Marijuana Eradication Plummets Over 60 Percent 
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Marijuana Eradication Plummets Over 60 Percent 
Posted by CN Staff on April 10, 2013 at 15:08:05 PT
By Ryan J. Reilly and Matt Sledge
Source: Huffington Post
Washington, D.C. -- The number of marijuana plants eradicated by law enforcement has plummeted in the last few years from a record high of over 10 million plants in 2009 and 2010 to under 4 million plants in 2012, according to newly released statistics.In 2009 and 2010, the number of marijuana plants eradicated by law enforcement topped 10 million. According to new Drug Enforcement Administration statistics, that number dropped to 6,735,511 in 2011 and 3,933,950 in 2012, just a fraction of the 9 million marijuana plants the DEA had hoped to eradicate.
DEA officials attribute the decline in part to the state of California, stating in their 2014 budget proposal that California's financial constraints resulted "in the decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts." The DEA also stated that drug trafficking organizations are moving their operations from public lands to private agricultural grow areas and that those who did grow on public lands put their sites on "vast mountainous regions, which are more difficult for law enforcement to detect and reach."Some of the agricultural marijuana grow sites have "operated under the guise of its state's medicinal marijuana laws," the DEA stated. Plants cultivated on agricultural grows are "super-sized and more robust" and can produce larger quantities of marijuana, according to the DEA.The DEA budget request also opined that the legalization of marijuana "would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of drug use," and said federal prosecutors "continue a letter writing campaign to encourage property owners to voluntarily close dispensaries/grows." A DEA spokeswoman referred questions to the Justice Department.The Justice Department is currently debating how to handle the legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington. Attorney General Eric Holder has met with officials from both states, but has not yet indicated whether the federal government will challenge the state laws in court.Advocates hope that legalization in the states, along with rapidly shifting attitudes toward marijuana use among the public at large, could filter up to the federal level.At least one group opposed to the war on drugs cheered the new numbers."When the DEA cites the 'decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts' as a reason it's having a hard time enforcing marijuana prohibition, it validates the state-by-state strategy" put into place by drug policy reform advocates, Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority, said in an email."Just as states repealing their own bans on alcohol made it increasingly difficult for the federal government to enforce Prohibition in the 1930s to the point that national ban was soon repealed, each new law that removes local police from the marijuana enforcement equation hastens the day that Congress is going to have to catch up with the majority of voters that polls show support legalization."This post has been updated with comment from Marijuana Majority.Source: Huffington Post (NY)Author: Ryan J. Reilly and Matt SledgePublished: April 10, 2013Copyright: 2013, LLC Contact: scoop huffingtonpost.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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