Agents from the Georgia Governor’s “Task Force for Drug Suppression” were flying in a helicopter last week, looking into the backyards of as part of their partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, when they spotted what they believed to be marijuana growing in the yard of Dwayne Perry’s home in Cartersville, Georgia, reported WSB-TV.
The heavily armed Bartow County got ready for a raid. They drew their weapons, circled overhead in their helicopter, and invaded his yard with their K-9 unit.
“They were strapped to the gills,” Perry told the news channel. “Anything could have happened.”
It was then that the Drug Suppression task force learned that the leaves they had seen from overhead were okra, although they’re still not quite sure why the okra looked like marijuana from overhead. They haven’t yet officially identified the plant even after Perry explained what it was.
The heavily armed unit is partially funded by the DEA, and has been ramping up if its efforts in Georgia since 2012. The website explains the unit was initially focused on halting the growth and cultivation of marijuana on public lands, but the Governor’s task force, which is partially funded with federal monies, concentrates on the eradication of marijuana grow operations in peoples’ backyards. They identify the marijuana plants by sight, leaving a lot of room for false positives.
The drug suppression unit takes anonymous tips on their Report A Grower website, but it appears they tend to prowl the airways in helicopters in conjunction with Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, peeking into people’s backyards to attempt to locate plants that look like cannabis.
This is a classic example of the wasted money that characterizes the failed drug policy of marijuana prohibition in the United States. Over the past 40 years, federal and state governments have poured over $1 trillion into drug war spending with the help of the federal government.
While other states legalize marijuana for medicinal use and cities like Washington DC and Philadelphia decriminalize penalties for possession, Georgia’s anti-drug task force, having already eradicated thousands of large grow operations in the state, have taken to policing peoples’ backyards for a living.
Are we really supposed to believe that law enforcement flying around in a helicopter, peeking into backyards to spot marijuana plants are making us safer?
I think that Mr. Perry would take issue with that.