Marijuana Crop Seizures Down In California
Joe | Sep 26, 2012 | Comments 1
For the second year in a row officials in California are reporting that marijuana crop seizures are on the decline.
According to the latest figures available, law enforcement is on track to eradicate an estimated 1.5 million plants from outdoor gardens this year – mostly on public land – down from a decade high of about 7.3 million plants in 2009. This year’s seizures would be the lowest since 2004 in CA, according to the DEA.
The decline could be attributable to many things, including increased federal pressure on California, which has caused many growers to retreat underground. If the feds are having an impact and driving down supply somewhat, it will only serve to send prices back on the rise, which will entice more people into the market.
“There’s a significant downtrend in cultivation activities,” Tommy LaNier, director of the National Marijuana Initiative, a program funded by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said. “There’s been a huge impact because of what we’ve been doing the last six years. We’ve come a long way.”
A confluence of other factors might have contributed to fewer plants this year, including weather, improved intelligence gathering and investigative efforts, more tips about illicit marijuana gardens from the public, and concerted efforts to prosecute growers, which didn’t occur five or six years ago, LaNier said.
This is where prohibition runs into the harsh realities of economic markets. If officials are successful in driving down supply, this will inevitably lead to an increase in prices. This in turn invites those with the will and the criminal connections to get into the business. Cartels will send more people to grow as increased prices mean increased profits, and the most violent criminals also have the most resources with which to enter the market.
So do officials continue on with an unwinnable war, or do they seek another path? For now, the war continues.