National Drug Intelligence Center
In 2005, the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and DEA, along with other federal, state, and local law enforcement and intelligence agencies, identified California, Hawaii, Kentucky, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, and West Virginia as the primary marijuana cultivation states (M7 states). After the M7 states were identified, law enforcement resources were shifted to focus eradication efforts on these states. Much of the funding used to facilitate these eradication operations is provided through DEA's DCE/SP Program. DCE/SP data show that more than 8 million plants were eradicated in 2008, 89 percent (7,136,133 plants of 8,013,308 plants) of which were eradicated in the M7 States.
Cannabis cultivation and eradication levels are consistently higher in California than in any other state. According to DCE/SP data, eradication of indoor and outdoor cannabis plants in California in 2008 accounted for 66 percent (5,322,053 of 8,013,308) of cannabis plants eradicated nationally, compared to 70 percent (4,951,976 of 7,034,327) in 2007. Eradication data from the DEA San Francisco Field Division also show that the California counties where outdoor eradication is highest include Lake, Tulare, Shasta, Los Angeles, and Mendocino;3 these counties accounted for 40 percent (2,069,179 of 5,139,451) of all outdoor plants eradicated in California in 2008 (see Figure 3). Eradication of indoor cannabis plants in California occurred at the highest levels in Humboldt, Mendocino, Sonoma, San Diego, and San Mateo Counties,4 accounting for 61 percent of all indoor plants (110,503 of 182,602) eradicated in California in 2008.
Figure 3. Outdoor Cannabis Plants Eradicated and Sites Seized in California, by County, 2008
Source: Drug Enforcement Administration, San Francisco Field Division; Campaign Against Marijuana Planting.
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Hawaii consistently ranks among the top states for the total number of cannabis plants eradicated each year. According to DCE/SP data, eradication of indoor and outdoor cannabis plants in Hawaii (102,771 plants) accounted for 1 percent of all plants eradicated in the United States (8,013,308 plants) in 2008. Unlike previous years, Hawaii County Police Department statistics were not included in 2008 DCE/SP data--a contributing factor to a decrease in the number of plants eradicated in Hawaii between 2007 (139,089 plants) and 2008 (102,771 plants) (see text box). According to the DEA San Francisco Field Division, a majority of the cannabis eradicated in Hawaii was seized from outdoor sites on public lands by the Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) (64,841 plants). County-level eradication data for Hawaii are not available; however, available data indicate that a considerable number of cannabis plants were eradicated by the Maui County Police Department (32,378 plants), the Kauai County Police Department (2,043 plants), and the Honolulu County Police Department (3,316 plants) during 2008. DEA San Francisco Field Division eradication data also show that indoor cannabis cultivation levels were highest in Maui County; 373 plants were eradicated during 2008. No cannabis plants were eradicated from indoor grow sites in Honolulu or Kauai Counties or from DLNR lands during 2008.
Hawaii County Votes to Drop Federal Eradication Funding
In May 2008, the County Council for Hawaii County voted not to accept federal DCE/SP funding for state and local law enforcement's aerial surveillance and eradication efforts, citing complaints from many residents who reportedly opposed the program because low-flying helicopter missions violated their privacy and disrupted rural life. Consequently, law enforcement agencies were constrained in their efforts to effectively monitor outdoor and indoor grow activity in Hawaii County where most of the state's cannabis cultivation occurs.
Source: Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to DCE/SP data, eradication of indoor and outdoor cannabis plants in Oregon (91,801 plants) accounted for 1 percent of all plants eradicated in the United States (8,013,308 plants). Data from the Oregon Department of Justice indicate that outdoor eradication levels were highest in Jefferson, Douglas, Morrow, Hood River, and Yamhill Counties,5 accounting for 70 percent of all outdoor plants eradicated in Oregon in 2008 (53,736 of 76,896). (See Figure 4.) Indoor cannabis eradication levels were highest in Multnomah, Lane, Deschutes, Douglas, and Clackamas Counties,6 accounting for 85 percent of all indoor plants eradicated in Oregon in 2008 (7,490 of 8,805 plants). (See Figure 5.)
Figure 4. Outdoor Cannabis Plants Eradicated and Sites Seized in Oregon, by County, 2008
Source: Oregon Department of Justice.
Figure 5. Indoor Cannabis Plants Eradicated in Oregon, by County, 2008
Source: Oregon Department of Justice.
According to the DEA San Francisco Field Division,
law enforcement authorities eradicated the highest number of outdoor-grown cannabis
plants in Lake (495,035), Tulare (474,215), Shasta (407,386), Los Angeles (359,870),
and Mendocino (315,397) Counties in 2008.
4. According to the DEA San Francisco Field Division, law enforcement authorities eradicated the highest number of indoor-grown cannabis plants in Humboldt (32,242), Mendocino (23,684), Sonoma (20,547), San Diego (17,324), and San Mateo (16,706) Counties in 2008.
5. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, law enforcement authorities eradicated the highest number of outdoor-grown cannabis plants in Jefferson (20,865), Douglas (9,885), Morrow (9,226), Hood River (7,098), and Yamhill (6,662) Counties in 2008.
6. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, law enforcement authorities eradicated the highest number of indoor-grown cannabis plants in Multnomah (2,615), Lane (2,547), Deschutes (943), Douglas (696), and Clackamas (689) Counties in 2008.
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