Lowering the Bar - According to the Boston Globe, on September 7 several government vehicles and one helicopter descended on the property of 81-year-old Peg Holcomb as part of what a police spokesman described with a straight face as a marijuana “eradication operation.” In Holcomb’s case, they eradicated a single marijuana plant from her backyard.
The operation, the spokesman said, was a yearly exercise carried out jointly by the state police and the Massachusetts National Guard, made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Department of Justice. A total of 44 plants including Holcomb’s were seized during the operation, at a cost to taxpayers of $1,364 per plant.
On the other hand, authorities did get a chance to practice military operations against their own citizens, and that kind of training is priceless.
Holcomb wasn’t at home, but her son was. According to the report, he “asked the troopers if they had a warrant, and they implied there wouldn’t be any problems if they could take the plant right there and then.” I take it they didn’t have one, and that he may have consented in some sense to the seizure. But oh, was his mom pissed when she found out. “They hoped” there wouldn’t be any problems, she said later, but “then the 81-year-old grandmother stepped up.” She did not appear to feel any shame about her wanton violation of the nation’s drug laws: “I had been nursing this baby through a drought, and I was pretty pissed, to tell you the truth.”