A single marijuana plant grown by an 81 year old woman was seized by the Massachusetts National Guard helicopter in what can only be described as an absurd use of tax dollars.
On September 21, 2016 the Massachusetts National Guard and State Police used a helicopter to seize a single marijuana plant from an 81-year-old woman who was using the drug to treat her glaucoma and arthritis. Margaret Holcomb, of South Amherst, was growing the single cannabis plant in her fenced backyard and away from her neighbors.
Holcomb is not a medical card holder and had always been concerned about finding a doctor to sign off a medical recommendation. She was also concerned about the expense of medical marijuana if she purchased through a dispensary.
Medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts and legal for for the conditions of glaucoma and arthritis.
In a joint raid, the Massachusetts National Guard and State Police entered her yard and cut down the single plant. Her son, Tim Holcomb, said the manner of how the one plant was seized was “pretty shocking” and one that he argues constitutes unlawful surveillance and illegal search and seizure.
Holcomb said he was at his mom’s home eating lunch with his sister when they heard helicopter blades and looked up to see a military-style helicopter circling the property. Just like out of a movie, two men were crouching in an open door of the helicopter and holding a what he believes was a thermal imaging device used to detect marijuana plants.
Within 10 minutes of the helicopter departing, several vehicles arrived at the home, including a pickup truck with a bed filled with marijuana plants seized at other locations, and several State Police troopers, including one who flashed his badge.
Holcomb told the paper that she feels like her civil rights were violated and said she’s ready to stand up in the case.