Pot Ranks High as Cash Crop in Colorado

  Pot Ranks High as Cash Crop in Colorado

Posted by CN Staff on January 01, 2007 at 10:08:18 PT
By Ted Holteen, Herald Staff Writer  
Source: Durango Herald 

Colorado -- A recent article published by Tribune Newspapers and the Los Angeles Times cites statistics by a Virginia researcher that says marijuana is now the nation's No. 1 cash crop, and the fourth most lucrative in Colorado behind only hay, corn and wheat. Information about Southwest Colorado is sketchy, but it's definitely a business here for some.
Jon Gettman, who owns a research and consulting firm in Lovettsville, Va., compiled the report by tracking the amount of marijuana confiscated by government agencies and making state-by-state estimates for what the police don't find. The entire report can be found at: estimates the value of Colorado's marijuana crops at $126 million, $15 million more than the state's vegetable output combined. That still puts Colorado at only No. 24 in the nation, far behind the staggering $15 billion pot industry of the top producing state, California. Here in the southwest corner of Colorado, the numbers are a bit more modest and harder to estimate. An investigator with the inter-agency Southwest Drug Task Force discussed the local pot crop, but only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the task force's work. The investigator said that in 2006, the task force has seized 43 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $484,350. Those seizures include vehicle stops and pot seized from outdoor and indoor growers. The agent said his office does not compile statistics relating to estimates for those who have thus far evaded the law. Dan Bender, spokesman for the La Plata County Sheriff's office, said that locally, law enforcement has observed a pattern among the pot-growing community. "The cultivation of marijuana with the climate that we have here has moved indoors, and that's not really a recent thing," Bender said. "We don't have that many outdoor growers, and when we come across them they're not usually very large. I imagine that would be different in warmer climate states." Recent history supports Bender's claim. In 2000, an Oxford woman received four years in prison for housing an indoor operation that authorities estimate earned her $700,000 that year. And in 2004, three Durango residents received varying jail terms for growing more than 100 plants inside a home in Forest Lakes during 2003. However, the largest bust in La Plata County history came from an outdoor operation where a man was convicted of growing more than 1,000 plants on a ranch south of Ignacio. Despite that and another high-profile case involving a growing operation on San Juan National Forest land east of Haviland Lake in 2005, Gettman's research upholds Bender's observation. Of the $126 million total, Gettman says just less than $79 million of Colorado's marijuana is grown indoors, which ranks 11th nationwide. And the drug task force investigator said that indoor growing arrests outnumber outdoor by a 4 to 1 ratio. He said catching them all is a tough task compared with tracking down other drug dealers."Marijuana traffickers are more sophisticated and have a little more intelligence than the guys that are slinging methamphetamine and cocaine out there," the investigator said. "A lot are better educated, believe it or not, and these guys that are distributing pot seem to put the money in real estate or vehicles, or other investments, instead of being flashy about it."The numbers cited in Gettman's report and by local agencies should not surprise anyone who followed November's election in Colorado. Although Amendment 44, which would have made it legal to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, was defeated 60 percent to 40 percent, more than 557,000 voters supported the measure statewide.In La Plata, San Juan and San Miguel counties in Southwest Colorado, the ballot measure was supported by more than 50 percent of voters. That may be a factor in why the local drug task force has made pot busts less of a priority than some other drugs, but the investigator said that doesn't mean they'll look the other way when it comes to enforcement."A street-level pot dealer, we're not going to be targeting that individual, but if it's a street level heroin dealer, yeah, we're going to go after that guy, because personally, heroin is a more dangerous drug," the investigator said. "But we would investigate any street level dealer if we thought it would lead to a larger dealer. If we have knowledge of a grower or a ton of marijuana, we're not going put that any lower on the list than anything else."Note: La Plata County growers keep operations inside.Source: Durango Herald, The (CO)Author: Ted Holteen, Herald Staff Writer Published: January 1, 2007Copyright: 2007 The Durango HeraldContact: letters durangoherald.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 02, 2007 at 15:11:42 PT
Thank you so much. Happy New Year to you.
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Comment #16 posted by JustGetnBy on January 02, 2007 at 14:24:28 PT
I want to wish all who come to C-News PEACE.
FOM, bless you for your heart. I won't make a list of those who participate regularly for fear of leaving someone out, but I want all of you ( FOM at the head of the line) to know that
without you and this website, life would be less bearable for me. THANK YOU, all of you.Please remember Runoff & Mrs Runoff and support them when you can.       Peace & Love
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 02, 2007 at 13:49:03 PT
We've got to have hope. If we don't I don't want to even think how bad it could get. No time for avoiding the tough battle that is ahead.
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Comment #14 posted by Dankhank on January 02, 2007 at 11:52:11 PT

good article, FoM
excellent distillation of past and coming times.Let's hope we as a country can rise above it ...
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 02, 2007 at 08:14:06 PT

Off Topic But Interesting I Think
Last night we watched a program on the History Channel about the French Revolution. I am not a history buff but what we saw was like what we are going thru now. Here's an article for those interested.Predatory Capitalism, Corruption and Militarism: What Lies Ahead in An Age of Neocon Rule?
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on January 02, 2007 at 07:41:28 PT

I hope I am right too. 
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 02, 2007 at 07:40:15 PT

Just a Comment
Those of us who are watching TV are probably watching President Ford's funeral. I always cry when I hear Hail To The Chief. I don't remember which President died after President Kennedy but I know I got upset because I felt it was only for JFK in my mind. I never heard Hail To The Chief before JFK. I cry for what we might have had not for any other reason. Just my thoughts right now. Betty Ford is quite a lady in my book.
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on January 01, 2007 at 22:50:51 PT

"We have already seen the worst..."
Oh, FoM. I hope you are right. I hope you are right.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 01, 2007 at 20:36:20 PT

Just a Thought
Happy New Year MBC. It is always the darkest just before dawn. We have already seen the worst of Cannabis prohibition. Now people can mention Marijuana and people don't flip out anymore. It's almost like they are beginning to understand. That gives me hope.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on January 01, 2007 at 20:02:33 PT

Good to see you
SirEbram and Mai_bong_city. Much progress this year! I'm hoping so. Counting on it, in fact.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on January 01, 2007 at 19:53:28 PT

Knowing that cannabis was beneficial
years and years ago, without all that we know now even...I always thought it must have been just the "merry heart" that can come with cannibis consumption and I'm sure that's part of it. But, as we are discovering more all the time, cannabis is more amazing than even we realized. Cannabis has some seriously beneficial chemistry going on. Seriously beneficial. More than I, at least, could ever have imagined. It is very hard to imagine a plant with all the benefits and uses of the cannabis plant. It didn't happen accidentally, either. I believe the wonderful plant was designed and planned for man as an extraordinary gift.EJ is very likely right. Very right about PTSD and inflammation and the cannabinoid receptors. (Also, I fear we'll see more damage to the cannabinoid receptors of a lot of people with that cannabinoid blocking diet pill that's waiting to hit the market.)It will be a much better, much healthier world when the cannabis hater's obsession is finally overcome. As Hemp World says, God is awesome, and may He speed the day when the ignorance and cruelty of cannabis prohibition is finally over. 
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Comment #6 posted by mai_bong_city on January 01, 2007 at 19:50:54 PT

i wish all of us a year of positive progress towards peace. 
may this be a kind one to's to good friends~*mbc
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 01, 2007 at 19:26:29 PT

I am not into a lot of things that deep but I wanted to wish you a Happy New Year.
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Comment #4 posted by SirEbram on January 01, 2007 at 18:15:31 PT:

'Indeed'... God is awesome and 'indeed'... most monkies and lions are hurting themselves, due to their consistant habits of being bullies and hypocrites!However, I believe that the real reason 'pot' is producing so much profit is due to the (hypothetical) fact that the first market (the corporate elite) is making sure that their friends 'the second market' (the black market) and their 'itchBay' 'the justice departments' keep the infamous (yet ever popular) 'cannabis sativa' from becoming a mainstream consumer product.As a fiber Cannabis Sativa was, in the early parts of north american history, considered remarkably labourous to produce, yet presently, in respects to modern agricultural science, this is no longer the case. The issue now is that it conflicts with other competitive big businesses, like 'Dupont' and other plastic making companies.The biggest reason that the BBC's (Big Brother Corporations) are making sure that 'pot' remains illegal is to milk their 'dummy organizations' (such as: the American Mafia, The CIA, The FBI, the DEA, drug cartels and the Black Market) of all their spoils, to insure that (once again) their position of power is not shaken from its place.  Here is the cold hearted, stink to hi-heaven, one eye'd pyramid scheme in a nut shell (it works in four layers of scum):1 ~ THE FIRST LAYER ~ The Power Elite (mostly consisting of the anti-christ, the demon possessed, warlords and religous leaders) 
CODE NAME - The Nephilim; they are the itchBay's of the evil ones; THE FALLEN.2 ~ THE SECOND LAYER ~ The Corporate Elite (mostly consisting of bankers, celebrities, lawyers, judges, political leaders and filthy rich people) 
CODE NAME - Big Brother; they are the itchBay's of the Nephilim.3 ~ THE THIRD LAYER ~ The Dummy Government (mostly consisting of the same clicks and classes as the SECOND LAYER, but made to be 100% stupider, being constantly placed outside of the loop, consistantly and ceaselessly
given false information and intelligence, to ever thrive and dwell in perpetual darkness, never knowing the truth, or the true condition of society: COERCED, SUBVERTED... ENSLAVED) They are the itchBay's of the other top layers.4 ~ THE BOTTOM LAYER ~ The Proletariats - (mostly consisting of people like us: Homeless people, Gypsies, peasants, 'gaje', the imoverished; CONSUMer and CONSUMee - et cetera.)
CODE NAME - Soilent Green. They are everybodies itchBay!============================================================================================
RESOURCES (not that anybody on this forum really needs the results of this link or even asked for them, but regardless, here they are):
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 01, 2007 at 15:55:35 PT

I understand what you are saying. Life is full of stress and when we don't have a lot of stress we seem to feel much better. I believe stress can hurt our health. Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." 

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Comment #2 posted by E_Johnson on January 01, 2007 at 15:13:57 PT

Here's what I think is on our horizon
Scientists are looking for the cause of post-traumatic stress and they are noticing more and more that post-traumatic stress is linked to other problems that are physical, not psychological, in nature.Now they see an increase in heart disease among veterans with PTSD: suggest that all of the physical problems that go along with PTSD are outcomes of the root cause of PTSD -- damage to the cannabinoid receptor system.The cannabinoid system controls traumatic memories and inflammation. It makes perfect sense that people who lose control over traumatic memories would also end up showing signs of uncontrolled inflammation in different organs in their bodies, if PTSD were caused by damage to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain.And now I'd like to say something to the narcs and other watchers out there:PTSD is a big problem in law enforcement.You idiots are hurting yourselves just as much as, or even more than, you're hurting us, by your crusade against medical marijuana.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on January 01, 2007 at 12:01:55 PT

It Keeps On Growing! ...
It's a weed! It's God's Energizer Bunny! Nobody can put this out, it keeps on growing! Oh my God, isn't it time we listen?Nobody can stop this, and then to imagine that in 10 years production will be several fold more than it is today 01/01/2007, all over the world.Thank you God you are awesome!Amen.
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