Pubdate: Sun, 20 Jul 2008
Source: Record Searchlight (Redding, CA)
Copyright: 2008 Record Searchlight
Author: Bruce Mirken


I couldn't help but laugh when I read Sheriff Tom Bosenko's claim of
"success" for last year's Operation Alesia, promoted as a marijuana
"eradication" campaign. No law enforcement agency has ever been able
to produce evidence that such campaigns reduce the marijuana supply,
environmental damage from illicit marijuana growing, involvement of
criminal gangs in marijuana production or teen access to marijuana --
because no such evidence exists.

None other than the U.S. Department of Justice has acknowledged that
these campaigns push growers into more dangerous locations, including
residential neighborhoods, and actually encourage the production of
higher-potency marijuana. The department's National Drug Threat
Assessment 2008 states: "Federal, state, and local law enforcement
reporting indicates that vigorous outdoor cannabis eradication efforts
have caused major marijuana producers, particularly Caucasian groups,
to relocate indoors, even in leading outdoor grow states such as
California and Tennessee. ... DTOs (Drug Trafficking Organization) and
criminal groups ... will adapt to the increasing law enforcement
pressure and improved detection capabilities associated with outdoor
grow sites and will most likely shift operations indoors ... (T)he
groups will produce higher-potency marijuana year-round, allowing for
an exponential increase in profits derived."

If California regulated its marijuana industry the same way it
regulates its wine industry, these problems would disappear and what
is now a drain on taxpayer resources would be converted into a
significant source of revenue.

Bruce Mirken

Director of communications Marijuana Policy Project
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