Target: Major General Gary W. Keefe, Massachusetts National Guard
Goal: Stop unlawful invasions of privacy during senseless “marijuana eradication operations.”
Margaret Holcomb, an 81-year old grandmother residing in Amherst, Massachusetts, was one recent target of a National Guard air raid that seized a single pot plant she had been growing in her garden. Holcomb says she had been a grower for years, using the herb to sooth her arthritis and glaucoma, and also to help her sleep at night. She grows one plant only, for her own personal use, alongside her raspberry patch and chicken coop.
Shockingly, the Massachusetts National Guard saw this as enough of a threat to descend on Holcomb’s property on Sept. 21, without a warrant, and uproot the single plant, tossing it in the back of a pickup truck filled with other seized weeds. Margaret Holcomb’s son Tim, who was present at the time, describes seeing a military-looking helicopter circle his mother’s house, and ten minutes later four or five vehicles arrive carrying plainclothes troopers who asked if he was aware there was a marijuana plant growing on the property. When Tim inquired about a search warrant, the trooper allegedly responded: “No. Are you escalating? Because if you need a warrant we’ll go get one.”
The officers did not get one, however, since Tim decided the wiser course was to simply let them take his mother’s plant without argument.
Medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts, though Holcomb, who did not have a medical card, was technically growing her plant illegally. Full legalization of recreational marijuana will be on the ballot next month in MA, which would allow citizens 21 and older to grow up to six plants in their homes.
Tell the Massachusetts National Guard that this is an absurd violation of privacy and unnecessary use of resources that could undoubtedly be better spent elsewhere. If their greatest concern is a single pot plant in a grandmother’s backyard, they must be rather hard-pressed to find more useful things to do.
Dear Major General Keefe,
I was shocked and saddened to hear about the Massachusetts National Guard’s recent marijuana air raid, which targeted, among others, an 81-year-old grandmother growing a single plant for medicinal purposes. Using helicopters and multiple vehicles to spot and seize one single marijuana plant in someone’s backyard – this seems like a senseless waste of taxpayer dollars.
Margaret Holcomb has gone on record saying she grew one plant for personal use only, to help soothe her arthritis and glaucoma and as a sleeping aid. In what way was she harming anyone? The raid conducted at her residence represents an absurd violation of privacy, especially considering that the officers did not have a warrant.
The fact that recreational marijuana will, in all likelihood, be legalized next month in the state of Massachusetts goes to show how little of a threat state residents and lawmakers perceive it to be. Your “marijuana eradication operation” is a waste of time and resources, and I urge you to stop this nonsense.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Plantlady223