Old lady grows pot plant, government sends in National Guard

Medical marijuana is fully legal in Massachusetts, as long as residents get permission from the state government by forking over for a medical marijuana card. An 81-year-old glaucoma and arthritis sufferer just learned the hard way what happens to folks who don’t.

According to the New Hampshire Gazette, grandmother Margaret Holcomb was growing a single marijuana plant on her property to help alleviate age-related health problems.

When the plant caught the attention of authorities, the Massachusetts State Police and the National Guard raided her property.

Tim Holcomb, the elderly woman’s son, said the action to confiscate a single plant was “pretty shocking.”

“It’s scary as hell,” said Tim Holcomb.

Holcombe said he observed a military chopper circling his mother’s property as they used thermal imaging to locate the plant. Ten minutes later, officers reportedly swarmed the property.

“He asked me if I knew there was a marijuana plant growing on the property. I didn’t answer the question. I asked, ‘What are you doing here?’” Holcomb told reporters.

The officers told Holcomb that as long as he didn’t require a warrant for the officers to enter the property and confiscate the plant, they wouldn’t lock up his elderly mother.

The raid was one of several conducted throughout Massachusetts late last month by the state police and National Guard without the cooperation of local authorities.

Attorney Michael Cutler, who noted that state authorities conducted similar raids last year, told the Gazette that the recent police action is likely the result of police trying to use up budgeted drug war funds ahead of a vote that is likely to legalize recreational marijuana.

“We’re seeing the last throes of police hostility to the changing laws,” Cutler said. “They’re taking the position that if it’s in plain view, it’s somehow illegal.”

Holcomb, meanwhile, says she’s spoken to a criminal defense attorney and will likely cultivate another plant regardless of the law change.

“I’m prepared to take actions if I need to,” Margaret Holcomb said. “I don’t picture them out here and putting an 81-year-old woman in jail.”

Wouldn’t be so sure.

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