DEA Still wages war on Cannabis, Wasting Taxpayer Money
October 7th 2015
On July 1, 2015 cannabis was legalized for recreational purposes on Oregon. Measure 91 was approved in 2014. Despite that, the DEA in the US is still waging a war on cannabis in the form of an eradication program that is costing taxpayers hunders of thousands of dollars a year.
In 2014, the DEA spent $960,000 in eradicating 16,067 cannabis plants. Doing the math, it cost the US government roughly $60 per plant to destroy. This price tag is unusually high considering the average nationwide per-plant-destruction cost is $4.20 according to the Washington Post.
A majority of the taxpayer money is funneled towards funding helicopters to scout out marijuana farms from the sky, to officers on the ground to seize the plants spotted from up high and to pay for overtime, which is cost the people of Oregon $275,000 last year alone.
Due to the paradox of the cannabis plant being legal at state level, on the federal level, it is still illegal. The DEA maintains that the marijuana grown in Oregon is sold in other parts of the US where the plant is still illegal. A new bill is being considered in the US House of Representatives that seeks to defund the marijuana eradication program, which costs the American people $18 billion a year.
Under the marijuana eradication program, 6,310 people were arrested in 2014 and more than $27 million worth of marijuana has been seized.