By Steve Elliott
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.