It looks like the West Virginia State Police are on track to destroy more marijuana plants in the state than they did last year.

Sgt. Mike Smith, head of the State Police marijuana eradication program, said he expects up to 200,000 marijuana plants statewide to be seized and destroyed this year. That would top the 2011 total of 185,510 plants.

West Virginia ranked fifth among states for the number of pot crops authorities destroyed in 2011, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Three of the top five marijuana-producing states in are Appalachia, with Tennessee and Kentucky joining West Virginia. California was in first place with nearly 4 million plants seized or destroyed.

“It’s been an ideal season for growing,” Smith told the Charleston Daily Mail “We had a dry spell from May to July and we expect some of the plants were lost through scorching. The plants really struggled through the dry weather.

“But overall we’re about where we were last year.”

An incredible amount of plants destroyed, and so much money and resources wasted to have highly-trained law enforcement officers become glorified weed-pullers.

One day common sense will rule once again and instead of being destroyed, marijuana plants will be put to good use, helping people and raising tax revenues. Until then we are just throwing money away.

Joe Klare

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