Originally published October 23 2014
Georgia police raid retiree's garden after mistaking okra for marijuana
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) While some states and cities have permitted medical marijuana use and individual pot plant growing for medical marijuana use, a few have even eased up on enforcing recreational marijuana use, even completely allowing it. But most states still consider "illegal" to be the same as "unethical," "immoral" or "dangerous."
So the boys with the badges have even more fun playing military invaders while zealously enforcing "illegal" marijuana possession or pot plant cultivation than they do raiding raw milk dairies and distributors.
After all, they are both very healthy but illegal. So bring in the SWAT teams and let's go out and crush crime, they actually think. And they're given the money to do so. Tax money that should be considered government waste more so than a lot of other issues that some manage to drum up.
The okra raid in GeorgiaThis recent raid occurred in the small Cartersville town that is on the northwest edge of Atlanta, Georgia. It could be considered a Metropolitan Atlanta bedroom community. There lives a soft spoken pudgy retired man, Dwayne Perry, in a well kept suburban home in a pleasant neighborhood.
Unfortunately, he cultivates okra, which is a Southern cuisine veggie favorite, in his large backyard. Perry first noticed a police helicopter hovering low over his home for some time. The helicopter was part of the Georgia Governor's Task Force that's used for suppressing illegal substance cultivation under the U.S. Justice Department's "Cannabis Eradication Program."
Very soon after, a K-9 police squad approached Perry's door "strapped [armed] to the gills," Perry testified on an area TV broadcast. The Channel 2 TV station that covered this incident had reporter Carl Willis confront Georgia State Patrol Capt. Kermit Stoke about their raid. "We've not been able to identify it as of yet. But it did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant," Stoke answered.
Horrors, it could have been evil weed! Reportedly, the police were polite and apologized to Perry as they left with a few plants to analyze. But Perry thought about and realized that this type of thing could have been worse and could be worse for others. Perry noted that okra plants have five leaves while hemp has seven, and their mistake should never have occurred.
"Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing," Perry said on the TV report. "Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain't right." Although there was also an official apology from the State Police, Perry felt that words of apology don't cover the inherent dangers of such activity.
"The more I thought about it, what could have happened? Anything could have happened," Perry said. And often "anything" does happen. Paramilitary SWAT teams on pot raids often wind up shooting and killing family pets while having whole families, including children, handcuffed face down and terrorized for hours. Sometimes a little weed is discovered, and sometime nothing's there at all.
And those busted down doors, bloody carpets and other damages are ignored as part of the Drug War's "necessary" collateral damage. Let's pencil in one aspect of the cost of this absurd drug war with its focus on easy prey among cannabis users and growers.
That helicopter hovering over Perry's property cost around $500 an hour for fuel and maintenance, according to Darryl Kimball, a pilot with the San Diego County Sheriff's Department, who runs a website devoted to police helicopters.
But maybe they can make up for that cost with the property and cash seized under civil forfeiture, an activity under drug laws that allows law enforcement to confiscate property or cash from anyone "suspected" of drug trafficking.
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