Speed Reads

Reefer Madness

Deputies in Georgia confuse okra bush with pot plant, raid retiree's home

Georgia law enforcement learned the hard way that just because it's green and leafy, that doesn't make it pot.

Last week, Dwayne Perry became alarmed when a helicopter was hovering low over his Cartersville home. Soon, deputies and a K-9 unit "strapped to the gills" were at his door, Perry told WSB-TV Atlanta. The helicopter was part of the Governor's Task Force for Drug Suppression, and the authorities were on hand to seize the "suspicious-looking plants" they saw in his backyard from the air. "I was actually scared at first because I didn't know what was happening," Perry explained.

It turns out what they thought were marijuana plants were actually okra bushes, and once the authorities realized their mistake they apologized. They still ended up taking some leaves for further analysis, because "it did have quite a number of characteristics that were similar to a cannabis plant," a Georgia State Patrol captain said.

The apology didn't make Perry feel better. He keeps fielding calls from neighbors who saw the police cars outside of his home, and he believes his reputation has been tarnished. "Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing," he said. "Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain't right."