Innocent Family Raided by SWAT, Held at Gunpoint After Cops Mistook Hibiscus for Cannabis

By Jack Burns

Butler County, PA — A Butler County couple is suing their insurance agent and local police after the two colluded to arrest the family for growing marijuana. However, the family was not growing marijuana—they were growing hibiscus.

The Nationwide Insurance agent was investigating a claim surrounding a fallen tree last month when he noticed what he thought was cannabis. Being the good little see something say something citizen that he is supposed to be, he then acted.

The agent notified the Buffalo Township police department that he saw what he believed to be marijuana growing in the couple’s home. Instead of doing even the most basic police work, and investigating the matter with, let’s say a pair of binoculars, police reportedly got a warrant instead.

After getting their warrant, they decided it would be a good idea to go into the home like a SWAT team going after a fugitive. On October 5, police decided to execute their search warrant and penetrate the Cramer home. Audrey and Edward Cramer had no idea what was coming their way. Audrey Cramer told reporters:

I’m starting to understand why a lot of the public do not trust police officers…I really feel like I’ve been smacked in the face with this, and no, I don’t think I’ll ever trust a police officer again.

She said they knocked on the door and pushed their way inside when she opened it. She was still in her underwear. They came in with assault rifles and guns ready to shoot anyone who posed a threat, and only left when they realized the plant they were looking for was actually a hibiscus plant. Now the couple is suing.

Their attorney, Al Lindsay, said:

She came down. She opened the door. She was confronted with what she thought was a dozen police officers with assault weapons who said they had a warrant…They pushed her. They went through the house.

It’s not the first time police have been ignorant in their understanding of horticulture. In their insane quest to squash cannabis users and growers, a drug which kills no one, police have made it their business to invade people’s homes, disturb their privacy, and use civil asset forfeiture to confiscate their possessions.

As TFTP has reported, Cartersville, GA cops used a helicopter and an invasion force to invade Dwayne Perry’s property in search of cannabis. Instead of finding the healing herb, they found Perry’s okra crop. Perry reflected on the home invasion by police:

Here I am, at home and retired and you know I do the right thing…Then they come to my house strapped with weapons for no reason. It ain’t right…The more I thought about it, what could have happened? Anything could have happened.

As Matt Agorist described in 2015, a lot of negative things can happen when police take it upon themselves to shirk their responsibility to do basic investigative work before taking such drastic measures as to call in a SWAT team. The Garden of Eden, a hippie commune in Arlington, TX was raided after police suspected the group of growing weed. Agorist wrote the commune was invaded by Arlington SWAT, and humiliated when they didn’t find cannabis:

What they did find, however, was a myriad of fruits and vegetables; and they seized them. After seemingly disgusted in themselves for such an ignorant and ill-conceived plan, the officers heroically proceeded to confiscate, “17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants … native grasses and sunflowers.”

It’s time for the insanity to stop. Instead of going after cannabis users and growers, police instead need to turn their attention to real crimes in which there are actual victims.

As a result of their buffoonery, the Buffalo Township police will now likely be responsible for causing every citizen’s property taxes to rise. The Cramer family will likely win their civil suit in court, and taxes will have to rise to cover the costs of infringing on one family’s civil rights. But nothing will likely change the epidemic of badge abuses taking place all across the country.

Jack Burns is an educator, journalist, investigative reporter, and advocate of natural medicine. This article first appeared at The Free Thought Project.

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21 Comments on "Innocent Family Raided by SWAT, Held at Gunpoint After Cops Mistook Hibiscus for Cannabis"

  1. I have seen some pretty nasty stuff on line with police but I had a few dealings with 2 state troopers in pa and they both served with dignity and respect I even shook one of the officers hands There are some good and some bad.

  2. hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure the drug companies cannot have you growing your own meds they also need the police to protect them from really medicine that cure

  3. There is absolutely no way that hibiscus can be confused with cannabis– neither in seedling, foliage or flower.
    Do the police have an obligation to investigate the validity of a complaint as much as the object of that complaint? One would hope.

    [edit– If palmate leaf morphology was used as the sole criterion for identification, then those cops need to take an elementary plant identification or field taxonomy course.]

  4. Although I agree the police could have done a little research and asked to look at the plants, but if they had a Texas hibiscus the leaves do look similar to hemp leaves.

    • A rat snake “LOOKS ” similar to a coral snake but we don’t rush for the shotgun before we take a closer look? Some of you will support the para- military police state to your detriment??
      We need law and order but I don’t want to swing from anarchy to draconian clampdown either.
      Obey your limits and oath of office or go back into combat somewhere.

  5. Police over reaction and negligent behaviour, yes but what about the judge who signed the warrant? Doesn’t he or she also have a duty to insist on prior investigative work being done before issuing a warrant. Isn’t that issuance supposed to be a protection under the Constitution?

  6. decriminalise, legitimise, legalise
    the war on drugs is not a war on victimless crimes, but a war that makes the supposed “criminal” a victim
    they should be getting warrants to raid Merck, Johnson & Johnson, et al… they are the perpetrators behind the present opioid epidemic.
    close the drug / medication companies down… until they rework all of their drugs – remove mercury from vaccines, make diabetes drugs that actually work, not just hide the symptoms, the same for cancer. make the drugs safe to use and work as advertised

  7. ‘ignorant in their understanding of horticulture’??? HORTICULTURE??? Can they even spell it?

  8. While they are busy busting Hibiscus gardens, this guy is running around wreaking havoc all over the country. Just look at him! Run for your lives!

  9. If you really want all this madness to quit, then quit paying tax. They can’t do anything if they don’t have your money. As long as they have your money they will do do what they want, that goes for the politicians too.

  10. They should be raiding big pharma and burning vaccines.
    Hope they get big bucks from this, uhh mistake.

  11. I am looking at growing hemp on my farm in the next year or two, but these stories make me wonder what might happen. BUT I will do it if it will grow without irrigation. I have taken hibiscus for BP and it does help lower my BP, along with Hawthorn Berry and French Maritime Pinebark, Whoops now the BIG Pharma police know I am not hooked on their drugs that the doctors want to give me for my BP and Cholesterol I better expect a visit…

    • Black walnut/wormwood/clove capsules cure nearly everything. Read The Cure for all Cancers & The Cure for all Diseases, by Dr. Helda Clark. Iv’e tried this stuff she says to do and don’t use anymore the stuff she says to avoid. IT WORKS!! Weather people or animals/pets—read these 2 books and get the damn chemicals out of your food/drink/products/life…….really mind blowing informative reading…….

      • obliged, my wife and I have been taking all natural supplements and foods for ailments for years, don’t trust the BIG PHARMA, Medical establishment cabal, so will look at what you advise. THANK YOU.

  12. rolandmanfest | August 13, 2018 at 3:59 am | Reply

    Diagnosed in December 2016″”Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Stage 4 but with the use of medical cannabis gotten from Dr Peter Hurt I now sleep like a baby, I feel healthy. I have energy because I’m always rested. I feel strong. I feel happy and brave. I use Cannabis Oil every night before bed. It’s my life now, because it gave me my life back for me and my family. My blood work is perfect. December 17th will be two years of being cancer-free Thanks to Dr Peter Hurt.

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