Marijuana Farming Rebounds in Economic Hard Times

function share_this(num) {
 tit=encodeURIComponent('Marijuana Farming Rebounds in Economic Hard Times');
 site = new Array(5);
 return false;

  Marijuana Farming Rebounds in Economic Hard Times

Posted by CN Staff on September 10, 2009 at 07:51:10 PT
By The Associated Press  
Source: Associated Press 

Barbourville, Ky. -- Machete-wielding police officers have hacked their way through billions of dollars worth of marijuana in the country's top pot-growing states to stave off a bumper crop sprouting in the tough economy.The number of plants seized has jumped this year in California, the nation's top marijuana-growing state, while seizures continue to rise in Washington after nearly doubling the previous year. Growers in a three-state region of central Appalachia also appear to have reversed a decline in pot cultivation over the last two years.
Officers in those areas, the nation's biggest hotbeds for marijuana production, have chopped down plants with a combined street value of around $12 billion in the first eight months of this year. While national numbers aren't yet available this year, officers around the country increased their haul from 7 million plants in 2007 to 8 million in 2008."A lot of that, we theorize, is the economy," said Ed Shemelya, head of marijuana eradication for the Office of Drug Control Policy's Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. "Places in east Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and West Virginia are probably feeling the recession a lot more severely than the rest of the country and have probably been in that condition a lot longer than the rest of the country."Growers in Appalachia are often hard-luck entrepreneurs supplementing their income by growing marijuana, authorities say. Troopers thrashing through the thick mountain brush there typically find plots that could easily be tended by a single grower, while officers in the two western states have focused on larger fields run by Mexican cartels with immigrant labor.The demand for domestically grown marijuana is at a record high, in part because stricter border control has made it more difficult to import pot from Mexico, said Dave Keller, deputy director of the Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. Keller said growers large and small across the country are trying to fill the void.The ailing economy isn't stopping users from spending money on pot. In fact, Shemelya said the demand appears to be rising with the unemployment rate."I've never seen any decline in demand for marijuana in bad economic times," he said. "If anything, it's the opposite. People always seem to find money somewhere to buy drugs."The number of plants destroyed in California has increased over the last three years, said the assistant chief of the California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, Kent Shaw. The total increased from 4.9 million plants in 2007 to 5.3 million in 2008. Already this year, Shaw said, California authorities have exceeded last year's total.To the north, authorities in Washington have seen the numbers jump from 295,000 plants seized in 2007 to 580,000 in 2008. Lt. Rich Wiley, commander of the Washington State Patrol's narcotics unit, said his officers have confiscated 540,000 so far this year and that he expects to meet or exceed last year's numbers.In the heart of Appalachia, ground forces have cut more than 600,000 marijuana plants this summer in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia, and they should end the year with a significantly higher total, Shemelya said. The plants' street value of about $2,000 each creates an often irresistible draw in communities where long-standing poverty has been fed over the years by the shuttering of factories and coal mines.In Appalachia and the two western states, authorities said the amount of resources put into eradication efforts has been constant over the past several years.Judge Kelsey Friend, whose jurisdiction includes some of the most isolated mountain communities in Kentucky, said he believes a huge chunk of the Appalachian marijuana is grown by people so hard-pressed that they're willing to risk freedom to improve their standard of living. The ill-gotten gains, Friend said, show up in the form of new pickup trucks, boats and even homes.However, only an estimated 20 to 40 percent of the growers in the region manage to harvest and collect their payoff without being detected by modern day G-men assisted by spotters in helicopters.Last month, Trooper Mac McDonald descended a mountainside near Barbourville with a load of freshly cut marijuana bundled on his shoulder, sweat dripping from his brow. McDonald and his co-workers had trudged up mountains as steep as they were remote to search dense Chinese silvergrass and expansive patches of thorny blackberry briars to find the typically small, scattered plots.A crackdown begun six years ago had convinced many growers to give up, rather than contend with the helicopters constantly crisscrossing the region in the summer months, authorities said. But the number of growers appears to have picked up since the economy turned sour.The amount of marijuana confiscated in Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia fell from more than 1.2 million plants in 2003 to just more than 700,000 in 2007. But in 2008, with the economy faltering, narcotics officers witnessed another marijuana boom in the mountains, and they again confiscated more than 1 million plants in the three states."The economy or lack of economy has always driven the marijuana trade," Shemelya said. "It still is the cash cow as far as illicit drugs. It offers the greatest return on investment."Source: Associated Press (Wire)Published: September 10, 2009Copyright: 2009 The Associated PressCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives

Home    Comment    Email    Register    Recent Comments    Help    

Comment #34 posted by duzt on September 11, 2009 at 12:45:10 PT
Does she still have her shop? I used to sell her glass and she would always let me pick out whatever hash I wanted (she had a huge case with hundreds of varieties). She is still one of my favorite people to hang out with there, I love her shop (and hotel, of course), I really need to get back for a visit, Brazil first, then it's time for the Dam again. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #32 posted by Hope on September 11, 2009 at 04:33:51 PT

Have a great day, Bud and Mrs. Green!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #31 posted by BGreen on September 11, 2009 at 00:50:35 PT

Hey, where is everyone? :)
We're off to enjoy the city.See you later!The Reverend Bud Green
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #30 posted by Brandon Perera on September 10, 2009 at 21:44:24 PT

Anartica is getting closer of melting?
All I know is that Nancy Grace thinks brainwashing is BS. I wonder if this country is corrupt and no 1 wants to work together and create drug(bud) groups or sumthing around the country. I wonder when the world will just be at peace and understand that you and the people around you are to protect and not see hurt or do hurt.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #29 posted by FoM on September 10, 2009 at 18:49:30 PT

Go get a little rest and enjoy!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #28 posted by BGreen on September 10, 2009 at 18:29:14 PT

Sorry, I got busy for a while

I have to get up in 5 hours so I'm going to have to go to bed.Hemp World, will do regarding Lali.Good night, everybody!The Reverend Bud Green
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #27 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2009 at 17:25:04 PT

Say hi to Lali for me, I've met her a very long time ago, about 9 or 8 years.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #26 posted by BGreen on September 10, 2009 at 17:18:40 PT

Hope, FoM and Hempworld
Hope, It's after 2 a.m. here but I have a few words left.FoM, making the best of it we are.Hempworld, the Hemp Hotel with Mila, of course. :) We especially enjoyed the time we got to spend with Mila's daughter, Lali, when she used to work the bar. She was so smart and fun to talk to. The last I heard she had gone back to the University (which is where she really belongs.)The Reverend Bud Green
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #25 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2009 at 16:34:31 PT

"Law enforcement officers raided an unknown number
of medical-marijuana dispensaries around the San Diego region yesterday, authorities said." I don't understand, this can only mean it wasn't planned!If you plan such an operation you would know how many you would raid?! Or have I just gotten stupid?
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #24 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2009 at 16:29:50 PT

No prob. Yes this San Diego thing is a big setback.Which is your favorit shop?Greenhouse, Bulldog, Grey Area, Yellow Mellow, Dampkring, Hemp Hotel with Mila, Grasshopper, etc. ?Enjoy Amsterdam! I think it's time to move back to my home country ...
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #23 posted by BGreen on September 10, 2009 at 16:23:39 PT

First off, I posted over mykeyb420 & Hempworld
I'm sickened and saddened to hear what is taking place back home at the same time I'm witnessing the possible demise of one of the most successful social models ever devised.The Reverend Bud Green
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #22 posted by FoM on September 10, 2009 at 16:07:10 PT

Enjoy the moment. Things are changing. At least we are slowly moving forward.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #21 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 16:06:42 PT

Amsterdam! Lucky you!"I'm going to take a quick, ahem, break :) and I'll vent some more."Looking forward to it!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #20 posted by BGreen on September 10, 2009 at 15:55:37 PT

My cat looks just like Fat Freddy's cat ...
from behind. LOL Whenever she walks away I feel the urge to check my shoes and headphones for an unauthorized deposit. LOLHello everyone from the (once) great city of Amsterdam. This could very well be our last visit for a long, long time if the ruling party gets their way. When I start hearing from coffeeshop employees about how "progressive" the USA is becoming and how far and fast the Netherlands is racing backwards, I think it's time to spend my hard-earned money someplace that's warmer and has a great beach. I get enough repression and caveman mentalities at home, thank you very much.I'm going to take a quick, ahem, break :) and I'll vent some more.The Reverend Bud Green
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #19 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2009 at 15:53:09 PT

District Attorney's Office Leads Multiagency Effort Law enforcement officers raided an unknown number of medical-marijuana dispensaries around the San Diego region yesterday, authorities said. The District Attorney's Office, which is leading the multiagency operation, declined to give further details, saying more information would be released today. Word of the raids began spreading about noon with reports of armed officers from the San Diego Police Department, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and other agencies bursting into dispensaries or collectives. Raids were reported at a handful of dispensaries, including Pacific Beach Collective on Turquoise Street, Green Kross Collective on Mission Boulevard and Hillcrest Compassion Care on University Avenue. Late yesterday, a red sign in front of Pacific Beach Collective read: "This location has been involved in the trafficking of illegal narcotics. Criminal prosecution is pending." It was unclear how many people were arrested or what charges they faced. Calls to numerous dispensaries were unanswered. Thomas Carpentier, 50, of La Jolla, who struggles with arthritis, tried to buy medicinal marijuana from two dispensaries yesterday but found them closed. "These guys were trying to run a straight shop all the time," Carpentier said while standing in front of Pacific Beach Collective. "They did everything right." Please Obama, help us!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #18 posted by mykeyb420 on September 10, 2009 at 15:45:56 PT

DEA raids in San Diego
DA says raid targeted illegal marijuana sales
By Angelica Martinez
12:44 p.m. September 10, 2009The following is a list of marijuana dispensaries closed in Wednesday's countywide raid:Answerdam Rx, 6645 Convoy Ct., San DiegoBeneficial Care Collective, 740 Broadway, San DiegoGreen Kross Collective, 3415 Mission Blvd., San DiegoGreen Tree Solutions, 8055 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., San DiegoThe Healing Dragon, 2506 South Santa Fe Ave. # B-8, VistaHillcrest Compassion Care, 1295 University Ave., San DiegoMedicinal Solutions Patient Collective, 861 Hornblend St., San DiegoMovement in Action, 1050 South Santa Fe Ave., VistaNature's Rx, 3520 Ashford St., Ste. E, San DiegoPacific Beach Collective, 929 Turquoise St., San DiegoSan Diego Discount Caregivers, 3152 University Ave., San DiegoSan Diego Dispensary Services, 1232 Los Vallecitos, San MarcosTop Quality Collective, 7933 Balboa Ave., San DiegoTotal Herbal Care, 4667 1/2 Cass St., San DiegoSource: San Diego District Attorney's OfficeMore than two dozen people operating marijuana dispensaries were arrested in countywide raids that also shut down 14 storefronts, authorities announced Thursday morning.District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said the search warrants served at dispensaries and some homes Wednesday “has nothing to do with legitimate medical marijuana patients or their caregivers.”She said the 14 storefronts targeted were “so-called medical marijuana businesses that appear to be run by drug dealers.”Officials declined to give details about the backgrounds of those arrested, but San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne said some of those in custody have prior drug arrests.Authorities said they are still tallying the amount of marijuana and money seized in the operation. At least $70,000 of cash was seized and six guns were taken into custody, officials said.Lansdowne said Wednesday's search and seizures culminated a five-month investigation that started with residents' complaints of the dispensaries.Neighbors cited noise, vandalism and other crimes associated with storefronts, Dumanis said.“There are now 60 storefronts operating and doing this under the guise of helping people who are sick,” she said.In an area of Pacific Beach, for instance, Dumanis said five such dispensaries are within blocks of each other. “It is easier to find marijuana there than to find a Starbucks for a latte,” she said.Lansdowne said the businesses targeted were chosen based on the number of residents' complaints and the amount of activity happening at the businesses.According to the state's medical marijuana laws and the Attorney General's guidelines, it is illegal to profit from the sale or distribution of marijuana.The user has to have a recommendation for medical marijuana by a physician. That person, and or his or her caregiver, need to be verified members of a collective or cooperative in order to be compliant with medical marijuana laws.For example, authorities said dispensaries that merely require patients to complete a form that designates the business owner as the patient's primary caregiver, then offer marijuana in exchange for “donations” are likely illegal and not compliant with medical marijuana laws.Lansdowne said some of the businesses in the city advertise they accept donations but they won't give out the product without receiving a “donation.”Dumanis said patients or their designated caregivers who are lawfully recommended by a physician can cultivate plants on their property for their use.Deputy District Attorney Steve Walter said 23 people were arrested in San Diego and eight people were arrested in North County. Two men arrested face federal charges.Walter said he was not sure if the men prosecuted in federal court are in addition to the 31 arrested.The investigation is still ongoing, he said.Karen Hewitt, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California, said one of the men faces three counts of federal charges including two counts for distributing a controlled substance and one count of manufacturing marijuana plants. He was arrested at the Green Kross Collective on Mission Boulevard near Lido Court in San Diego.The second man facing federal prosecution was arrested at the Movement in Action store on South Santa Fe Avenue near Alta Calle in Vista.He faces three counts of distributing a controlled substance, Hewitt said. If convicted of all counts, Hewitt said he faces up to five years in prison.Hewitt declined to say why the two men face federal charges but noted that it did not have to do with the amount of marijuana or cash seized.“It has more to do with the overall investigation and other federal investigations that I can't get into,” she said.Angelica Martinez: (619) 293-1317;
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #17 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 15:17:48 PT

Comment 14
Freewheeling Franklin.Lol!Check out the yellow papers. I haven't thought about those in years. I can't remember the brand right now. But they made joints look like fat little squashes. They were great.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #16 posted by konagold on September 10, 2009 at 14:46:30 PT

my favorite is Fat Freddy's cat takin a dump in Fat Freddy's headphones
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #15 posted by FoM on September 10, 2009 at 14:37:36 PT

I love it! It's so darn true.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #14 posted by dongenero on September 10, 2009 at 14:26:01 PT

A few Fabulous Furry Freak Bros links is slow.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #13 posted by FoM on September 10, 2009 at 14:11:46 PT

Thank you! When I was setting up the article I thought of the same thing! LOL!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #12 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 14:07:37 PT

The profiling in Colorado.
If I remember correctly, when this happened, the exact edict from the authorities was, among other things, that people were to watch out for "tortilla wrappers" and "bean cans", and to be sure and report it to the authorities if one ran on to such in the woodlands 'watched over' by said authorities.:0) (Shaking my head.)I don't know. An interesting movie could be developed on this whole mess, probably. I'm not sure if it would be a comedy or a tragedy. A bit of both, I guess. More tragedy than comedy, really. Too, too many victims.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #11 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 13:57:06 PT

Freak Brothers
Fat Freddy is my favorite.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #10 posted by dongenero on September 10, 2009 at 13:16:23 PT

konagold - FF Freak Brothers
Heh, I loved those comics in my rebellious youth.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #9 posted by konagold on September 10, 2009 at 12:51:17 PT

Freak Brother Freewheelin' Franklin sez
Freak Brother Freewheelin' Franklin sez"pot will get ya through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no pot"
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #8 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 11:26:24 PT

doesn't have stacks of various sorts of tortillas in the bread departments of their stores?
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 11:24:11 PT

Colorado and fear of tortillas
Do they not have any Mexican or Tex-Mex Restaurants in Colorado?No Dell Taco? No Taco Bell? No Taco Bueno?
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by Hope on September 10, 2009 at 11:21:28 PT

Lol! The Army! Overgrow America!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by Sam Adams on September 10, 2009 at 10:54:16 PT

re: profiling - we see the real reason for prohibition - gives them a way of legally persecuting minorities. Without Prohibition they'd have to leave the campers alone. 
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by The GCW on September 10, 2009 at 10:35:43 PT

2 from CO
US CO: Camping while Latino 
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO)Webpage: 3 Sept 2009On Wednesday, Aug. 26, the U.S. Forest Service issued a warning urging the public to beware of campers who speak Spanish, play Spanish music, eat tortillas and drink Tecate beer because they may be armed and dangerous marijuana growers.Um… Racial profiling, anyone? cont-0-US CO: Hemp inadvertently planted in cleanup of arsenal
 Webpage: 9 Sept 2009Source: Summit Daily News (CO)COMMERCE CITY — The Army has found feral hemp, also known as ditch weed, at Rocky Mountain Arsenal north of Denver.The Army has been reseeding parts of the arsenal as part of its cleanup work there. KCNC-TV in Denver reports that when the seed started to grow, marijuana popped up.cont 
(Hemp has been shown to reclaim toxic land -but We'll have none of that...)
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by FoM on September 10, 2009 at 09:14:43 PT

Thank you for the heads up on Dr. Weil. I will check it out.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by ekim on September 10, 2009 at 09:09:42 PT

how many were legal hemp plants
we need jobs producing food, fiber, fuel, plastics.
see Hemp for Victory and imagine what can be done today.Larry King tonight will have Dr. Andrew Weil as his guest.

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on September 10, 2009 at 08:15:20 PT

Ed Shemelya: "the marijuana trade ... 
It offers the greatest return on investment." Yes, because you made it so!These piece officers are probably enjoying doing a little harvest work and maybe they can supplement their income from this too!Keep it illegal and the plants keep comin! Good job guys, you are so smart! Great way to make a career in law enforcement, keep it up!
[ Post Comment ]

  Post Comment