DEA Report: Marijuana Seizures Increased By 20 Percent In 2016

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director October 6, 2017

    imgresSeizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops reported by the US Drug Enforcement Administration rose in 2016, according to annual data compiled by the agency.

    According to the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, law enforcement confiscated more than 5.3 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2016. The total is a 20 percent increase over the agency’s reported 2015 seizure totals and is the most plants seized by the DEA and its cooperating agencies since 2011, when law enforcement confiscated more than 6.7 million plants.

    As in past years, the DEA-sponsored eradication efforts primarily targeted California. Of the total number of plants confiscated nationwide by the DEA and cooperating agencies in 2016, 71 percent (3.78 million) were seized in California. Law enforcement seized an estimated 552,000 plants in Kentucky, 333,000 in Texas, 128,000 in Tennessee, and 124,000 in West Virginia.

    Only seven percent of all marijuana seized by law enforcement came from indoor grows.

    The agency and its partners reported making 5,657 arrests in conjunction with their cannabis eradication efforts – a ten percent decline from 2015.

    The DEA also reported seizing some $52 million in assets during their confiscation operations – nearly twice as much as the agency reported the prior year.

    Full data from the DEA’s 2016 report, as well as from past years’ reports, is available online here.

    22 responses to “DEA Report: Marijuana Seizures Increased By 20 Percent In 2016”

    1. Julian says:

      So the Trump administration kicked up marijuana prohibition enforcement. That should be fairly obvious to anyone who can pull their head out of fakebook or distinguish whether the fu€king moron is not the source of misleading information himself.

      And greedy law enforcement is certainly emboldenened by Trump;


      Groping 900 high school students without a warrant, without consent, evidence or any moral justification whatsoever? Just a verbal claim they had “drugs”? At least we can still take these bastards to civil court, but every month that goes by Trump can appoint new Federal judges. I predict once this tax plan to feed the rich flops harder than Trumpcare the evil billionaire prohibitionist Batman villains (Adelson, Paulson, Kochs, Mercers and Putin) that put the GOP into power will dump Trump like a bad haircut.

      The real fascinating part of these stats is that the DEA is still primarily focused on dirt weed, or eradicating feral hemp. This is where I wonder if the Koch’s refinery in Chorpus is invested in eradicating hemp as a source of natural fertilizer so they can sell their toxic, synthetic nitrogen fertilizer made from natural gas which we use in all our food and cotton now. Monsato Bayer has a stake in the game as legal domestic hemp would drastically reduce herbicide and pesticide consumption as well as demand for their drifting GMO cotton and soy.

      Good news is the Farm Bureau just endorsed the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. And the DEA thinks they can stop hemp from growing in the US? Good luck with that.

      • Miles says:

        I don’t think it is fair to blame President Trump for an increase in marijuana seizures during 2016 since he did not become president until 2017. I think we can blame either President Obama or the mostly republican congress for that.

        Of course if this nonsense continues, we can certainly start blaming President Trump. Part of me is still hopeful that Trump will indeed show himself to be a caring decent person and that he really is different from those who live in the political swamp. Obviously, it doesn’t help that he chose one of the worst attorney generals ever (Jeffrey Sessions).

        • Julian says:

          Interesting Miles, that you would believe that there is any chance beyond the 7th level of our worst Hell imagineable that President Trump could improve his demeanour, much less act responsibly. If anything, we haven’t seen the worst of him yet.

          As for the 2016 stats, I honestly thought about that and concede that its not entirely fair to blame Trump specifically since he didnt take office until 2017. Certainly the state Attorney Generals in 36 Republican Controlled States have an influence on these records, which would certainly explain early upticks in states like Virginia.
          But Trump was elected in 2016 and let me tell you a little bit more about “embolding” bad law enforcement. For example, if we look at the racial disparity in the uptick of marijuana arrests in NYC for the last 10 years;


          We can see that marijuana arrests were declining under President Obama until the Trump campaign began to stir up racial tensions in the U.S. during 2016. It was primarily blacks and latinos getting arrested during the racially charged 2016 campaign year that caused the increase in arrests. Look at the bar graph and read the article.

          Trump began his campaign blaming “Mexicans” for bringing “rapists” and “drugs” across the border… blaming people of color for our own made to fail drug policies. 80 years ago an evil bureaucrat named Henry Anslinger used the same technique to start marijuana prohibition. Law enforcement are emboldened by these racial epithets from campaign leaders even before the racist laws and orders are enacted.
          Meanwhile if it wasnt for President Obama signing the Cole memos we would not be discussing state legalized marijuana stats for they would not exist.

        • Dan says:

          Jefferson Beauregard

      • Ryan says:

        Let me put your fears to rest. Nobody is trying to eradicate hemp because it’s a fertilizer. Hemp is no more a fertilizer than peanuts, and it’s certainly not at all a viable contextual fertilizer. Your fears regarding “drifting GMOs” are also unfounded, it doesn’t really happen the way NaturalNews tells you it does. Hemp would not significantly reduce use of pesticides whatsoever.

    2. Mark Mitcham says:

      Trump voters owe us a goddamn apology. First, for voting for Trump; second, for believing Trump; and third, for defending Trump on this blog.

      Trump voters, now are you ready to admit you were wrong?

    3. Denny Strausser Jr says:

      What is the point? Cannabis isn’t going anyplace, and there will continue to be better and better supply of it.

      It is time to admit defeat, give up prohibition and try a solution which might actually work. Legalize and regulate. Stop treating people like me like criminals.

      I am proud to be a cannabis consumer, and am not afraid. It is time for the Government here in PA to at least pass Decriminalization, but legalization is the best way to go.

      The legal States should be enough proof, as things are better out there. I’d move, but my roommate would probably not like leaving PA. (Pennsylvania)

      It should just be legalized.

    4. Julian says:

      An increasingly dry, fire-prone climate in California is going to be an even bigger threat to marijuana and hemp farms than even the DEA’s eradication program:


      Check out the pic of the guy evacuating with his marijuana plant. Forget the cat! Make sure your pot is portable! 🙂

      Knowing exactly how many mj farms will be singing “Up in Smoke” in Sonoma County after these fires are tamed won’t be easy to determine since most mj farms can’t get insurance:

      “The exact numbers are difficult to determine, recent surveys in Sonoma County estimate there are anywhere between 3,000 and 9,000 marijuana farms of varying sizes within county lines.”

      But from drone view, the fires appear to be hitting state-legal marijuana farms (of course theres no data on non-state-legal farms)… far more than the feral hemp the DEA is primarily targeting through their eradication program because thats what is being cultivated. Or is it?
      CA is bypassing DEA licensing this year to grow hemp.
      How much wild or state-legal hemp is there in California? Until we legalize federally, I doubt we’ll ever know. This DEA report just groups all cannabis together. How does the DEA even verify what they have is even cannabis? What if these nuts are just out chopping down wild cassava or coral plants?

    5. Julian says:

      Anyhow, the real existential threat to mj farmers on the west coast now is the smoke crowding out sunlight in many more outdoor mj farms all the way to Oregon.

      According to the Hemp Industries Association %77 of all the hemp products sold in the US come from California,
      But major CA hemp product manufacturers like Dr Bronners soaps claim they still get all their hemp oil from Canada.

      That’s insane.

      Not only is this insane to the local farmers and their lost revenue but think of the logistics? Were just gonna give all the profit to the Canadians and Fed Ex?
      But then if these fires keep up perhaps it does make sense to let Canada grow most of California’s outdoor hemp since it grows so tightly together in the field making it more fire prone. And besides, Vancouver gets more rain. (Just a shorter growing season).
      Maybe the future for outdoor growing on the fire-prone west coast are these marijuana trees that are spread far apart…
      …just trim those pine trees in the background up about 20ft… screw the privacy, ya’ll need a fire break!

    6. Les says:

      I think medical marijuana should be passed. Most veterans have mental and pain issues that is helped by this with no side affects,like other medications have.

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