The legalization of marijuana in the United States is a hot topic regardless of if you are for or against it. For states with strict laws against the possession of marijuana, the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) has been giving various amounts of money to aid in eradicating marijuana plants within the state. The question is – is the DEA wasting money eradicating marijuana plants in these states?
Last year, the state of New Hampshire was given $20,000 by the DEA for the purpose of eradicating marijuana plants, federal documents report. A report by the DEA, however, reveals that the agency within the state of New Hampshire didn’t have much luck as they were only able to find one outdoor grow site with 27 marijuana plants.
If you do the math, it means U.S. taxpayers paid $740.74 for each of those 27 marijuana plants the DEA eradicated from the state of New Hampshire that year. If you happen to think that sounds like an awful lot of money to spend on eradicating a few marijuana plants in one state, The Washington Post reports it could have been a lot worst.
The Washington Post goes on to confirm, thanks to a federal document obtained and published by a journalist named Drew Atkins, that the state of Utah received $73,000 to use for eradicating marijuana plants. Despite receiving so much money from the DEA, the state of Utah was unable to eradicate a single marijuana plant.
The $14 million marijuana eradicating program the DEA manages has been the subject of a significant amount of criticism in the past few years. In fact, 12 members of the Congress have pushed to get rid of the program in the past, according to The Washington Post. These 12 members of the Congress believe the money would be better spent on funding domestic violence prevention as well as deficit-reduction programs.
The purpose of the $14 million program is to halt the spread of cannabis cultivation in the United States.” Naturally, the mission of the program has become a little more complicated as states are starting to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana.
DEA records do reveal the program has been effective in a handful of states. California being one of the most notable as agents were able to use funding for eradicating 2.6 million marijuana plants last year. They also seized more than 1,600 weapons while eradicating marijuana plants.
DEA documents show that the amount of money spent on the program for eradicating marijuana plants has shrunk from $18 million in 2014 to $14 million in the current fiscal year. There are also some states, which include Alaska, Colorado, and Vermont, which are no longer receiving funding for eradicating marijuana plants. As more and more states make the move to legalize marijuana, the number of states that require funding for eradicating marijuana plants will continue to go down. With this information in mind, is the money the DEA is spending being wasted on eradicating marijuana plants? Could the 12 members of the Congress be right? Could the money be better spent somewhere else?
Where Exactly Is All Of That Money Going?
California, where medical marijuana is currently legal, receives a large portion of the eradicating fund the DEA hands out. Kentucky is next in line for receiving a large amount of funding to help with eradicating marijuana plants. Rounding out the top five for who receives the most funding includes Tennessee, Georgia, and Washington. Now, it has been legal for individuals to use recreational marijuana in the state of Washington since 2012. The Washington Post points out that it is a little confusing as to why the DEA would be wasting so much money eradicating something that is legal in the state of Washington as the state received $760,000 to eradicate marijuana plants this year.
The reason why the DEA does not believe they are wasting money on eradicating marijuana plants in states where recreational marijuana is legal, is because it is still illegal for people to grow marijuana in some of these states.
How do you feel after learning the DEA spends close to a million eradicating marijuana plants in a state where marijuana is legal? Do you think the DEA is wasting money eradicating marijuana plants? Do you think this money would be better spent somewhere else? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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