Back in the day when we lived in western Massachusetts’ Berkshire hills, we’d get used to a military invasion around this time of the year. They were hunting for marijuana plants grown by the locals. It was often quite a show; a helicopter would swoop low over the mountain and then a phalanx of National Guard vehicles would follow.
The guardsmen were just trying to get their obligatory weekend in so let’s just say their heart wasn’t much in it.
A small group of reporters, me included, once was allowed to go on one of these raids and, indeed, we moved in on a field where someone had planted a healthy patch of pot in the Norman Rockwellian town of Stockbridge.
It was the owner of the local newspaper.
Things haven’t changed much, judging from the Boston Globe, which reports a similar military assault has seized the lone marijuana plant of an 81-year-old woman in Amherst.
When the Department of Justice gives you a $60,000 marijuana eradication plant, you might as well use it.
Altogether, 44 plants were seized in the raids, an exercise that accomplished absolutely nothing but to make an old lady angry.
“I had been nursing this baby through a drought, and I was pretty pissed to tell you the truth,” Peg Holcomb told the paper.
The authorities insisted they had all the probable cause they needed when a spotter in the helicopter saw the marijuana plant in plain sight.
“It was not in plain sight. It was way back in the corner of the property in my raspberry bushes,” she said. “The mowers were here — everybody was here — and nobody knew” the plant was there, she told the Globe.
If all of the states where legal marijuana is being voted on tomorrow adopt the idea, 25-percent of the country’s population will live in marijuana-legal states.
Related: The Trend Toward Legalizing Recreational Marijuana (NPR)