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Heavily armed drug cops raid retiree’s garden, seize okra plants

Georgia police declare war on okra

Georgia police raided a retired Atlanta man’s garden last Wednesday after a helicopter crew with the Governor’s Task Force for Drug Suppression spotted suspicious-looking plants on the man’s property. A heavily-armed K9 unit arrived and discovered that the plants were, in fact, okra bushes.

The officers eventually apologized and left, but they took some of the suspicious okra leaves with them for analysis. Georgia state patrol told WSB-TV in Atlanta that “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.”

Indeed! Like cannabis, okra is green and it has leaves.

Okra busts like these are good reason for taxpayers to be skeptical about the wisdom of sending guys up in helicopters to fly around aimlessly, looking for drugs in suburban gardens. And that’s not to mention the issue of whether we want a society where heavily-armed cops can burst into your property, with no grounds for suspicion beyond what somebody thought he saw from several hundred yards up in a helicopter.

Marijuana eradication programs, like the one that sent the helicopter up above the Georgia man’s house, are typically funded partly via the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Cannabis Eradication Program. Many of these funds come from the controversial asset forfeiture programs, which allow law enforcement officials to seize property from citizens never even charged – much less convicted – of a crime.

The Cannabis Eradication programs have historically inflated the size of their hauls by including non-psychoactive “ditchweed” in their totals of plants seized. In past years, ditchweed accounted for up to 98 percent of seized outdoor plant totals. According to the ONDCP, ditchweed still makes up an unspecified percent of outdoor plants seized.

It is also unclear how many of the seized plants are actually okra.

Georgia police declare war on okra

Mind-altering plants come to Kew Gardens

A new exhibition at Kew Gardens ventures into the fascinating world of mind-altering plants and fungi

This autumn Kew Gardens explores the world of mind-altering plants. The event, which runs until October 12, is part of the Gardens Intoxication Season, features live displays in the Princess of Wales conservatory and an exhibition of botanical art.

Mind-altering plants have been used for generations across the globe from cannabis, which despite being used in fibre and oil for centuries is better known as the one of the world’s most consumed recreational drugs, to Ayahuasca, is an obscure South American vine, originally used by Amazonian tribes to make a psychoactive drink designed to trigger spiritual revelations in the mind of the drinker.

Visitors will be able to explore the secret history behind opium poppies, and the seemingly humble coffee plant whose mild stimulant properties are regularly enjoyed by a third of the global population.

There are also a series of activities every weekend, including the Botanical Beverages Bar which will offer a range of autumnal-themed botanical cocktails alongside the chance to learn about the different plants used to make alcohol.

Afterwards, brave the Fungarium’s open house, on Saturday 11 th and Sunday 12 th October, in celebration of UK Fungus Day and meet the mycology team to find out about their work..

Explore the world of mind-altering plants at Kew Gardens this October