eradication

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U.S.: Some Members Of Congress Ready To Call It Quits On Marijuana Eradication

MarijuanaEradicationProgramDEA

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Drug Enforcement Administration is continuing its losing streak. Last week, 12 House members led by Democrat Ted Lieu of California wrote to House leadership asking for a provision in an upcoming spending bill that would strip half the funds from the DEA's Cannabis Eradication Program and instead spend that money on programs that "play a far more useful role in promoting the safety and economic prosperity of the American people": domestic violence prevention and overall spending reduction.

The DEA pisses away about $18 million a year in coordination with state and local authorities to pull up marijuana plants being grown both indoors and outdoors. The ineffectual program has been plagued with scandal, controversy, and ridicule. In the mid-2000s, it was revealed that most of the "marijuana" plants pulled up in the program were actually ditchweed, feral hemp plants that contain almost no THC, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

U.S.: New Bill Would Cut Off Federal Forfeiture Funds For DEA Marijuana Raids

CivilAssetForfeitureIWantYourPropertyUncleSam[TheDailySheeple]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new bill with bipartisan support would eliminate one controversial source of funding for a federal marijuana seizure program.

The "Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act," introduced by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) would prevent the Drug Enforcement Administration from using federal forfeiture funds to pay for its Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, reports Nick Sibilla at Forbes. The bill would additionally ban transferring property to federal, state or local agencies if that property "is used for any purpose pertaining to" the DEA's marijuana eradication program.

The DEA gets millions of dollars annually under this program; the take was $18 million in 2013. It then funnels the cash to more than 120 state and local agencies to "eliminate marijuana grow sites" nationwide.

Last year, the program was responsible for more than 6,300 arrests, eradicating more than 4.3 million marijuana plants, and seizing $27.3 million in assets. More than half of all those plants were destroyed in California, which also accounted for more than a third of the seized assets and nearly 40 percent of the arrests.

U.S.: Congressmen Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Eliminate DEA Marijuana Eradication Program

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Congressmen Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Justin Amash (R-MI) on Wednesday introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would eliminate the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program.

The enormously wasteful and ineffective DEA program distributes funds to state and local law enforcement agencies for the purpose of locating and destroying marijuana cultivation sites. The proposed bill would prohibit federal funds from being distributed to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies for any purpose pertaining to the program or any substantially similar program.

“As multiple states legalize marijuana across our nation, it is a huge waste of federal resources for the DEA to eradicate marijuana," said Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California). "The federal government should focus its precious resources on other issues and let the states innovate in the cannabis field. I am proud to introduce this bipartisan bill along with Congressman Amash.”

“Civil asset forfeiture allows innocent people to have their property taken without sufficient due process, and this program encourages civil asset forfeiture by allowing the DEA to use the proceeds of seized property to fund marijuana prohibition enforcement," said Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan). "This is especially troubling given that the federal government should not be expending resources on marijuana prohibition—enforcement is a state-level issue, and an increasing number of states are deciding to back off from prohibition.

U.S.: Democratic Congressman Wants To Defund DEA's Marijuana Eradication Program

PotCops[DiscoveryChannel]

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) is backing legislation to end funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration's wasteful marijuana eradication program.

“This is a ridiculous waste of precious federal resources, especially when multiple states and jurisdictions have already legalized marijuana,” Lieu said in a statement on Wednesday, reports Fox News. “It is time for the federal government to stop making marijuana use or possession a federal crime.”

Lieu's proposed amendment to a 2016 fiscal spending bill would cut in half the DEA's $18 million budget for eradicating cannabis grows, according to the report.

The $9 million in savings would fund domestic and sexual abuse support programs for children, reports Mark Hensch at The Hill.

Rep. Lieu on Wednesday said he intends to completely end the DEA's marijuana eradication program by fiscal 2017.

"Next year, I will bring another amendment to eliminate the program completely," he said.

Lieu called the program wasteful, given growing support for cannabis legalization nationwide.

Under the eradication program, DEA provides your tax dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies to confiscate and destroy growing marijuana plants. The program goes after both outdoor and indoor operations.

Ohio: Marijuana Eradication Program Costs Taxpayers $500,000 A Year

OhioMarijuanaEradication

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Ohio's Marijuana Eradication Program pulled 20,747 cannabis plants from fields in 2013, down from a record high of 84,660 plants in 2010. Law enforcement officials claimed the drop is due to a combination of increased enforcement and indoor growing.

Predictably, Scott Duff, supervisor at the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations, claimed the $500,000 boondoggle is "having an impact," reports Jim Otte at WHIO.

"Now it is in small patches spread out," Duff said.

Most of the $500K per year goes to pay for the helicopter and pilot. The money comes from a federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) grant.

There were only 27 arrests statewide for marijuana cultivation in Ohio last year, according to DEA figures. Law enforcement authorities claim it is almost impossible to identify who planted the marijuana.

Meigs County, Ohio had the most plants removed of any county statewide, with 1,642.

Cannabis advocates call the eradication program a waste of money.

Law enforcement would be better off focusing on hard drugs and prescription drug abuse, according to Tonya Davis of the NORML Women's Alliance.

(Photo: WHIO)

U.S.: Marijuana Eradication By Law Enforcement Down By 60 Percent

(Photo: Randall Benton/The Sacramento Bee)By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Law enforcement's eradication of marijuana plants has plunged by more than 60 percent in the last few years, from a record high of more than 20 million plants in 2009 and 2010 to fewer than 4 million plants in 2012, according to newly released federal statistics.

The number of cannabis plants eradicated dropped to 6,735,511 in 2011 and 3,933,950 in 2012, far less than goal of 9 million plants that the Drug Enforcement Administration had hoped to destroy, report Ryan J. Reilly and Matt Sledge at The Huffington Post.

Red-faced DEA officials blamed the steep decline in part on California, claiming in the agency's 2014 budget proposal that the Golden State's financial troubles resulted in "the decreased availability of local law enforcement personnel to assist in eradication efforts."

(Illustration: The Huffington Post)The DEA also claimed that "drug trafficking organizations" are shifting their cultivation efforts from public lands to private grow areas, and that those who do still grow in parks and on other public land tend to locate in "vast mountainous regions, which are more difficult for law enforcement to detect and reach."

Florida: DEA Says Marijuana Growth 'Rampant' Throughout Sunshine State

Photo: Kottonmouth KingsBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana growth is "rampant" throughout Florida, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, but the DEA says it is cracking down on cannabis cultivation in the Sunshine State.

The DEA allocated $500,000 to Florida's Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program last year, an increase of $50,000 over 2011, reports Ben Bornstein at WUFT.

That tax money paid for something called "marijuana-growth detection training" for law enforcement agents throughout the state, according to Judith Ivester, program coordinator for domestic marijuana eradication.

Ivester said that 87 percent of the money was used to "reimburse investigative costs" for local law enforcement, which she said provided an incentive to identify, investigate and eradicate the plant.

According to the report, 772 marijuana cultivation sites were discovered in 2012, resulting in 723 arrests and 37,388 plants being destroyed.

North Central Florida is a hotbed for cannabis cultivation, Ivester said. She claimed indoor growth is more prevalent in South Florida "because the area is more urban." Growers in heavily populated counties like Dade and Broward move their grow-ops inside to avoid detection, according to Ivester.

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