$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

Post by:
Filed under: Crime • Drugs • Marijuana
soundoff (1,000 Responses)
  1. karllinen

    That billion could have built a lot of affordable housing. They're selling it on the streets, and the government throws it away.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe R

    and billlions upon billions spent on this ridiculous "war" on drugs. so stupid.......

    August 24, 2012 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  3. kay

    Why didn't they just let the drought take care of it? It would have been cheaper.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  4. Farmacy

    It's easier and faster to get pot in NYC than it is to get pizza. This bust will in no way effect me being able to get marijuana when I want. Give it up America, you're wasting a potential revenue source. This is just shameful.

    August 24, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jarsbait

    I think marijuana should be legal, if nothing else to stop the destruction on our fedral lands from these lawless farming operations. Plus, it is very hazardous to use these lands for recreation if you might encounter armed men guarding their dope. I've seen this action in KY, where pot farms on federal land are boobie-trapped and people walk into emergency rooms with shotgun wounds as a result.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. yep

    1 billion $ worth of pot destroyed.....1 billion $ to accomplish the deed.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 50yearOldPotGrower

    Agree – pot should be legal. Alcohol is much more dangerous than pot. Not happy to see my tax dollars being WASTED!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  8. steveoooo

    the war on drugs is a huge waste of money and resources

    August 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    Alcohol and Tobacco companys have struck again. The two biggest drug killers in the U.S know that if pot were legalized they would lose tens of billions annually.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bob

    Just make is legal!!! How much money, man power and resources have to be wasted before it's legal? These illegal pot farms will all fade out if it's legalized and no one will have to worry about it. Legalize, tax, everyone is happy.
    Funny thing is all the people crying about how people who get welfare checks should have to take drug tests. These people don't understand that most hard drugs are out of a person's system in a couple days. Pot is one of the only drugs that stays in your body for an extended period of time. So, we'll be spending even more money on the war on pot when all these folks have to pass a drug test to get their check. They say "I have to pass a drug test to get my pay check" It's you're own choice to work for a company that drug tests. Not all companies make you pee in a cup to get a job. I would never take a drug test for a job, It's not that I wouldn't pass it, it's simply an invasion of privacy and my own personal choice. Unless you're responsible for the well being of others no one should have to take a drug test to get a paycheck.
    Pot isn't going anywhere and it's stupid to keep fighting that fact. It's been around for a long time and it will stay for a long time regardless of how many billions of dollars of pot is burned up by the government.

    August 24, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Penny

    >> “Those who cultivate marijuana on public lands pose a safety threat to the public and an environmental threat to the land."

    Are we really supposed to believe this cr*p? I love how the Feds & states attorney baby-kissers have to augmnent their argument to justify the incredible waste of taxpayer money and effort in this never-ending public affairs charade. Decriminalize it and shut up already!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cameron

    What a tragedy

    August 24, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Canuckster

    North America will never Legalize.. too many people making living in the war against...political suicide to support even though Obama smoked the icky sticky and wishes he still could have the odd puff!!!!

    August 24, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • King

      Could you imagine all the appeals and sentences overturned overnight if this stuff went legal? lol

      August 24, 2012 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • retief1954

      🙂 who says he doesn't?

      August 25, 2012 at 1:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. JAyRod

    Why Is Homeland Security Being Involved?

    August 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • leroy

      because they own me you everyone they are everywhere

      August 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. propagandaink

    The "war on drugs" is nothing more than a revenue stream for the federal government. Wake up people. Alcohol OR Tobacco, take your pick, kill more people in a year simply from consumption than marijuana has killed in all of history combined. Alcohol contributes to more DUI deaths than marijuana.

    August 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37