‘Uprooted’ War on Cannabis Boondoggle Could Become First Win in 45 Year War

by Patrick Devlin

The federal government’s cannabis warriors are given millions of dollars every year to search for and uproot clandestine cannabis grows on federal lands across the US. In 2014, the DEA received $18 million tax payer dollars to uproot cannabis and seize the assets of cannabis criminals (the Asset Forfeiture Fund for the Domestic Cannabis Suppression/Eradication Program).

Federal drug warriors who receive the yearly cash infusions have been able to justify receiving the monies by suggesting that clandestine cannabis farms in the US have links to and ultimately support ‘narco terrorists’ in Mexico and (gasp) worldwide, routinely characterizing cannabis grows on federal lands as “cartel grows.”

Although recent analysis of such links to international terror organizations suggests that these connections exist only in the propaganda addled brains of our fearless anti-drug soldiers, the cannabis eradicating warriors’ need for funding is real, and so the pot-pulling raids continue and continue to rack up costs, even as the citizens of the US, the folks who hire these cannabis-stopper-coppers, have decided that the war on cannabis is (at best) misguided and (more likely) immoral and wasteful.

Last year’s stunning example of this self-justifying, fake-assed anti-terror, overzealous drug war boondoggling pot plant pulling stupidity came from the great state of Oregon, where cannabis is legal for recreational consumption by adults, and where our nation’s DEA spent $960,000 to destroy just over 16,000 “illegal” pot plants.

The simple math shows that taxpayers ponied up 60 dollars per destroyed pot plant in a state where cannabis is legal to purchase by adults and where cannabis sales tax revenue is supporting education and health care.

As all in the law enforcement game will advise, “freedom ain’t free” and we need to pay real dollars for real programs to “keep our kids safe”, and with that in mind, lets run the numbers on this described as important program in our country’s war on cannabis:

The feds spent $960,000 to uproot 16,000 cannabis plants in Oregon in 2014.

The DEA reports that the total value of the assets seized by the DEA under the program (including cannabis plants and property, such as weapons) in 2014 in Oregon was $259,484.

So…the self-justifying fully funded anti-cannabis crusaders in the legal cannabis state of Oregon spent 369.965% more than the value of the assets that they destroyed in the effort to eradicate illegal cannabis in a state where cannabis is legal.

And, if the utterly transparent make-work boondoggle (exposed proudly in a self-congratulatory DEA press release, no less) of 2014 did not bilk tax payers boldly enough, our always vigilant cannabis warring federal authorities have earmarked $760,000 dollars for cannabis eradication in Oregon for 2015!

Thankfully, some law makers agree that uprooting cannabis plants in legal cannabis Oregon is a wasteful folly and have taken steps to end the make work boondoggle. In the mean time we suggest the following course of action;

As an alternative to spending $760,000 to eradicate Oregonian cannabis plants this year, why not use the federal funds to purchase legal cannabis in Oregon that could be distributed cost free to federal tax payers in Oregon who use cannabis?

In the states where cannabis is legal for recreational consumption by adults, the substance sells for about $20 per gram. So, again, let’s run the numbers:

$760,000 / $20 = 38,000 grams of legal commercially sold cannabis.

The federal dollars will go to newly established legal businesses in Oregon, and the state will reap tax benefits from these sales that will support the health care and education of Oregonians, creating a brand new federal DEA drug war program to support communities in Oregon; which could be called: “the Anti-Cannabis Warrior Eradication Program.”

You know, this suggested use of our federal tax dollars by the DEA could be the only victory that our disastrous and immoral drug war has acheived in 45 years of warring.

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