Americans are no longer safe to cultivate common garden vegetables without risking the violent wrath of the drug war. No other citizen understands this lunacy quite like Georgia resident Dwayne Perry, who told reporters at WSB-TV that he was raided by drug agents earlier last week after an aerial surveillance unit mistook his okra crop for marijuana.
That’s right — it appears as though Georgia law enforcement has not had enough experience taking down marijuana grow operations to distinguish the difference between okra and the cannabis plant.
Reports indicate that a drug task force was conducting a marijuana suppression mission when officers spotted Perry’s okra plants and immediately thought he was growing weed. Okra plants, incidentally, consist of five fat leaves, while the cannabis plant has very distinguishable foliage. In other words, the two plants look absolutely nothing alike.
Unfortunately, that did not stop officers with Georgia State Patrol from swooping in on Perry’s residence — dressed to kill — in an attempt to destroy the suspected marijuana growing in his backyard. “They were strapped to the gills,” said Perry, explaining to reporters how the officers seemed prepared to shoot him dead on the spot over a case of mistaken identity.
Much to the pig’s surprise, the crop in Perry’s yard was not grown with the intention of being smoked, but rather battered, deep-fried and served as a popular southern side dish. Yet, even though the plant was obviously not marijuana, authorities still believed it was in their best interest to submit it to a crime lab for confirmation purposes.
“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,” Captain Kermit Stokes, with the Georgia State Patrol, told WSB-TV.
Although Perry is grateful that a trigger-happy cop did not riddle him full of holes during the raid, he says there is no excuse for this level of domestic warfare over a plant. “Here I am, at home and retired and, you know, I do the right thing,” said Perry. “Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain’t right.”
Several officers did apologize after further investigating the plants, but that simply isn’t good enough, says Perry, because the situation could have potentially gotten him killed or seriously injured. “The more I thought about it, what could have happened?” he said. “Anything could have happened.”
Interestingly, this drug war bungle is not the first of its kind. In 2013, a heavily armed SWAT team raided the Garden of Eden farm in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas area suspicion that the proprietors were cultivating marijuana. During the ten hour raid, officers seized “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers,” said owner Shellie Smith, while agents held her and several others at gunpoint. No marijuana was ever discovered.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in High Times, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.