cannabisnews.com: Drug Traffickers Find County Fertile Ground





Drug Traffickers Find County Fertile Ground
Posted by CN Staff on November 15, 2005 at 12:17:45 PT
By Jenny Shearer and Debbi Farr Baker
Source: SignOnSanDiego.com 
San Diego, CA -- Drug traffickers have found another way to get marijuana into the county: They grow it locally. Law enforcement officials said yesterday that San Diego County is ranked fourth in the state for the amount of pot plants seized on public lands, surpassing longtime pot-growing leaders Mendocino, Trinity and Humboldt counties.
Beefed-up security at the U.S.-Mexico border since 9/11 is one of the reasons so much more of the drug is being grown here, said Jack Hook, assistant special agent in charge of the San Diego Drug Enforcement Administration. He said it is easier for Mexican nationals to grow marijuana locally than to try to smuggle it across the border. County Supervisor Bill Horn said being fourth in the state, behind Shasta, Lake and Tulare counties, was a dubious distinction. "This is one area we don't want to lead the state in. Commerce is fine, but not in the production of marijuana," he said. Much of the pot seized on public lands is in less-populated areas of North County and East County, such as Palomar Mountain, the Cleveland National Forest, Campo and Julian, Hook said. Although this year's haul of confiscated plants is less than in previous years, officials said it is still significant. "This has proven to be an effective (eradication) program over time," DEA spokesman Misha Piastro said. "The numbers of seizures of plants, assets, as well as arrests, are going to fluctuate. It's the nature of the narcotics enforcement business. It all depends on where investigations lead us." More than 275,000 plants and nearly $3 million in assets were seized in 2004, and more than 270,000 plants and $525,000 in assets were seized in 2003, Piastro said. Finding and removing marijuana plantations involves several agencies, including law enforcement, the National Guard, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. Because the plantations are on public land, they may be found by people who are out enjoying nature. Officials said those who come across illegal crops should immediately notify park rangers or authorities and stay away from the plants, which are often protected by booby traps and people with guns. There are also economic and environmental impacts. Growers steal water and electricity, use dangerous pesticides and clear land of native plants to conduct their illegal activity. The DEA has found that many plantations are guarded by Mexican nationals and drug trafficking organizations. "These gardens are worth staggering amounts of money," Piastro said. Today's marijuana is highly addictive and "isn't the drug of the '60s," said Scott Burns of the Office of National Drug Control and Policy. He oversees the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program at the White House. The amount of the drug in marijuana  tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC  has increased from 1 percent to 2 percent in the 1960s to 10 percent to 12 percent today, Burns said. Marijuana from British Columbia, or "BC bud," can have a THC content of 30 percent. Of the 19.1 million drug users in the U.S., 75 percent use marijuana alone or in addition to other drugs, he said. Sidebar: This Year's Haul:* 1.1 million plants were found and destroyed statewide. * More than 178,000 plants were seized countywide. * About $2.6 million in drug-related assets were confiscated in the county. * 80% of the $2.6 million is returned to state and local law enforcement to fund anti-drug programs. * 79 people were arrested and... * 169 weapons seized in the county operations. Source: SignOnSanDiego.com (CA)Author: Jenny Shearer and Debbi Farr BakerPublished: November 15, 2005 Copyright: 2005 SignOnSanDiego.comContact: joe.cantlupe copleydc.com Website: http://www.signonsandiego.com/Related Articles:Arrests Soaring Amid Concerted Police Effort http://cannabisnews.com/news/thread21306.shtmlEnd Marijuana Hypocrisy To Save Nation Billionshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/thread20844.shtml 
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Comment #5 posted by Universer on November 16, 2005 at 10:58:27 PT
Lies and Statistics
"Today's marijuana is highly addictive..."That is a damned lie.But today's tobacco is highly addictive too. As was yesterday's.By the way, the majority of people reading this comment on this website already are aware of this fact, but a higher THC content merely leads to reduced consumption, since -- as all pot-smokers know -- once you're high, you ain't gettin' any higher, so smoking more is simply a waste, and will probably result in the taking of a weed-nap. (For the uninitiated, the term "weed-nap" does not mean that one passes out, as with over-consumption of alcohol. One just gets sleepy.)Stick that in your article and smoke it.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on November 15, 2005 at 22:32:51 PT
Comment 2
:0)
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Comment #3 posted by runderwo on November 15, 2005 at 21:47:57 PT
reply
'"This is one area we don't want to lead the state in. Commerce is fine, but not in the production of marijuana," he said.'And to think, with the flip of a switch it could all be legit.'"This has proven to be an effective (eradication) program over time," DEA spokesman Misha Piastro said.'Yet to back up that claim, all you provide us with is raw numbers of plants destroyed and assets seized (over a benign plant). How big is the 'dent' you have made? Ok, 79 growers have been arrested. Whoopee.'The amount of the drug in marijuana * tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC * has increased from 1 percent to 2 percent in the 1960s to 10 percent to 12 percent today, Burns said. Marijuana from British Columbia, or "BC bud," can have a THC content of 30 percent.'Will someone please call this bluff in public? I am sick and tired of hearing about it.
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Comment #2 posted by John Tyler on November 15, 2005 at 20:06:13 PT
ready, set, grow
Recently there was show on TV about some modern style Hollywood mansions. They were isolated on hilltops with long drive ways. They had lots of bright big rooms with large glass windows with great views of the city below. As I watch, I thought what a great place to grow weed.
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Comment #1 posted by siege on November 15, 2005 at 14:57:05 PT
CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES ON ORPHANS & MENTALLY HAN
CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES ON ORPHANS & MENTALLY HANDICAPPED CHILDRENPublic Comment Period Closes
December 12, 2005http://www.organicconsumers.org/epa6.cfm
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