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Marijuana growers use National Parks and Forest
June 14, 2003 12:49 AM   Subscribe

Large-scale marijuana cultivation in National Parks and forests. "[Growers] are killing wildlife, diverting streams, introducing nonnative plants, creating fire and pollution hazards, and bringing the specter of violence. For the moment, we are failing both parts of our mission, and that is tragic." This is not a new problem. "The reasons are obvious: the land is fertile, remote and free.  There's no risk of forfeiture, plantations are difficult to trace, and growers have land agents outmanned, outspent and outgunned."
posted by letitrain (18 comments total)

 
what kind of pot growers kill wildlife and spray polluting non-organic insecticides all over their plants? i am always glad to see people are preventing that insanely dangerous satan plant from growing (amen)
posted by timb at 1:56 AM on June 14, 2003


Imagine if it were legal. And taxed. 400 billion defecit? Ha. Give it 4 years.
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:57 AM on June 14, 2003


What are the reasons why it should not be legalized?
posted by Keyser Soze at 1:58 AM on June 14, 2003


there are no (imo) justifiable reasons.
posted by timb at 2:12 AM on June 14, 2003


sinners
posted by cohappy at 2:16 AM on June 14, 2003


This had got be a joke right?

"The most [visitors] used to worry about is running into a grizzly bear. Now there is the specter of violence by a masked alien toting an AK-47," says David Barna, chief spokesman for the National Park Service (NPS). He and others say the problem is national, but most pronounced in California, Utah, and Arkansas, and in parks with international borders such as Big Bend in Texas and Glacier in Montana.

I'll tell ya what's most "pronounced" about this: The drug war is ludicrous. Especially because they have to hide the most insightful and least hysteria inducing sentence to the last:

"This is everyone's problem," says Tweed. "It's not just a question of the moral and legal issue of marijuana. It's an issue of commercial-sized agriculture devastating the mission of national parks to preserve land ... for generations.

I dunno about you, but I say we privatize it all. It's the only way.
posted by crasspastor at 3:46 AM on June 14, 2003


Perhaps situation would provide useful training for the US military, backing up beleagured Park Rangers?

This story really brings it home just how insanely large the US actually is. Imagine, people living and working in national parks without anyone noticing for weeks and months at a time.
posted by dmt at 5:36 AM on June 14, 2003


Those AK-47-toting aliens: Are they grays, or the short blue "doctors"?

Sigh. Crikey, just legalize the damn stuff already. Anybody who wants to sell it has to pay an excise, and the revenooers can hunt down the malfeasants just like with moonshine.
posted by alumshubby at 6:34 AM on June 14, 2003


Solution?

Legalize it, regulate it, tax it, give it away to those who need it, keep it away from children and teens until the age of 21 and educate about it like tobacco, forbid advertising, allow personal cultivation, treat marijuanolics like you do alcoholics, save law enforcement resources for real problems...

oops. That last one?

It's the real reason: a massive pork-barrel gravy-train for the prison and badge crowd, in unholy alliance with the handsomely profiting criminal gang.

Try to express your opinion on the matter, and you are subject to well-funded persecutions.

Amen, Keyser Soze, crasspastor.
posted by reality at 7:58 AM on June 14, 2003


When alcohol was illegal, the price went up enough for crime to get involved. When it was made legal and "regulated" the cost of production and distribution came down so much that the crime syndicated did not see the same profit margins and moved on to something else.

The same can be said for marijuana. Legalize and regulate (tax) it, bring the price down, and the criminal element will not see the same profit margins as before, and get out of the business. A nice side effect will be the whole "gateway" argument then takes effect. If people are not forced to deal with criminals to purchase pot, they will not be exposed to other more harmful and destructive drugs.

The amount of money spent investigating, policing, arresting, prosecuting and jailing marijuana smokers and growers would be saved, and hey....we'd all get a nice big fat tax cut! Who wants another $600 Billion tax cut?
posted by CrazyJub at 8:23 AM on June 14, 2003


When will people get off their BS and realize that alcohol is the gateway drug?

Oh, but that's right. alcohol's ok.. it survived prohibition.. it's part of our culture, right?
posted by shadow45 at 8:39 AM on June 14, 2003


Subtext: pot smokers = terr'ists
posted by goethean at 8:44 AM on June 14, 2003


This story really brings it home just how insanely large the US actually is. Imagine, people living and working in national parks without anyone noticing for weeks and months at a time.

slightly off topic: actually, living in the parks isn't so unusual. in fact, here in michigan, it's move-in time. it's not unusual for me to come across an entire family living in makeshift tents far from designated camping areas. my visual impression is one of poverty - an escape from the burden of rent for the summer months? i'm not totally ashamed to admit that so far, i haven't had the gumption to actually approach and speak to any of these people, so i can't be sure. but hunters and outdoorsmen are easy to spot by their inventories of creature comforts - usually starting with that big F-250 and camper and including coolers, camp lamps, patio furniture etc. but these folks have none of those accoutrements in sight, and often a tent is little more than a tarp hung over a rope stretched between a tree and the bumper of a rusting pontiac. i'm sure these people aren't engaging in peter max agriculture though, as michigan climate isn't exactly conducive to growing finest stinkbud.
posted by quonsar at 9:30 AM on June 14, 2003


Not that the DEA has the Rave Act at their disposal, they should prosecute the Park Service.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 AM on June 14, 2003


What I find amusing is that the 'Federales' came and took all this land away from the states, and now are bitching because the property they stole is so expensive to maintain.

So much of what was free is now "fee", especially the little, nice things that these parks have. Why should I pay you to look at the sunset? Because it's expensive to have a man sit in a booth here and take your money for looking at the sunset!
posted by kablam at 11:58 AM on June 14, 2003


There are obvious parallels between Prohibition/organized crime and the War on Drugs/illegal drug trade. Heinous forfeiture laws and sentences all out of proportion to the crimes have made National Forest operations like these the safest way to do business. Is the only answer legalization? I can't see that happening with the current administration.

They might have been linked before, but here are two required reading articles Eric Schlosser wrote for The Atlantic in 1994, entitled Reefer Madness and Marijuana and the Law.
posted by letitrain at 12:05 PM on June 14, 2003


Perhaps situation would provide useful training for the US military, backing up beleagured Park Rangers?

That would be great, except it's illegal.
posted by RylandDotNet at 12:10 PM on June 14, 2003


Of course, the Bush Park Service, home of the "Cut Down the Trees So They Won't Burn Down" ethos, could use this as another excuse to sell off give away public lands to profit-minded privateers.
I just hope a member of MeFi's capitalist minority doesn't take this as a suggestion, and if he does, gives me a cut of his obscene profit
posted by wendell at 4:52 PM on June 14, 2003


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