DEA Seized More Marijuana Plants In 2019, But Arrests Fell

DEA Seized More Marijuana Plants In 2019, But Arrests Fell

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized more than four million marijuana plants last year, according to a new annual report from the agency. That marks a nearly 43 percent increase from 2018 figures. However, while that change is significant, it doesn’t necessarily reflect an expansion of DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP), as the number of arrests made and grow sites targeted declined. For example, the agency eradicated about 770,000 indoor cultivated cannabis plants in 2019—almost 200,000 more than in 2018. But the count of individual indoor cultivation facilities that were impacted decreased from 1,618 to 1,437, signaling that the sites themselves are producing more marijuana, rather than DEA broadening the scope of its enforcement activities. Arrests associated with the program decreased from about 5,600 in 2018 to 4,700 last year, a roughly 15 percent difference. The spike in total cannabis plant seizures also seems largely attributable to enforcement activity in one state, California, where 3.1 million plants were taken. The previous year, 1.8 million plants were seized in the state. “Indoor and outdoor marijuana seizures remain relatively low-hanging fruit for the DEA,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano told Marijuana Moment. “Making these seizures is an attempt for the DEA to try and stay relevant and make headlines. But it doesn’t change the fact that American culture is heading in a very different direction.” Of course, DEA claimed “success” of the program and touted its new figures in a webpage housing the annual reports. “The success of the DCE/SP is…

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Source : MJ moment
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