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Americans grow cannabis to beat the recession

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  • Sep 11 2009 05:04 PM
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Posted 11 September 2009 - 05:04 PM

Some people cancel holidays abroad, others stage yard sales or start shopping at low-cost supermarkets. To that list must now be added a new way to get through economic hard times: grow cannabis.

Law enforcers on the west coast of the US and in the middle states straddled by the foothills of the Appalachian mountains are reporting a common trend. It is boom time for marijuana cultivation, and much of the incentive they say is to beat the recession.

So far this year, police in parts of the country where cannabis is traditionally grown have chopped down plants with a street value of $12bn. The core growing area is in California, Washington and Oregon to the west, but the Appalachian states of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia are also witnessing an explosion.

More than 600,000 cannabis plants have been cut and burned in those states this summer, reversing a previous decline in production brought about by stringent law enforcement. It is not only the quantity of crop that is on the rise, the nature of the growers is also changing.

Ed Shemelya, who leads the marijuana eradication programme in the Appalachia region, says a new type of grower is emerging wholly different to the family cartels that have cultivated the drug for generations. "We are seeing a lot more individuals who wouldn't normally be growing marijuana. They are not your professionals."

Shemelya puts it down to the dire economy in this part of America. The region is almost entirely dependant for jobs on coal mining, which has suffered severely from the recession.
"People are growing marijuana to supplement their income or support themselves in poor economic times. This is about economic necessity," he said.

The newcomers to the business are typically restricting their practices to fields of around 80 plants - that's tiny compared to the mega cultivation seen in California where 5.3m plants were destroyed last year up from 4.9m in 2007. But at around $2,000 a plant, that still provides a good living in Appalachia.

Growers tend to locate their crops as close to their homes as possible, on the edge or just inside the forest that carpets much of the foothills. They clear foliage from the trees to allow in light, then grow the plants between the trunks to hide them from aerial detection by the drug authorities.
On top of the economic incentive, the clampdown on marijuana traffic across the border from Mexico has also provided a reason for new participants to enter the market. Dave Keller, a drug enforcement officer in Appalachia, told the Associated Press that both small and large growers were trying to fill the void.

The booming business is proving challenging not only for law enforcement. A devastating forest fire in the mountains of Los Padres National Forest in California last month was found to have been started by a Mexican drug cartel that had been cooking marijuana on a camp fire. Some 30,000 plants were seized from the farm hidden away in the forest.
Replies (18)

  • Stoned much?

  • Miklelottesen
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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:26 PM

If people keep doing that, the war on drugs would become to expensive after a while and they'd have to legalize or decriminalize. Great news :smoke:

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  • guitardude105
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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:29 PM

If people keep doing that, the war on drugs would become to expensive after a while and they'd have to legalize or decriminalize. Great news :smoke:

very true.

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  • TheDankTank
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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:33 PM

This is very exciting, I'm only 19 and this gives me a great feeling that weed will be legalized in my lifetime. Im going to start throwing bagseed all in the forest and try to start an up roar in ohio lol.

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 06:58 PM

If people keep doing that, the war on drugs would become to expensive after a while and they'd have to legalize or decriminalize. Great news :smoke:


I think it's already too expensive, the government just keeps it up because they're a bunch of proud fuckers that are afraid of reversing a policy that simply doesn't work.

What I think will happen is that more and more people will start to see that it really is too expensive and join in to the protesting.

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 08:12 PM

they were cooking marijuana on a campfire , WTF?

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  • TheDankery
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Posted 11 September 2009 - 09:48 PM

Yeah ^ what the hell, man?
Were they making good old fashioned pan-seared marijuana, just like mom used to make?

What the fuck? Did they find brownie mix anywhere, or were these cartel people just straight cooking pot?

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 10:54 PM

Yeah ^ what the hell, man?
Were they making good old fashioned pan-seared marijuana, just like mom used to make?

What the fuck? Did they find brownie mix anywhere, or were these cartel people just straight cooking pot?



haha!

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Posted 15 September 2009 - 05:37 PM

I think it's already too expensive, the government just keeps it up because they're a bunch of proud fuckers that are afraid of reversing a policy that simply doesn't work.


right!

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 05:15 AM

This is very exciting, I'm only 19 and this gives me a great feeling that weed will be legalized in my lifetime. Im going to start throwing bagseed all in the forest and try to start an up roar in ohio lol.



Now that is being a JonnyPotseed.

I found a town in PA called Hempfield. haha

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:37 PM

SJ, sure was glad my state wasn't mentioned, we're still under the radar a little:hello:



I think it's already too expensive, the government just keeps it up because they're a bunch of proud fuckers that are afraid of reversing a policy that simply doesn't work.

What I think will happen is that more and more people will start to see that it really is too expensive and join in to the protesting.

They would have to admit they have been lieing for the last 70+ years.
Here's the way I think it will play out based on current events.
Each state will decide if it will be legal in that state and to what extent (medical, recreational, hemp).
Obama has already told the D.E.A. to step down from arresting anyone who is in line with their state laws regarding Cannabis.
So on a federal level I see the laws staying the same and the D.E.A. taking a hands off approach to Cannabis in the states where it is legal.
On the state level I see all states having medical laws on the books in 10 years. If Cali legalizes recreational use and it goes well and produces massive tax moneys for the state others will be quick to follow.

  • AlwayswannaFLY

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 08:41 PM

I think it's already too expensive, the government just keeps it up because they're a bunch of proud fuckers that are afraid of reversing a policy that simply doesn't work.


This !

  • Hillside Hippie

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 09:31 PM

Its funny, when you grow your own you actually stimulate the economy. You purchase things like fertilizers, lights, accessories, etc. all from businesses. Technically we are doing two very good things. 1. Bypassing the "black market" and 2. stimulating the economy. Keep in mind I am talking about personal growers.


-C

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 05:16 AM

If people keep doing that, the war on drugs would become to expensive after a while and they'd have to legalize or decriminalize. Great news :smoke:


Mexico just did!

The Raw Story ยป Mexico legalizes drug possession

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 04:32 PM

The booming business is proving challenging not only for law enforcement. A devastating forest fire in the mountains of Los Padres National Forest in California last month was found to have been started by a Mexican drug cartel that had been cooking marijuana on a camp fire. Some 30,000 plants were seized from the farm hidden away in the forest.



That part upset somewhat for some reason.....

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  • advancecavalry
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Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:55 PM

I know a group of people in my area that next spring will be committed to randomly planting pot seeds all around public areas of the town, as well as non-public (so they can actually harvest them!) :)

Imagine when politicians, innocent citizens and cops pass a few, uh, weeds, growing in plain sight on their way to work. Imagine this happening EVERYWHERE. It'll be a great summer, I'm sure most of them will get destroyed but hey, they may just make news.

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 10:32 PM

There was a cannabis plant growing in a basket hanging from a light post in New Jersey.

I say that all pot smokers nationwide need to save all their seeds and when April first comes around the corner, you need to germinate, then when they are germinated, go around on the street at night and have a passenger throw 2 or three out at a time all along every road you can before you run out.

We all need to save up for enough weed that is a felony in your state and on the 20th we all need to give ourselves up, just walk into the police department at 4:20 Am (but the myth about us all being sleeping late stoners) and say I bought and am in possession with X amount of pot, arrest me.

This would be just the thing to wake conservative America up. Just remember, have enough Kiestered so you can get high for the few days you are in jail just in case, lol.

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 03:30 AM

Shemelya puts it down to the dire economy in this part of America. The region is almost entirely dependant for jobs on coal mining, which has suffered severely from the recession.
"People are growing marijuana to supplement their income or support themselves in poor economic times. This is about economic necessity," he said.


Or maybe its because it costs too much damn money for something, that people are starting to realize they can just GROW..... :confused:

Its not crack, its not meth, hell it aint even lsd, so it not rocket science. Its just growing something... with nature.

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 04:12 AM

Yeah. If you're growing outdoors, Nature does most of the work growing weed.
Anybody can grow it... what other crop can Americans grow in their backyard and sell at like $200 an ounce?




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