Law enforcement are on pace to seize far fewer marijuana plants in California this year than last year — the second consecutive decline.
California Watch, a nonprofit reporting group, summed up the figures as the end of marijuana growing season approaches:
The latest figures show that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are on track to eradicate an estimated 1.5 million plants from outdoor gardens – mostly on public land – down from a decade high of about 7.3 million plants in 2009.
This year’s seizures would be the lowest since 2004, when a little more than 1.1 million plants were eradicated, according to Drug Enforcement Administration statistics.
The report attributes the drop to a variety of factors, including an effort to prosecute growers and a federal crackdown on medical marijuana dispensaries.
Some say growers have moved out of state (to places like Nevada, North Carolina or Wisconsin), to smaller garden plots on private land or underground.
How much would marijuana be worth if it was legalized? See our previous report here.