DEA: Seizures of cannabis crops drop by nearly 40% in the US

An annual data compiled by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has shown that seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States have dropped to nearly 40 per cent between the years 2016 and 2017.

In its report, the DEA said it confiscated about 3.38 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2017. The figure represents a 37 per cent decrease from the DEA’s 2016 totals when it eradicated some 5.34 million plants, the Daily Chronic reported last week.

Previously, California took the lion’s share in the majority of seizures nationwide at around 72 per cent. However, the total percentage of seizures was 35 per cent lower than in 2016, when law enforcement confiscated an estimated 3.78 million plants.

In November 2016, California voters legalized adult use marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales. The decline also took place before California became the biggest state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana on Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, law enforcement seized 472,927 plants in Kentucky, down 15 per cent from 2016, 74,599 plants in West Virginia, down 40 per cent, and 34,646 plants in Tennessee, down 73 per cent.

However, Arkansas and Indiana saw different trends. About 62,323 plants were seized in Arkansas, up by 93 per cent, and 60,658 confiscated plants in Indiana, up by five per cent.

Meanwhile, the DEA and its partners reported making 4,502 arrests in conjunction with their cannabis eradication efforts – a 20 per cent decline from 2016.

It also reported seizing some $20.5 million in assets during their confiscation efforts – a 60 per cent reduction from the previous year.