DEA Hiding "Ditchweed" Stats

The Drug Enforcemnt Administration releases statistics every year on drug seizures. In past years, as I wrote here, up to 98% of the marijuana plants they seized was unusable, non psychotropic "ditchweed."

What's "ditchweed?"

[It's] a term the agency uses to define "wild, scattered marijuana plants [with] no evidence of planting, fertilizing, or tending." Unlike cultivated marijuana, feral hemp contains virtually no detectable levels of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, and does not contribute to the black market marijuana trade.

NORML senior policy analyst Paul Armentano has an article today questioning why the DEA, this year, is no longer publishing "ditchweed" stats.

Good question.

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    Why would the DEA (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by themomcat on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 12:45:30 PM EST
    want us to know how our tax dollars are being wasted in the "War on Drugs"? Really, Jeralyn, get a grip.;-)

    FERAL hemp? (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:00:13 PM EST
    I've had to deal with a few feral cats, not an easy thing or even a friendly thing. I heard about a few feral dogs in Iraq - but look out for that FERAL hemp.  It'll jump onto you and make itself into a shirt or something :)

    Are people thinking something shady is (none / 0) (#1)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 12:39:42 PM EST
    transpiring within the DEA?  The only thing I know, is you will never find ditchweed on "Weeds" :)

    When is something not shady (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:02:08 PM EST
    about the DEA and it's stats?

    militarytracy....I walked right into that one :) (none / 0) (#8)
    by PssttCmere08 on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:04:16 PM EST
    People in government agencies are wising up (none / 0) (#4)
    by splashy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:00:47 PM EST
    At least I hope that is the case.

    There are more people looking at things like that,  so those in the government that are being watched for the first time are beginning to realize they may get caught with their hands in the cookie jars.

    It's a sign of the times, a good sign, I hope.

    We're paying through the nose (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 01:04:03 PM EST
    for ditch inhabitant profiling and harassment?  I want my money back!

    It is sheer folly... (none / 0) (#7)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 02:01:17 PM EST
    ...that a plant like hemp, with all of its industrial uses, is still illegal.  

    An awful lot of farmers in the Heartland would like to be able to plant it.

    The idiot DEA (none / 0) (#9)
    by Left of center on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 03:07:12 PM EST
    has been trying to eradicate marijuana for over 35 years now, and what's the result? About half a trillion dollars wasted, and Marijuana is the number 1 cash crop in America, way to go boys, you're doing a heckuva job.

    Thank the sun god.... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kdog on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 04:40:38 PM EST
    for incompetence, eh?  All the DEA appears to be competent at is getting their funding increased year after year after year.

    It is an impossible task to eradicate reefer, the most impossible of the impossible actually...but the man knew that when he started the DEA.  It was never about eradication...and all about incarceration, fines, and asset forfeiture.

    Not to mention creating criminals out of thin air, to better control the populace.

    There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

    - Ayn Rand

    Millions of Americans turned into criminals with the stroke of a pen.  It works too...I see a cop, I run and hide.  I see an injustice, I keep quiet.  I see my taxes pay for weapons systems we'll never need, I pay my taxes.  Why?  Because I'm guilty...I'm a criminal.  


    what a waste (none / 0) (#10)
    by Joe Bob on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 04:30:39 PM EST
    I lived in southern Indiana for a short while, sadly enough. The enormous WWII-era hemp farms in the more northerly part of the state were legendary. Likewise, having lived in Kentucky for many years prior to that, I can say that pretty much everyone learned about ditchweed by the time they got out of high school. Wacky tobaccy being the real cash crop of KY, people knew the difference.

    So, basically what we have here is a make-work program for the police, which has the happy side effect of spraying herbicide all over the place. I hope they at least pick up litter while they're patrolling the ditches so it's not a totally wasted effort.

    I guess that explains why (none / 0) (#14)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 05:30:41 PM EST
    95%+ of all ditchweed is "eradicated" in Indiana, it's all left-over from WWII farms.

    I wonder what our two potus candidates' positions are on ditchweed?


    Odd Moments in Teen Years (none / 0) (#11)
    by Peregwyn on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 04:33:34 PM EST
    One of the oddest things I recall from my teen years was my Grandmother pointing out the marijuana plants that were growing in the ditches.  They lived in NE Kansas, where it grew wild everywhere.

    1999 (none / 0) (#13)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 05:08:46 PM EST
    Starting in 1983, our County Drug task Force went out to Springfield Hill every Augusts and cut thde ditchweeed, and issued a press release about their eradication effort. Invariably, one reporter or another would call me for a response quote, and I'd offer them 35 cents a pound for the stalks.

    Come 1999, no press release. That october, i saw the Lt. in charge of the task force when he was assigned to our annual Hempfest.

    "How come no eradication on Springfield hill this year?"

    "The Feds cut the grant from $40,000 to $15,000, and that's just not enough to let you make us the laughingstock of the County anymore."

    I guess it would be too much to believe (none / 0) (#15)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 05:32:28 PM EST
    that the gvt stopped "eradicating" ditchweed in 2007?

    I guess it would be too much to (none / 0) (#16)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 06:02:45 PM EST

    you want to talk about waste (none / 0) (#17)
    by cpinva on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 06:12:53 PM EST
    in the federal gov't? the DEA has got to be the single most useless federal agency around. think of the millions saved by its elimination. the best part is, aside from those working there, no one will even notice it's gone.

    Ditchweed benefits all sides. (none / 0) (#18)
    by halstoon on Mon Aug 11, 2008 at 10:54:13 PM EST
    The DEA gets to ramp up its confiscated tonnage, which helps their budget continue to grow, the Mexicans get a boost to their economy through the trafficking, dealers make money on the black market, and I get to smoke quality sativa instead of some headache-inducing brown frown.

    The one downside: all the people who have to go to prison to keep this charade going....