An 81-year-old grandmother is making national headlines after members of the Massachusetts National Guard and State Police raided her Amherst home to confiscate a single marijuana plant growing in her backyard.
Margaret Holcomb told the Daily Hampshire Gazette that she grew the plant to help her cope with arthritis, glaucoma and insomnia. The plant was discreetly grown in a raspberry patch.
The Sept. 21 raid inlcuded deployment of a “military-style helicopter,” according to the report. Tim Holcomb, the woman's son, told the paper he was eating lunch at the home with his sister when they heard the chopper outside.
A few minutes later, several emergency vehicles pulled up to the property.
“It was scary as hell,” he said.
Holcomb said police didn’t produce a warrant, but told him that the plant was visible in plain sight. He believes the helicopter was searching for such plants. The lawmen said they wouldn’t press charges if he surrendered the contraband, he added.
State police spokesman David Procopio confirmed to the paper that several raids were conducted in the Amherst and Northampton area that day, added that Holcomb’s plant was one of 44 found on several properties.
Margaret Holcomb said she is “not a huge social activist,” but feels her civil rights were violated. If she’s unable to get medical marijuana by other means, she said, she may grow another plant.
“I’m prepared to take actions if I need to,” she told the Gazette. “I don’t picture them out here and putting an 81-year-old woman in jail.”