State troopers arrive in several vehicles minutes after the helicopter leaves. One bangs on the door and flashes a badge asking you if you were aware of any marijuana growing on the property. The trooper tells you that if you do not require a warrant they will not press charges.
This is what happened at an 81-year-old grandmother’s home. She was not at home during the drug raid. Her son and daughter were there having a late lunch. To point out Margaret Holcomb was raising a single plant. Her hope that it would help her deal with the symptoms of arthritis and glaucoma and to help her sleep at night. Although Ms. Holcomb does not hold a medical marijuana card to authorize her growing the plant. Nevertheless, Ms. Holcomb’s herb was in the back yard, fenced in from the neighbors and tucked in her raspberry plants. Ms. Holcomb is not a social activist but says that she feels her civil rights were violated.
State Police Verified The Drug Raid
According to an email to the Daily Hamshire Gazette, a spokesman David Procopio for the State Police verified the drug raid in the Amherst and Northampton areas Sept 21, 2016. The State Police in a joint effort with the National Guard seized a total of 44 plants that day. Of course, the sum of the plants taken was from various properties in those areas. Procopio said that none of the property owners were charged with a crime. Also that the plants were in plain sight. How many people have a thermal imaging device and a helicopter to see in their neighbor’s backyard?
With the amount of money spent on this operation, I can think of far worse crimes to spend it on. Michael Cutler, a Northampton attorney, believes authorities are using up funds allocated before the end of the fiscal year to gas up the helicopter and do fly-overs. “Is this the way we want our taxpayer money spent, to hassle an 81-year-old and law-abiding patients?” Cutler said.
Margaret Holcomb’s son Tim wonders if the crackdown is to stop citizens from self-medicating. As a matter of fact, most of us wonder the same thing. Self-medicating would intrude on the lucrative medical marijuana industry. Once again we can see how money influences the scale of right or wrong. My opinion is that anything that is a danger to society should be legally regulated. Why make something illegal that possess helpful benefits to an individual.