National Guard Raids Grandma's Garden—for a Single Pot Plant

Margaret Holcomb, 81, says it eases her arthritis
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2016 5:45 AM CDT
National Guard Raid Grandma's Garden for Single Pot Plant
In this file Feb. 17, 2016, photo, plants grow in Honolulu, Hawaii.   (AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

Margaret Holcomb is an 81-year-old grandmother in Amherst, Mass., who says she has been growing one marijuana plant in her raspberry patch for years because it soothes her arthritis and glaucoma and also helps her sleep at night. So when a military-style helicopter descended on her garden (which is fenced in, away from neighbors) on Sept. 21, and uprooted the plant that was almost ready for harvest, her son, who was home at the time, tells the Daily Hampshire Gazette that it was "shocking" and "scary as hell." Holcomb is technically growing the plant illegally in a state that has approved medical marijuana use because she has no card, though full legalization of recreational use is on the ballot next month, reports Reason.

“I had been nursing this baby through a drought, and I was pretty pissed to tell you the truth,” Holcomb tells the Boston Globe. A state police spokesman said the National Guard and State Police conducted a widespread raid of 44 plants on multiple area properties, seizing the plants but not pressing any charges. Holcomb's son questions whether the state is using due process in fly-by raids without warrants, while his mom warns: "You have overstepped, and I am not going to step aside." For now, Holcomb says she's worried about the cost of getting medical marijuana and says she may just plant another seed for next year. (This pot proponent quit her job on-air over legalizing pot, and now faces 54 years in prison.)

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