If you are a big fan of the war on drugs, you may be especially proud of the government’s crackdown on marijuana in its myriad manifestations. Drug warriors of all stripes can be found doing their duty on the front lines of this especially fearsome drug. From the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to their state level cohorts to local drug cops, no bust is too small, no amount spent is too much to save America from itself.
DEA Cannabis Eradication Program
We are all too familiar with the catchphrase “Your tax dollars at work.” The DEA certainly does their part. Their most recent budget is about $29 Billion (that’s with a “B”). Of course, they do lots of really important work besides just messing with potheads. We wouldn’t want to give the wrong impression.
But, one might wonder at the seeming obsession the agency has with a drug that has been gaining steam in approval for legalization in state after state. No matter, the DEA is so committed to rooting out the dreaded drug that they have a program to help the states do it.
Straying little from the government love of fancy names and acronyms, their program is called the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP). Also following the typical government script for virtually everything, the program has grown from its humble beginnings to the major success it is today (“success” being a subjective term).
Getting its start in California and Hawaii in 1979, rapidly expanding to 25 states by 1982, all 50 states were all in by 1985. “In 2015, the DCE/SP was responsible for the eradication of 3,932,201 cultivated outdoor cannabis plants and 325,019 indoor plants for a total of 4,257,220 marijuana plants. In addition, the DCE/SP accounted for 6,278 arrests and the seizure in excess of 29.7 million dollars of cultivator assets.” Gotta love those exact numbers of plants, no doubt they are entirely accurate.Civil asset forfeiture is an unconstitutional practice...The DEA's use of proceeds acquired through civil asset forfeiture to expand marijuana enforcement—a state-level issue—makes the already unacceptable practice even worse. Click To Tweet
Bill to Curb Asset Forfeiture for Marijuana Suppression
Here’s the thing, it gets even better when it comes to the money. We have written about the particularly pernicious use of civil asset forfeiture as a means for law enforcement to finance its ongoing operations. Well, of course, that judicious use of easily obtained funding simply adds to the already substantial pool of cash awaiting those state and local agencies with their hands out.
There may be a wrinkle in that sea of sublimity, however, as not everyone is as on board with this program or how it is funded. Congressmen Ted W. Lieu (D-CA) Justin Amash (R-MI) to name two. They have reintroduced a previous bill to “prohibit the transfer of property that would be used for cannabis eradication from a federal or state/local agency and ensures precious federal resources are not wasted on marijuana eradication.”
Civil asset forfeiture is an unconstitutional practice whereby the government takes people’s property without due process. The DEA’s use of proceeds acquired through civil asset forfeiture to expand marijuana enforcement—a state-level issue—makes the already unacceptable practice even worse. ~ Rep. Justin Amash
Read more about this at BILL TO CURB CIVIL ASSET FORFEITURE FOR MARIJUANA SUPPRESSION.