New data released by the Drug Enforcement Administration reveals the agency has dramatically cut the number of raids on marijuana growers over the past two years, especially in California.
But, as SF Weekly noted, a closer look at the data reveals that the DEA has not become less aggressive. Rather, the agency appears to have been more effective by making fewer raids, but arresting more people and seizing more pot.
While the number of busts has decreased by about 22 percent, the amount of marijuana confiscated and the number of arrests made during raids have increased by about that much. In 2010, authorities pulled 7.4 million plants from 2,272 sites, resulting in 1,591 arrests and 59,928 pounds of pot, according to the DEA. In 2012, authorities confiscated 2.08 million plants from 1,784 sites. But the grand pull during those raids was a whopping 2,045 arrests and 64,920 pounds of pot.
As SF Weekly noted, the shift is likely due in part to the DEA’s disbandment of its nearly 30-year-old Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, or CAMP program. Allen St. Pierre, executive. . . . . READ MORE
Federal raids of Washington state medical-marijuana dispensaries this week are raising concerns among state officials and entrepreneurs that recreational-marijuana may be similarly targeted when the market opens in the state early next year.
Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Jodie Underwood said agents executed several search warrants involving “marijuana storefronts” Wednesday, but she declined to comment on why they were targeted or whether recreational pot shops might get the same treatment.
A person familiar with the raids said agents went after four medical-marijuana dispensaries related to a 2011 investigation into allegations of money laundering and illicit marijuana sales.
Residents in Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational marijuana last year. But federal authorities haven’t said how they will address these new state-regulated markets for marijuana, which remains illegal under federal law. Washington and other states allow medical marijuana, but this is also illegal under federal law, and federal authorities have raided dispensaries around the country.
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