$1 billion in pot destroyed in raids on federal lands
More than a half-million marijuana plants have been destroyed in the two-month federal operation.
August 22nd, 2012
07:51 AM ET

$1 billion in pot destroyed in raids on federal lands

More than $1 billion worth of marijuana has been uprooted from federal lands during a two-month operation targeting illegal pot farms, federal authorities announced Tuesday.

Operation Mountain Sweep has resulted in the destruction of  578,000 marijuana plants, Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, said in a press release.

The operation, involving agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as local agencies,  targeted growing sites on public lands in seven Western states - Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington.

Wagner said 14 individuals in California have been indicted on charges resulting from Operation Mountain Sweep. Authorities have shut down 96 pot farms on public lands in California since the operation began July 1, the federal authorities said. Among those pot farms were sites in national forests and parks, including Death Valley National Park.

Besides producing an illegal crop, the pot farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash.

“Those who cultivate marijuana on public lands pose a safety threat to the public and an environmental threat to the land. Many of the grow sites are controlled by drug trafficking organizations, which arm their cultivators with dangerous firearms. The poisons they spread kill wildlife and native plants and pollute watersheds," Wagner said in the press release.

The operation will continue through the end of August, authorities said.

Opinion: Marijuana law just creates criminals

Four tons of marijuana pulled from ocean

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Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Marijuana
soundoff (1,000 Responses)
  1. Matt

    Well now, 1 Billion you say??? GEE FEDS WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE TAXED THAT INSTEAD OF DESTROYING IT. Novel concept not?

    August 22, 2012 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Cynicism as an art

      It's worth a Billion because it is illegal. If it was legal, it would "only" be worth several hundred thousand dollars, which would never be taxed because some corporation would be growing it overseas and paying the lower corporate income tax rate to that country.

      Anybody who tells you that the Government will make Millions in tax dollars if it was legal, has never met a corporate tax attorney. The only money we make off alcohol, tobacco, gambling and big oil is what we get from taxing their use at the point of sale, NOT from the corporations that produce them.

      Of course, just like cigarettes and alcohol, once you legalize marijuana, you'll start creating criminals who are trying to avoid the taxes on it.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • meeker

      and thats different from any other thing theres always gonna be idiots out there that are gonna try and avoid taxes anyways theres nothing you can do about it and as you say with these corprate idiots well we can fix that if people would stand up against those corrupt idiots its not like were arnt getting screwed over everyday by corprate people when are we gonna stand up to them and tell them NO MORE we the people decide are fate not rich idiots

      August 22, 2012 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • WayOff

      Hey Cynicism...your numbers are way off. And your argument is poorly thought out. With it being illegal...you have created an exponentially higher number of criminals dealing with the black market. Your lame tax comparison pretty much describes any corporation and the taxes that the government receives from them. You should try being a little more cynical when proofreading.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • max3333444555

      578 plants are not worth anywhere near a billion dollars. consider how ridiculous that number is.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ZOOEY ZALAGER

      Holy Assumptions, Cyn.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • mcp123

      "Of course, just like cigarettes and alcohol, once you legalize marijuana, you'll start creating criminals who are trying to avoid the taxes on it."

      which can be fixed by making the tax the same everywhere thereby making smuggling impractical... and having proper laws regarding distribution would save many more billions on not throwing people in jail for making a buck.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • oyvey

      ITs interesting logic. Your assuming that there are no criminals holding public office or have jobs in our great bureaucracy. or even corporate. Bankers I gues are not criminals. IF it was a mom and pop operation that create a middle class. then we can talk. to keep money out of criminals, you would need to close you bank account, not pay taxes and only trade in gold or silver coin. now you talking roach spray for criminals.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • larryb

      the tax would be on the product when sold like cigarettes and booze. there would be huge tax revenues

      August 22, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      You are only partially correct. True the real price would be much cheaper, but the government can and should tax it so the price is the same as now (obviously the price people are willing to pay.) The difference between the lower price you mention and the price the consumer will pay will be kept by the governemnt and would be quite substantial.

      Do you think cigarettes realy cost $6 per pack to make?

      August 22, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      578,000 max reading comp issues have we?

      August 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigTexun

      Here is what would happen if we taxed it... It would need to be legal first so taxes would be reported and paid. Since it was legal it would be worth less, so the amount of potential tax would be low. However we could stop spending as much on prisons and the drug war, so we would need to spend fewer tax dollars in the first place, which would result in a net gain in the federal budget.

      August 24, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. Politician

    Campaign Promise – I will legalize marijuana and sports gambling in this country and tax both significantly. Then, I will cut income taxes across the board for the country. How about that for compromise Congress? I will win my election in a landslide and the people will put my name on streets and create statues of myself. Does not anyone want a pension for life and government healthcare? Open Your Eyes!!!! Look at the Country's Debt Right Now!!!

    August 22, 2012 at 8:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Zigman Bird

      I don't even need to know this Politicians name, what state this Politician is from– gay or strait, Rep or Dem, black or white, Christian or Atheist... I"D VOTE FOR HIM!!! OR HER!!

      August 22, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Danno

      Two words – Gary Johnson

      August 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. dave

    memo to you all: marijuana farming does not produce "large amounts of trash". It also does not "introduce chemicals and pesticides". Also,another untrue statement: "The poisons they spread kill wildlife and native plants and pollute watersheds". Another CNN article filled with fear inducing, untrue statements....

    August 22, 2012 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • JB

      I think that they meant the large number of Mexicans that grow the pot when they referenced "trash".

      August 22, 2012 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • pete

      did you ever read what cattle and pigs do to the land and the environment!

      August 22, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • tex

      Not necessarily untrue.It of course is not necessary.One can and lots do grow fine quality marijuana organically.Conservationist of nature preserving the land and protecting their own health at the same time.However there are mexican cartel workers controlling very large gardens in the emerald triangle of the great state of california.Legalize it and you not only stop the injustice you take away another avenue for the psychopaths in mexico..For those who say you have never met a tax attorney blah blah we as citizens the working class of us at least.We know all too well that the corp.isn't go to pay because THEY NEVER HAVE!!

      August 23, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. angryersmell

    Is it just me, or do the excuses used to justify pot-focused operations like this sound dumber and dumber every year? "Arm cultivators with dangerous firearms,". Really? You mean like the ones anyone can walk into any store and buy, whether or not they grow pot? And $1 billion dollars? So on top of that billion which could have been sold the same way alcohol and tobacco is, and taxed, how much was wasted paying for all the helicopters and overtime? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • leroy

      vote gary johnson

      August 23, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BostonMonkey

    "... pot farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash."

    I guess you missed that part???

    August 22, 2012 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • meeker

      how much trash do everyday people generate how many trees are being cut down every year by our own people how many pesticides get sprayed on our food how much water is offset by any other individual? if youd legalize it youd make billions hence why its the number one cash crop in america do i agree with the drug cartles hell no but to solve that problem you leagalize it how many people are in jail over pot how much money is spent a year on trying to destroy pot and putting people in jail think about it

      August 22, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • FedUp2

      Does pot remove your powers of punctuation?

      August 22, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • max3333444555

      its a lie. all of it.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • ZOOEY ZALAGER

      THE WAR ON DRUGS!!!! I just killed my Tylenol this morning in full support.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • patric

      seriously @bostonmonkey....you dont have to use marijuana to be in favor of it or to even be mature enough to fully look at it and understand that our government wastes wayy too much money for the so called war on drugs, especially on pot, and reason why is because our government is affraid to get involved with the cartels over seas who are really running the show and who are really raking in the cash...do you realize of understand that mexico is about to blow up? not litterally but they have 3-4 cartels that have more and better funding than most 2nd and 3rd world countries, with conncections all over the world you couldnt even begin to imagine...pot is a plant that can grow naturally in our country, cocaine, heroin meth all those other real harmful drugs are the ones that we should be spending our money on, going over seas and really going after the cartels if we wanted too, with the legalization of pot alone we could damage the cartels $ income dramatically...but instead lets just keep giving out citizens cancerous ciggerattes and alcohol to kill ourselves...now thats smart thinking right? you also wouldnt happen to be a republican either would you?

      August 22, 2012 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Geoffrey

      What does a persons political stance have to do with this discussion?

      August 22, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I think you have good intentions but a flawed arguement. It has nothing to do with drug cartels. The reason that is still illegal is because multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical corporations lobby like crazy to keep it that way so they can keep having their legal prescriptions sold. The "legal" drugs are often more addictive with worse side effects yet they stay legal because of the way politics works in this country. Same as alcohol and tobacco. If the marijuana industry could organize and raise enough money to pad the politicians pockets, then they would have a legit shot at getting the laws changed. Until then, forget about it. Money talks and all politicians care about is fund raising for their next election.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Crowdednet

      I am a Republican, and I agree with you. Go figure..... and obviously the democrats, who are in power, are still conducting this sad and wasteful offense on people.

      August 24, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roy Blodgette

      You miss our point, if Marijuana were legal, there would be no need to grow Marijuana in places like that. So, in other words, it's not the Marijuana that caused that damage, it's prohibition that's causing these problems.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • ug

      Sure funny lib way to look at it that way...it is illegal and needs to be that way...you drug addict.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim Lahey

      Listen up, brother Roy speaks the truth.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • ORChuck

      But, what causes this "prohibition" you blame? Well, that would be politicians. And what causes politicians? That would be parents. Without the parents, the politicians would never be born so the prohibition would never be made. The real answer is to eliminate the human race. Hopefully, Mr. Blodgette, you see the fallacy of your argument. The problem with outlaws is not with the laws or the people who make the laws. The problem with outlaws is the outlaws themselves. Don't try to shift the blame.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heywood

      so if they were able to legally do it at home it would avoid this problem, wouldent it?

      August 22, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • leroy

      it should only be grown at home to hell with the cartels and the feds

      August 22, 2012 at 11:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Greg

      And none of that would be happening if it were legal.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • mcp123

      Most pot growers dont bring in chemicals to treat their crops... if it were legalized there wouldn't need to be camps near the growing areas which leave trash. Billions of dollars in new taxes could be generated this way... and de-criminalizing marijuana would free our courts and jails of mostly non-violent offenders.

      Our marijuana laws are stupid...like cigarette laws... they jail people at $50k a year for smuggling cigarettes from low tax states to high tax states. How about making the tax federal and the same in all states and the government sends back an amount based on the number of packs sold in each state thus ending smuggling?

      No .. our politicians generally aren't this smart... alcohol is far more dangerous than pot and costs billions more in lives and property damage per year than pot does.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Franky

      So does just about every form of farming we do now anyway. Let's not mention waht oil and coal companies do. LOL

      August 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • jorge washinsen

      Roads have done more damage and probably changed the weather patterns more than any one thing.Look at the paths of the tornados.The South had very few tornados until all the trees were cut down to build roads.Look at the heat super highways store up in these hot days.Trees and grass,the lack of it has created misery.Stupid was when we let trucks takeover our highways and gained heavier load limits on bridges not designed for such abuse.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Actually, hemp is a weed that is prolific, grows pretty much anywhere, that is extremely pest resistant and therefore requires little in the way of pesticides. This is more "reefer madness" from the gubt.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jake

      If they would let people grow their own, they wouldn't have that problem.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bummer

      Lol. Very good point Boston monkey!

      August 22, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Another great reason why it should be legalized and regulated so that doesnt happen.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • womenfly

      Really... where's the proof?

      August 22, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Damon

      Yeah There is an informed decision. Perhap you should be in Washington like the rest of the clowns that make sure our freedoms cannot be because of pathetic reasoning ability. Marijuana growing destroys land, Like someone else said it is no worse than commercial farming.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • TMS

      So do industrial farms, on a far greater spectrum. so that argument isn't valid.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      I had no idea plants naturally produced chemicals, pesticides and trash. Not to mention physically diverting water supplies? That's some amazing plant!

      These are byproducts of humans pot farming and have nothing to do with the plant itself. Your argument is invalid and you're a moron.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      illegal ones, sure. For farmers that know what they are doing and do it organically, it is great for compost and soil.

      August 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      like the word "can"? Did you miss that?

      August 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Skubbitybub

      Sounds like every other business, operation, factory, or government agency. They all divert power and resources, introduce chemicals, and result in an abundance of trash lying around.

      August 22, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Byrd

      Yes, and LSD caused pimples in the 60s and 70s. Just how sadly and gullibly uninformed can you really be?

      August 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      the same can be said for ANY farm...guess you miss common sense

      August 22, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • phneutral

      Just the illegal pot farms.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • oyvey

      That is true if you grow a million acres in one spot. small scales doesnt do anything. Just another stupid policy

      August 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • oyvey

      if you grow a million acres in one spot.

      August 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      If it were legal and the growing of marijuana were regulated, it would be just like growing other crops! The issues you bring up aren't a valid argument against legalization, they're simply more justification for why prohibition is stupid!

      August 22, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • old golfer

      diverting water. What about the government corps of engineers. Check that diversion out. As to chemicals, check out how much is used in modern agriculture. All that eventually ends up in our drinking water. Nah, pot amounts to very little in the whole picture. Legalize it and be done with the scam. Oh, big pharma, big private prisons, huge law enforcement would all take a big hit if that were done.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wayne

      Many of these people who support legalizing weed are tunneled visioned. They dont see the negative effects of Marijuana, only that it does nto kill and should be legalized.

      August 22, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Corey

      No different then any other farming that destroys forest and introduces chemicals and pesticides.

      August 22, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      And why is that? Is it maybe, because it's illegal? the ultimate circular argument.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Molokai_Guy

      Same could be said for Monsanto, but on a much bigger scale.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      You've said the same exact thing a dozen times monkey man.
      Record stuck?

      August 22, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      Do you have anything else to contribute? You sound like a broken record monkey man.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenni

      We have plenty of starving farmers who I'm sure would welcome the work. It's not like a couple fields of pot is going to deforest anywhere anytime soon. You probably create more waste on your own.

      August 23, 2012 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      no different than the rest of industry, regulate and clean up after...wow, the have doing that for years too....guess you missed that and you cannot blame it on you rpot smoking now can u?

      August 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • leroy

      no the epa is destroying the land

      August 23, 2012 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Simply Me

      Funny enough, I read that part "... pot farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash." And it describes every non-organic vegetables grown! Pesticides, fertilizers, etc...Industry needs crops to grow faster and bigger... Look at it this way, if they leagalized marijuana at least the chemical use could be controlled by the United States Agruculture 🙂

      August 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • wolfatrest

      And if it was legalized then it would have been grown on a farm and all the harmful chemicals would have been applied by farmers who knew what they were doing. Not to mention how much in the way of taxes could have been collected on it. Of course putting law enforcement personnel in danger doesn't even seem to come into it.

      August 24, 2012 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Only The Giant Multi-National Corps Are Allowed

      "... pot farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash."

      Of course, you don't mind if ADM does it, do you? Or if Monsanto permanently corrupts corn with genes that produce foreign animal proteins that potentially humans can develop allergies to making ALL corn (wind pollinated) inedible. Think before you squeak!

      August 24, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • JS

      Yeah that's not really true because most Pot growers don't use pesticides or chemicals. Or at least ones that know what they are doing and want a quality product don't.

      August 24, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • BostonGorilla

      That quote is something we call "propaganda"... ever heard of it? I can play that game too, look:

      "... corn farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash."

      "... tomato farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash."

      "... soybean farms can do long-term damage to public lands by destroying trees and vegetation, introducing chemicals and pesticides, diverting water sources, and generating large amounts of trash."

      All of that political propaganda aside, does anyone else find it amazing that we make certain useful plants illegal yet we allow pharmaceutical companies to produce "legal" drugs like OC's that are highly addictive and deadly? The FDA and pharmaceutical companies are the real drug dealers, get your facts straight.

      The only thing marijuana prohibition does is cost us billions of taxpayer dollars which only creates a black market where organized crime can thrive, just like alcohol prohibition.

      Anyone who doesn't see that marijuana legalization is a necessary human rights issue is an un-evolved moron, FACT.

      August 24, 2012 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      So what you're saying is that pot farmers are no different from any other farmers who dump chemicals and pesticides on their crops.

      August 24, 2012 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Dr.GreenThumb

      If it was legal they wouldn't need to go such extreme lengths to grow it.

      It can be grown safely with no waste.

      August 24, 2012 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Joan

      i'll believe about the trash... but not the rest of it. It's a freaking plant! and as for the pesticides... heck they put way more of those in our food, What a rediculous article. Waste of space

      August 24, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • buckemdown

      The chemicals and pesticides can't be any different than what we put on fruits and vegetables, as far as the trash part they just gotta take a trash can next time.

      August 24, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe Kinsey

      I guess you just trust CNN for everything. Marijuana has its own natural form of pesticide and most fertilizers used on these plants are natural since they don't like or need the harsh chemicals.

      And have you ever seen the kind of chemical waste normal corn farms inject into the environment. Nitrate fertilizers are particularly harmful to to the environment and the toxicity is even compounded more this year due to the drought. Most of the corn never got enough water this year to grow long enough to use most of the fertilizer that was laid for the plants and that toxicity is flowing into the water table, where it will poison your drinking water.

      August 24, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nathan

      They can if they are run improperly. It's not necessary to do so, however. Moron.

      August 25, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred Evil

      All the more reason to permit it on private lands, properly regulated!

      August 25, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • brian

      Same old MO, show how the public they must be protected from this horrible horrible, the sky is falling illicit drug...USA excels at stupid.. hahaha. even if what they say were true, what makes any other farmer better? could be applied across the board with what they might call "legitimate"operations.. HAHAHahaha, such fools are the Mariken governors, wasting time effort and money, your money taxpayers, on something that will only serve to drive up the cost, and strengthen the underground. At least with the mafia you know what to expect.. Thanks for but no thanks, i'll just grow my own..

      August 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • shantel

      And what do you think farms do? we have to spray chemical on them too.

      August 28, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Republican

      BostonMonkey! Wake up pal. Have you seen the state of the ecology, you think growing pop has caused that. The Fed's have lost the war against drugs. Not to mention Billions of dollars and many many lives. And for what? To protect our children and our streets..LOL. Pot is less harmful than sugar. more Americans die from simply being fat and greedy than they do of smoking weed. Get your fact's right or take that burger out of your mouth.

      August 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fast Fred

      Yeah much Barley or tobacco lately. They all take water and chemicals to grow.and their subsidize by your government.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      All modern farming does this. and is why we have a Department of Agriculture to regulate the industry. The illicit nature of this particular crop means the growers do it without regulation, another glaring example of the harms of prohibition.

      August 30, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Oh Boy

    Turn on the water in your bath tub, cup your hands, place under the faucet, for 1 minute scoop that water into a bucket as fast as you can. That is the equivalent of what happened in this story, except it didn't cost anything.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. oldbones24

    Remember Prohibition? Once alcohol was legal organized crime lost their power and income, and the Feds made money off the sin taxes. You think we would've learned a lesson.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • bfpiercelk

      Prohibitionists are incapable of learning any lesson that isn't contained in the Bible sadly.

      August 22, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • leroy

      vote gary johnson in 2012 he is the man

      August 23, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nik

    @BostonMonkey You mean like all farming in general that diverts water, introduces pesticides, and creates large amounts of trash?

    August 22, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • J.R>

      EXACTLY!!!! Farming does the exact same thing, OBVIOUSLY the majority of Americans cannot spot porpaganda when faced with it!

      August 22, 2012 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Jay jay

      Lol. Good point!

      August 22, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yaj yaj

      Lmao! Good point!

      August 22, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • ORChuck

      Which is why legitimate commercial agriculture is not done in the middle of national parks and forests.

      August 22, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jesus

      Haha nice rebuttal

      August 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • steveiam

      Yes that is exactly what he means. Dang farmers destroying our land!

      August 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjp44

      exactly....Boston Monkey's stupid response is fascinating.....does the primate want to balme if on pot smoking?

      August 23, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • tex

      I agree problem is people do not think it all the way through.Do we think when europeans first seen ohio it loked anything remotely like it does now .That is one way way they keep all the legislation tied up on silliness and nothing gets done.We let the politicians spin what they want about something to keep us busy complaining about some little something so that they can KEEP THE MACHINE MOVING.welcome to the machine.

      August 23, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • cja

      No. It's different. Food farmers own their land and care about it. THey don't trash it and then leave. When they grow pot on public lands the growers don't care about the long term effects. That said. I'd be OK with them growing on their own farm that they own. I don't want them growing tomatoes in a state park either. Same reason

      August 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • 1amazed1

      I agree with you. The public needs to know that regular farmers spray harmful pesticides and divert water and do make waste on a very regular basis. So lets not lay the "blame" on pot farmers for all the damage done like the government would like the general public to think.

      August 27, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Woof

      You tell'em Nik!

      August 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • JS

      Screw that...the land is public land...the growers arm themselves and are a threat to passer-bys...clean our parks of this nonsense please.

      August 29, 2012 at 5:30 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mark

    Studies have shown that keeping marijuana illegal costs around $17B per year in enforcement, incarceration, judicial system costs combined with potential tax benefits of taxing it similar to tobacco or alcohol. In addition, most medical studies agree that it is healthier for you than tobacco and alcohol. The only reason it is still illegal is because pharmaceutical corporations lobby politicians to keep it that way so they can continue to make a fortune on their more addictive with worse side effect prescription drugs. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to get pretty sick of the state of politics in this once great nation.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Phil

      I agree with you EXCEPT that pharma is behind it. Just look at how little success they have had preventing meds going over the counter or generic etc. Not to mention all the new restrictions on sales reps etc. Pharma is not that powerful.

      The real reason is just that although a bare majority of Americans believe it should be legal, it's mostly the younger generation and, unfortunately, you don't vote.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Josh

      My only disagreement is that number on the cost of prohibition of marijuana per year seems a little low. Maybe I'm thinking of how much the entire war on drugs costs per year. I do agree with the pharma contention. What we've seen now is synthetic THC that is sold at a much higher price, etc. Also, there is a drug out there called Sativex. It is distilled DIRECTLY from the core of a marijuana plant. Most people call it liquid marijuana. It was developed by a British pharmaceutical company and is available for prescription, with a high price of course. The kicker is that this drug is directly derived from marijuana, but the US and UK still refuse to accept marijuana as having any medicinal uses.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Report abuse |
  10. coffeebean02

    Well, since I live "down south", the price just went up for me...!

    August 22, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. Bill

    Make it legal, tax it, end of story. This will pull the grow operations off of public lands and release the peace officers to focus on other, more important duties, like taking rapists predators off the streets.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • leroy

      peace officers when do they show any peace ha peace officers what a name

      August 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Boo

    Welcome to the Unidted States of Stupidity..

    August 22, 2012 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • sean

      To be honest. It's federal land. Most likely planted by drug traffickers. At least they aren't going after dispensaries.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kenster

    Yet another reason we should be farming this product in Iowa.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • bobby

      too cold..season only long enough for one harvest.. Many other places in this country where they could harvest three times a year

      August 22, 2012 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • sean

      Iowa would be great for indoor growing. Flat land you could have massive hydroponic farms. Outside, the weather would definitely be a factor.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. BigHwasdemo

    Did anyone notice how many unnecessary Federal Agencies are mentioned?

    August 22, 2012 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
  15. Let it Be

    Agreed! Let the states have their tax money from legal sales. Let the police focus on more important issues like meth and illegal prescription drug sales.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
    • SOHO

      A mind altering drug is a mind altering drug. Period.

      August 22, 2012 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • ...

      yeah, then in 20 years you'll be calling for Meth to be legalized. CA is selling pot - how is that helping their budget?? IT'S NOT!!!

      August 22, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spikeinyourlife

      ~1Billion dollars worth of marijuana was cut and destroyed? You mean to tell me that NO ONE in the federal government stopped for 2 seconds to ask, "Hey, maybe we should turn around and sell this stuff."? The marijuana was grown illegally on federal land, even though I am one of those that thinks they should have the right to grow in a legal manner, it is not unreasonable that the government could make extra cash selling the weed that they confiscate. Throw that money into the Veterans Affairs or some other program that promotes general good work.

      August 22, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      How about focusing on violence....Right to Life only includes the unborn. After that ....sorry about your GSW there kid

      August 22, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fast Fred

      Why not just put a tax on freedom and happiness.

      August 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm | Report abuse |
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