By Scott Morgan
If I didn’t know better, some of this week’s headlines might have me wondering if the American marijuana market is about to come to a crashing halt.
Record Marijuana Bust: $205 Million In Pot Plants Eradicated In Ventura County
Officials from the Venture County Sheriff’s department pulled in a record haul at a massive marijuana bust last week, the department announced today.
According to the official press release, the interoffice effort between a number of local officials and the United States Forest Service (USFS) managed to collect 68,488 marijuana plants at a large growing operation in the Los Padres National Forest just north of the city of Ojai.
The estimated street value for the record breaking bust was $205,464,000. (Huffington Post)
Meanwhile in Mexico, there’s plenty of excitement in the air as well:
Mexico Finds Large Marijuana Farm in Baja California
Mexican soldiers discovered one of the largest marijuana plantations ever found in the country, just 200 miles south of San Diego, Calif., the Mexican Defense Ministry said.
Mexican officials said on Thursday that the plantation, in Baja California, stretched as far as the eye could see—totaling some 120 hectares (296 acres). The crop would yield about 120 metric tons and be worth an estimated $160 million, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. (WSJ)
This is pretty typical stuff as far as celebratory drug prohibition press releases are concerned, but that hardly excuses the epic levels of drug war idiocy on display here. Let’s just think critically for one second and consider how you’d feel if you were tasked with the responsibility of preventing marijuana cultivation, and you just kept discovering ever more mindblowingly enormous marijuana plantations every single year.
It is a sign of progress, yes, but not on the part of the vast drug war armies dedicated to stopping people from growing staggering amounts of marijuana all over the northern hemisphere. The only discernible progress any reasonable person could observe here would have to be credited to those whose mission it is to overwhelm law-enforcement with an ever-intensifying cultivation campaign that promises to make them rich regardless of whatever percentage happens to get hauled off by the cops.
You would never find an oncologist bragging that he’s finding the biggest tumors of his career and calling it a victory in the fight against cancer. Marijuana is hardly cancer, of course, but I wouldn’t bet these pot crusaders are entirely clear on the distinction, which is why I still struggle to comprehend their ongoing and obsessive tendency to boast about something they ought to find perfectly disturbing.
At this pace, we can look forward to the day when marijuana is literally the only thing still growing in our once-majestic wilderness, and as insane as it sounds, I wouldn’t even be surprised to find law enforcement still bragging about their success as marijuana fields wind their way across every hillside from Orange Country to Olympia.