Drug Agents Can't Keep Up With Pot Growers

Drug Agents Can't Keep Up With Pot Growers
Posted by CN Staff on October 12, 2005 at 22:06:00 PT
By John Ritter, USA Today
Source: USA Today 
Northern Mendocino County, Calif.  In the waning days of a record season, a helicopter buzzes treetops here in a remote corner of the "Emerald Triangle," redwood country notorious as the USA's premier producer of marijuana. State narcotics officers from CAMP  Campaign Against Marijuana Planting  are searching for "gardens" to eradicate and find six on a warm, cloudless day.
They strap onto a 150-foot cable dangling from the chopper, drop into the pot patches, hack down the plants and bundle them for the chopper to haul back to a landing zone. Perhaps $500,000 worth of America's favorite illegal drug is trucked off for burial. It's not a big day by CAMP standards: 813 plants that fill a pickup bed. In this ever-growing illicit market, agents routinely find plots of 5,000 and 10,000 plants that require dump trucks to dispose of.In the 2005 growing season, CAMP says it so far has destroyed more plants than ever  1.1 million worth $4.5 billion on the street, up from 621,000 plants last year. But agents still lost ground to growers. No longer is marijuana cultivation the cottage industry that flourished in the 1960s and '70s after waves of counterculture migrants bought cheap land in the northern California mountains and grew pot for their own use and extra income.Mexican criminals using sophisticated methods have spread the marijuana industry across California, traditionally the nation's main domestic source because of a mild climate and vast stretches of isolated landscape ideal for clandestine growing, say the authorities.As recently as 10 years ago, the Emerald Triangle counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Trinity grew virtually all of the state's pot. Now every California county that's not desert has a problem. Because of tighter security on the southern U.S. border, Mexicans simply made a business decision to move north."In the last two or three years almost 100% of the gardens we've eradicated are Mexican drug cartel gardens," says James Parker, the senior narcotics agent who oversees CAMP. "It's alarming if you think about it."Today's high potency weed is so valuable  $5,000 or more for a pound of buds on the East Coast  that big operators employ armed guards who camp in pot gardens for months, nurturing plants that grow to 15 feet and taller. A state Fish and Game officer was wounded and a suspect shot and killed in a Santa Clara County bust in June, the fourth incident in two years. Photo Gallery: Rooting Out Pot Hot Spots: Article: USA Today (US)Author: John Ritter, USA TodayPublished: October 12, 2005Copyright: 2005 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #19 posted by mayan on October 13, 2005 at 17:12:07 PT
All they are doing is wasting our money. Why don't they just admit defeat and deal with it? Sore losers!
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on October 13, 2005 at 14:15:17 PT
Press Release from EurekAlert
TITLE: Cannabinoid promotes embryonic and adult hippocampus neurogenesis and produces anxiolytic- and antidepression-like effects Public release date: 13-Oct-2005Good news for the medical marijuana movement: pot proliferates brain cells and boosts moodEditor's pickMost drugs of abuse decrease the generation of new neurons in the brain, but the effects of marijuana on this process, called neurogenesis, had not been clear. In a paper appearing online on October 13 in advance of print publication of the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Xia Zhang and colleagues from University of Saskatchewan show that a potent and synthetic cannabinoid promotes neurogenesis. This drug also exerts anti-anxiety and antidepressant-like effects. The researchers suggest that there is a positive correlation between increased adult neurogenesis and modified behavior following chronic cannabinoid treatment. These data expand the existing knowledge about the positive roles cannabinoids and their receptors play in brain processing and medicine. Moreover, cannabinoids are perhaps the only illicit drug that can enhance adult neurogenesis and subsequently modify behavior. Contact: Stacie Bloom
Journal of Clinical Investigation AUTHOR CONTACT:
Xia Zhang
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada 
Phone: 306-966-2288; Fax: 306-966-8830; E-mail: zhangxia View the PDF of this article at:
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Comment #17 posted by siege on October 13, 2005 at 14:02:49 PT
Cannabis group will continue dispensing
By SETH FREEDLAND/The Daily JournaAn organization distributing medical marijuana will not cease to do so even after receiving a letter from the city calling its actions "prohibited," employees said.Hemp Plus Ministry, located on North State Street by Low Gap Road, is recognized as a church by the city, and the workers there are quick to point out that fact.,1413,91~3089~3091022,00.html
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on October 13, 2005 at 13:51:18 PT
Thank you for your comment. I try not to be wasteful. That doesn't mean that I am never wasteful but I try to be wise with how we spend our money. I wish the government cared enough to be cautious about wasting money but they aren't. Just think of the money that could help people if the money wasn't poured down the drain.
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Comment #15 posted by Sam Adams on October 13, 2005 at 13:41:28 PT
Big Gov
I ran into a woman last week who, with her husband, drove one of the tractor-trailers of ice from Lousiana back to Gloucester, Massachusetts. She said their truck was one of *300* that were sent to Gloucester!!! She said they were paid $900 per day to pick up the ice, then to sit with in Lousiana, then to sit with it in Mass. until mid-October. She said she and a few other people offered to buy their load of ice from FEMA and drive it to New Orleans at their own expense - for the purpose of giving it away to people in need. FEMA said no, that's not allowed. By the way, do you know how expensive every hour of helicopter flight time is?? Each run of helicopter skiing costs about $250, and that's with a chopper carrying 6 or 8 skiers. I think people need to realize that the "screw up prevention, pay dearly for remediation" method is what the governments WANTS! They could have fixed the levees in New Orleans for $1-2 billion dollars, now they'll pay what, 50, 100, even 200 billion to rebuild the city? They LOVE it! Now they can give out even more money to their friends & get even more kickbacks.Same with 911- CIA and FBI bungled the intelligence, now look - military spending has been doubled! Do you think Bush & the defense contractors are sorry? feeling a little extra cynical today, I can't help it...
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Comment #14 posted by siege on October 13, 2005 at 12:32:02 PT
EIGHT Commandment: 'You shall not steal.
How do you think they get the dope they sell to the unsuspecting public to arrest them, by stealing it from the public there to servant. 
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Comment #13 posted by unkat27 on October 13, 2005 at 11:33:15 PT
A Terrible Waste!
"They strap onto a 150-foot cable dangling from the chopper, drop into the pot patches, hack down the plants and bundle them for the chopper to haul back to a landing zone."Sound like nothing but govt-sponsored thieves to me. What a terrible waste! Of course, they later put on a big show about burning much of it, but how much do they keep to sell themselves? That's the real question.
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Comment #12 posted by siege on October 13, 2005 at 11:04:17 PT
misuse of millions of dollars
Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (Commerce-Justice-State).This program diverts federal money away from uniquely federal initiatives and perpetuates corruption and civil rights abuses across the country. A 2002 report by the Heritage Foundation reported that 'there is virtually no evidence' that Byrne grants have been successful in reducing crime and that the program lacks `adequate measures of performance'. Recent Byrne-related scandals include the misuse of millions of dollars in Byrne grant money in Kentucky and Massachusetts, wrongful convictions based on police perjury in Missouri, and negotiations with drug offenders to drop or lower their charges in exchange for money or vehicles in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, and Wisconsin. This would save almost $800 million this year and $4 billion over five years.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on October 13, 2005 at 10:53:55 PT
New Orleans and Iraq
Matt Lauer interviewed Bush on tv and in the interview I found out that New Orleans will have to pay back the government for rebuilding but Iraq won't have too. Katrina was a natural disaster but Iraq was a man made disaster. Who is responsible for the inferior Levee's that are in New Orleans? Someone should be responsible.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on October 13, 2005 at 10:45:58 PT
I agree.If they would quit wasting our money we could help people in need.
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Comment #9 posted by PainWithNoInsurance on October 13, 2005 at 10:41:27 PT
A Rediculous and Wastful Federal Government
I am very disturbed at the way the feds waste our money. I see fema buying (closed bid) house trailers for triple the price ($88,000.00) for gulf victims. I see fema shipping water to the wrong side of the country. I see fema shipping ice intended for gulf victims all over the country in circles. Then when a huge earth quake happens, our president tells the world we are sending 8 hellicopters to help. EIGHT HELICOPTERS that's all? I would expect 80 helicopters for a quake that has at least 40,000 people dead. If they would quit wasting our money we could help people in need.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on October 13, 2005 at 10:06:54 PT
Federal Taxes
For us my husband can't pull his truck and trailer off the lot unless he pays his Federal Highway Use Tax. We don't pay much income tax but even his tags for keeping his rig on the road are around $1700 a year. That's just to drive in three states. It's much more if you travel in more states.
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Comment #7 posted by Sam Adams on October 13, 2005 at 09:52:55 PT
Too bad people don't ignore the government when it comes time to pay taxes! I believe that probably the single greatest tool of oppression by the feds is the income tax withholding from your paycheck. If everyone got the full amount of their paycheck every time, and then had to write a check to pay the bill from the federal government, we NEVER would have gotten where we are today. There would have been revolts years ago!I think the level of state, fed, and local taxation we have today is tantamount to slavery. Imagine if you were a farmer back in medieval days. You worked all year to harvest your crop. Then a gang of huge armed thugs knocked on your door and demanded over half of you crop. You'd barely have enough left to feed, house & clothe your family. You'd know that you'd become a slave to government. Isn't the definition of slavery to be forceably working for someone else against your will?We've gone from a total tax burden of a just a few percent of income to over half of it in 3 generations.You have to admit, bumbling and corrupt as they are, the government has come up with some brilliant concepts over the years. Automatic tax withholding was huge.  So was "drug" prohibition. They knew alcohol prohibition failed because drinking was too widespread & integrated into existing culture.Very few people were using cannabis when it was banned, however. Then, when its use became widespread, cannabis prohibition had already become engrained in our culture. It became a way to scapegoat a minority percentage of our society, which has always sold well to the masses, just look at history. As cannabis use exploded, so did the government's power.As a convenient side benefit, they got a population that now accepts that government can ban any aspect of their life, even if it's morally OK. Seriously, once a young kid realized how incredibly harmless cannabis is, and yet there is virtually no chance of changing the laws, they are forced to accept it. How much of a stretch is it to then accept that you'll have to pay whatever taxes they ask? You'll have to support whatever war they choose to start? Whatever pollution (mercury, for instance) they choose to dump on you?
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Comment #6 posted by Jim Lunsford on October 13, 2005 at 08:21:09 PT
is a step closer to ignoring the government. After all, why do we need a government? They are, by nature, oppressive. Congress has made it clear they are all corrupt. They invented the Congressional blind trust, that is anything but blind. And, that is but one aspect of our political machine. Imagine a boycott (closest word I could think of for the concept) of our government. Just a stoned idea. This promises to be a pretty happy day for me. I woke up and celebrated with our sacrament. 
 If you think about it though, unless you are interested in the accumulation of material possesions beyond your needs, what do we need money for? We really just want the things money can buy instead. It is our fear of future hardships (the unknown) that prevents us from living today.
  Maybe we could change to a society that encourages us to do our own thing to help each other out in our times of need. More than anything else, these are the concepts behind both the Christ and the Buddha's teachings.   Hope that was as intersting to everyone else as it was to me. Great sacrament today! Peace,Rev JimLife: BE the drama!
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Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on October 13, 2005 at 08:00:29 PT
bad guys?
"CAMP doesn't bother with medical marijuana growers, even large ones who say they're providing pot to many sick people. "We're not here to take anyone's medicine away," Nelsen says.But medical marijuana has made it harder to figure out who the bad guys are, Noe says. "Easy - they're the ones in uniforms!You know, I wonder why the political class even bothers to maintain a facade. Pretty soon they'll answer criticism by saying, "Hey, we can't legalize, we need the tax money from y'all to hire as many of our friends and relatives as we can into the government. Then they can do all the work on our house for free, and give us bags of cash at Christmas every year. If we legalize, we'll all have to get real jobs & work for living like everyone else. That makes NO sense at all!"Would it make any difference? Most of the media & most of our citizens are so apathetic I think they wouldn't even notice.
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on October 13, 2005 at 07:01:59 PT
It would be simpler to make money illegal
and pot legal. 25 000 metric tons sold each and every year is (2206 lbs times 25 000) is 55 150 000 lbs of cannabis ready to smoke. That much times 5000 dollars per pound equals two hundred seventy-five billion seven hundred fifty million dollars.CAMP confiscating 4.5 billion dollars of cannabis means that approximately 98.5 percent of the total crop makes it to the market.Prohibition is working out just fine... for cannabis growers. A drug free America is a long ways off in the distance. They have a lot of work to do. Frankly, it can't be done. They can keep trying though. I will encourage them to do so. The efforts to curb cannabis use has an opposite effect.People want to smoke cannabis. It's beats alcohol and tobacco by a long ways.
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Comment #3 posted by ryno35 on October 13, 2005 at 06:18:15 PT
Comparing to 30's Prohibition
This is the first article I've seen from a major source that compares the current "War on Drugs" to alcohol prohibition of the 30's.It always confuses people that I talk to when I refer to our currect drug policy as prohibition and it really opens their eyes to the futility of the whole thing when they see we're making the same mistakes we did 70+ years ago.
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Comment #2 posted by OverwhelmSam on October 13, 2005 at 02:00:02 PT
Waste of Time
They can spend all the money and manpower hours they want in their vain attempt to keep people from using marijuana, but it will never work. Many farms are moving indoors.It is sad that DEA agents have to risk and live their lives in vain over a weed. "Stupid is as stupid does." ~Forest Gump
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on October 12, 2005 at 22:20:41 PT
Look At The Pictures
How much money will we keep wasting for helicopters etc. to try to eradicate this plant?Photo Gallery: Rooting Out Pot Hot Spots:
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