$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.

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

    Where is the adult comment section?

    August 22, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Even If They Do

    Say you can pay taxes on your own little nickle bag of stash that is all your own, you won't be able to buy it even if it was legalized. 1. You don't have a job to pay for it. 2. Nobody reputable will hire you. You will fail the hiring drug test. And you will fail random drug testing. What did you do with your time this past year? I been smokin man.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    And just downwind from where federal authorities were burning the illegal pot plants that had been seized, stores had a run on Doritos and Twinkies!

    August 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Even If They Do

    I'm already missing a lawnmower, over $100 of gasoline, and a little bit of this and a little bit of that. They had have their funeral services all laid for themselves. And grower and the pusher? I'm not to worried about them either when thier customers start come up "missing".

    August 22, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peaceful Pete

      So, the assumptions you are making by your statements are: 1. Everyone who smokes cannabis is unemployed. 2. Everyone who smokes cannabis is unworthy of being hired for the sole reason that they smoke cannabis. Everyone who smokes cannabis is incompetent and incapable of producing quality work. Everyone who smokes cannabis has been doing nothing but smoking cannabis for the past year.

      There would be no drug testing for cannabis if it were legalized and taxed, as per your original supposition.

      Out of curiosity, how far up into one's intestines does one have to stick their head to have the same views as you?

      August 22, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Even If They Do

    People are tired of being victimized by drug users. They'll wind up one of two ways. Jailed or Dead.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Realist

      What drugs do You use?

      Beer? Tobacco?

      How about the poisonous drug that kills more people than Heroin & Coke put together: Aspirin!

      Aspirin also causes birth defects ... deformed fingers used to be common among the children of women with arthritis.

      You only use drugs that have corporate sponsors .... tough.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Report abuse |
  6. wavejump1100

    so sad, such a waste of good pot and the resources it took to destroy it.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dana Arwin

    Legalize this miracle weed already, stop wasting money we don't have fighting human nature and real nature...

    August 22, 2012 at 9:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    I think we got a shizophrenic in here, with 30 different screen names and personalities. All the comments are the same.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Troy

      No, people actually want weed to be legal. You're apparently the only one that doesn't.

      August 22, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      No, Jeffy, you just have a large burr impacted up your rectum.

      August 23, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ORLANDO

    WHAT A WASTE.. Legalize it....

    August 22, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    This is the 21st F'n century. Most citizens that are healthy people, do not want no part of your drugs and no part of you YOU. You are are going to go....down only!

    August 22, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      Yeah right wing healthy people use Oxy, Tobacco, alcohol, ad nauseum.

      August 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • David in Tampa

      Doesn't Ohio have the 3.2 oz in a civil infraction?

      August 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      "Right Wing Insanity"
      well said.....

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

      most citizens are healthy? been to a wal-mart lately?

      August 23, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • sam stone

      In 1975, Ohio made possession and cultivation of less than 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cannabis and a gift of 20 grams (0.7 ounces) or less of cannabis a minor misdemeanor (same class as minor traffic violations) punishable by a $150 fine, a 6 month to 5 year drivers license suspension and a suspension of any professional licenses.[54] According to the Ohio Revised Code

      August 23, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. truth teller

    coulda paid for a couple of michele's vacations

    August 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. pbconnect

    America doesn't have good weed anyway.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jeffrey

    What a shame and complete let down for our American "Injustice" system. Marijuana could possibly save our economy if it was legalized, regulated, and taxed. And they always say that marijuana causes damage to other species of life from the chemicals and pesticides being used. Well then why dont they educate people about growing organically? Which is the way that most pot farmers have been growing for years, because a veteran pot farmer knows that marijuana that is grown with chemical fertilizers will not smoke as good as organically grown pot. Sooner or later I hope that we can get some people elected in office that will stand up against the marijuana prohibition, and free this natural plant that God has blessed us with. Marijuana possibly holds the key to a cancer cure and our government is doing everything they can to suppress it. What a shame, free the weed. If you take the criminal aspect out of the situation then you wouldnt have to worry about drug cartels making billions of dollars every year off of it. Think about it: do you ever see drug cartels smuggling alcohol into the U.S.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. chong

    idiots, trying to play weed off like its hurting the environment. why not focus this effort into getting rid of synthetic marijuana before there is another zombie apocalypse.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Cogito

    Do you have anything constructive to contribute? We heard you the first dozen times.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Report abuse |
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