Police Arrest Elderly Couple for Hibiscus Plant Mistaken for Marijuana, Couple Sues
A Pennsylvania couple is suing their local police department and Nationwide Insurance Co. after they were arrested when an insurance agent mistook their hibiscus plants for marijuana, reports the Associated Press.
The lawsuit filed Tuesday by 69-year-old Edward Cramer and his 66-year-old wife, Audrey, claims that an insurance agent showed up at their home in Buffalo Township on October 5th to investigate a fallen tree. According to the Cramers, the agent took photos of their flowering hibiscus plant and sent the images to police.
Two days later on October 7th police arrived up at their home brandishing assault rifles. Believing the hibiscus plant to be marijuana, police arrested the couple and held them for several hours inside a police cruiser. This is despite the Cramers telling the officers multiple times that the plants were hibiscus, not marjijuana.
According to the lawsuit the Cramers are seeking monetary and compensatory damages and court costs. Neither Buffalo Township police nor Nationwide provided comment.