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DEA Report: Marijuana Seizures Fell Nearly 40 Percent in 2017

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director May 23, 2018

    Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States fell nearly 40 percent between the years 2016 and 2017, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.

    According to figures published in the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, the agency and its law enforcement partners confiscated an estimated 3.38 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2017. This total represents a 37 percent decrease from the agency’s 2016 totals, when it eradicated some 5.34 million plants.

    As in past years, the majority of seizures nationwide (72 percent) took place in California, where law enforcement seized and estimated 2.45 million plants. That total was 35 percent lower than in 2016, when law enforcement confiscated an estimated 3.78 million plants. California voters in November 2016 legalized adult use marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales.

    Law enforcement seized 472,927 plants in Kentucky (down 15 percent from 2016), 74,599 plants in West Virginia (down 40 percent), 62,323 plants in Arkansas (up 93 percent), 60,658 plants in Indiana (up five percent), and 34,646 plants in Tennessee (down 73 percent).

    The agency and its partners reported making 4,502 arrests in conjunction with their cannabis eradication efforts – a 20 percent decline from 2016.

    The DEA also reported seizing some $20.5 million in assets during their confiscation efforts – a 60 percent reduction from the previous year.

    You can click here to send a message to your member of Congress to support pending legislation known as the Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act to reduce the DEA’s enforcement policies even faster. 

    Full data from the DEA’s 2017 report, as well as past years’ reports, are available online here.

    30 responses to “DEA Report: Marijuana Seizures Fell Nearly 40 Percent in 2017”

    1. ancient james says:

      The fervor of this tragic prohibition is cooling, yet so many people are still harmed by misguided law enforcement. No doubt that when cannabis prohibition is ended then thankfully law enforcement will have more respect from the citizens. So regarding cannabis it’s like Bob Seger singing in Til It Shines, “Leave the Inmates, Free the Guards”.

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Ancient James,
        So long as people are willing to war against each other for money, there will always be war profiteers, eager and willing to pay people to war against each other.

        Maybe you remember this… The cops used to say “we don’t make the laws, we just enforce them. If you don’t like the laws, then change them.”

        So we did.

        But have you noticed, in places like Indianapolis, the cops are ramping UP marijuana arrests in response to legalization elsewhere?

        Legalization exposes fascism; the glove comes off, and the fist is displayed: open, naked abuse of power. Now, we see law enforcement acting as a self-aware entity, acting out of pure self-interest: financial gain through forfeitures and governmental programs for dividing up the ill-gotten gains.

        True in the sixties, true now: Fuck the Pigs!

        • Matt says:

          so true about the ramp up response, Dain…they know they’re losing but they raid on in ignorance

        • IndyCa says:

          Yeah, figures they would try and ramp up efforts to lock people up in my hometown, even though it’s far different from the rest of the state in terms of politics. Lawmakers will focus on the progressive cities, where more black and Latino people live than in the rural areas. Too bad the few state politicians here who support legalization get crapped on.

          But don’t worry; there will always be a group of rebels fighting against the powers that keep weed illegal. I hope my state government gets their heads out their asses and legalizes at least medical marijuana, before Kentucky joins the other three states that border us in legalizing it and we get boxed out and lose more patients and business than we probably already have.

      • Matt says:

        misguided, indeed, and perhaps in willful denial as to the reality of coming legalization. U.S. Attorney said TN is not Oregon, someone said not “weed country.” Well, IT WILL BE! Ruining lives ahead of legalization…sad….Thanks, Paul, for this update.

      • Matt says:

        lol, every time I hear about country police busting marijuana users or making raids, Sundown by Lightfoot comes into my head. Must be that country back theme.

        Oh man, some parts of our country like the South are SO outdated on marijuana.

        Not in our heeeer town….devil’s weed.

        We need Federal legalization or it will take some of these states DECADES.

    2. Joel: the other Joel says:

      No more DEA resale of confiscated marijuana to increase more marijuana arrest and asset seizures.

    3. TheOracle says:

      Like I keep saying, the feds and prohibitionist state governments are guaranteeing profits for the cartels. When you lowball the amount of money that states that have legalized are raking in, you can pretty much figure that’s what the (Mexican) cartels are getting. Ya can’t get much dumber than that. Nobody should have to fear the cartels or their government no matter which side of the border you’re on.

      Pennsylvania have better get this dispute fixed. They just need to legalize, and in a way that allows personal cultivation and Amsterdam style coffeeshops, cannalounges, whatever you want to call them. Sure are plenty of places for the boozers, they’re all over the place.

      https://www.marijuana.com/news/2018/05/pennsylvania-judge-puts-hold-on-states-plan-for-medical-pot-research/

    4. Julian says:

      Thank you Paul for High-lighting these stats.

      %40 is a big number. The Hemp Eradication Program is a great source of pointless, immoral tax payer money to an historic bureaucratic parasite of an organization, the DEA.
      What this indicates is the DEA is already allocating its funds to other grants and programs in fearful anticipation for the legalization of hemp. What a fascinating display of hubris.

    5. Bill says:

      And you all thought Trump was going to crack down…

      • Dain Bramage says:

        Bill,
        Of course Traitor Trump will crack down. If he doesn’t get the shakedown he wants. It’s just another one of his extortion rackets. The shit is coming, unless we can have the sack of shit removed from office. What’s stopping him? Who will stop him? You? That a laugh.

      • Julian says:

        (Hand smacking face emoji)…

        …Bill, Trump, a sycophant for Big Pharma and private prisons, reversed the Cole memos that saved state marijuana legalization. Fortunately he is too incompetant to be Big Pharma’s watchdog, distracted by anyone from here to China that waves a little money at him. “China needs more jobs.” Trump actially said that a week ago after the Chinese gave him half a mill for his Trump Towers in Indonesia… all to pay off the Russian mob for his son-in-law’s billion dollar real estate failure at 666 Madison Ave.
        So much for MAGA!
        Trump is so incompetant he asked what the difference between HPV and HIV was… TWICE! The best thing he can do for or marijuana reform is stay out of our way.

      • Negative Nancy says:

        Bill,
        Trump is definitely cracked up.

    6. Sean says:

      I’m sure this decline in weed busts wasn’t out of the goodness of the DEA’s hearts.

    7. Dain Bramage says:

      There is something about the act of observing massive-scale, militant attacks on a friendly, peaceful little FLOWER, goddamn it, that just causes me to blow a fuse inside my head somewhere.

      Actually, the fuse blew a long time ago. Now it just makes a kind of clicking sound in my head as the same circuits are subjected to shock.

      Madness. Reefer madness, actually.

      • Matt says:

        Totally hear you, Dain. It makes me feel so enraged….so angry and sick and tired of police and lawmakers who just do not GET IT. They may be enforcing an unjust LAW, but it is still disgusting, and the way they take PRIDE seemingly in busts and shutting down that EVIL weed. Safety and security of the community, the people don’t want mariHUana here in OUR TOWN, all that. It’s typical. As legalization spreads though, that will EVENTUALLY die off.

        But every news story like the one in TN and others is infuriating. Think of how it would have been if Sessions had unleashed a massive DEA crackdown. Thank god, it does not appear he will.

        Truly an outrage, but we must speak out and stay strong.

        Peace,

        M

        • Dain Bramage says:

          So long as Trump wields power, we are in serious and significant risk of a crack-down. We have not yet seen the full extent of the damage being done by what is profanely profanely dubbed “The Trump Administration.”

          • Dain Bramage says:

            Otherwise, with you. Didn’t intend to be overly combative. Just saying… it’s too soon to make that call.

    8. Matt says:

      Good, but not good enough….take backwards Jackson, TN for example! Backwards idiocy…..System needs to get with the times and reality.

    9. chris says:

      want the cops to stop arresting people make them do all the arrest paperwork on their own time with no overtime see how fast pot busts will not be so important anymore everything in life is about money take the cash and they wont give a crap about busts anymore on another note: gov coumo in new york just changed his mind about legalization since the person running for his job came foward with a legalization plan afraid of being voted out amazing how the cash makes the world go round sorry coumo we the new yorkers know you and your done you dont fool us

    10. I have sought the Drug Czar position, Director of Office of National Drug Control Policy, for two years with the promise of ending all illicit drug deaths if nominated within two (2) months. In a chat with Ms Conway, I answered her question if I was serious, I answered with a firm affirmative.

      • Julian says:

        I salute your enthusiasm, John… although I must bring to your attention a few major hurdles…

        1). Her last name is “Conway.” See any hints?

        2). If what you claim is true, you will be vetted by an Office in the White House with questions like “Have you ever solicited organizations for the legalization of a schedule 1 Controlled Substance?” To which you will have to answer “That must be another John Dickinson on a NORML blog.”

        3). However your noble intent to “end all illicit deaths” (Going to regulate Big Pharma? Good luck!) be advised that the Drug Czar is muzzled by the CSAct. As soon as you swear in, you will be required under the CSAct to deny the medical efficacy of any schedule 1 substance including whole plant marijuana or any research supporting its medical efficacy. And as Drug Czar, (considering no one wants the job, and the last kid never showed up to work, congratulations!…) you will use our tax dollars to do the dirty work or you will lose your job or get prosecuted by some Purdue lawyers that used to work for the DEA.

        Wanna change all that? Vote in an opposing party to Congress.

        Until then, just curious; WHY are you posting your occupational intent to be Drug Czar on a NORML blog?

        And how exactly do you plan to “end all illicit deaths” in a position that forces you to supress the research and legalization of medicine in the schedule 1 “illicit” category?

        Only solution I have for you is click on the ACT tab and act dumb when they tell you to crack down on mj.

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