Ohio police spent $500,000 last year arresting a whopping 27 people for marijuana cultivation under the state’s flyover marijuana eradication program. That’s more than $18,500 per person and in total they only destroyed 20,747 plants – down nearly 64,000 plants from just two years before.
Sound like a waste to you, too?
Cops attribute the drop in plants to their efforts over past years, but it is probably more due to increasingly more efficient and stealth growers and federal budget cuts. All of which increasingly makes spending a half-million dollars a year – most of which goes to the pilot and chopper, according to records pulled by the Dayton Daily News.
Even the cops admit that growers are making it increasingly tougher for police to find the grows – thus weakening the argument for the entire system in general, by our estimation.
“Now it is in small patches, spread out,” Scott Duff, Special Agent for the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told the Daily News.
The bulk of the money for their program comes from federal Drug Enforcement Administration grants.
Meanwhile, Dayton, Ohio has become a “heroin hub” according to WHIO news. As one Montgomery County Sherriff’s officer puts it:
“We have do something about this and were trying,” said Major Wilson. “It’s a day by day effort. I do think we’re making an impact but we have a long way to go with this house by house, suspect by suspect. Hopefully, we can try and get our community back.”
In addition to heroin, the state is also experiencing an illicit prescription pain medication problem as well.
All of which underscores the complete waste of funds tracking down marijuana grows in the country in Ohio. Other states have already come to this realization, including Vermont. As we reported back in September, Vermont Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn said they were diverting money to utilize “law-enforcement resources in Vermont in the best way possible. And when we look at heroin and opiates and other drugs causing an increase in break-ins and burglaries and drug-store robberies, that becomes the emphasis for us.”
Flynn went on to say that Vermont cops would no longer be “flying over looking for a single plant growing in somebody’s back yard — I think that’s probably the best way to put it. We’re looking for grow operations that appear to be more on the commercial side. I’m more concerned about a large quantity than I am for an amount the Legislature said should be decriminalized.”
Incidentally, Ohio has had decriminalized cannabis possession of up to 3.5 ounces since the 1970s. Someone should remind law enforcement of that.