Ditchweed Update: DEA Numbers 7/20/01

Drug War Chronicle, recent top items


recent blog posts "In the Trenches" activist feed


Last week, DRCNet reported on the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (http://www.drcnet.org/wol/194.html#ditchweed), which appears primarily devoted to wiping out feral cannabis, or "ditchweed," descended from the "Hemp for Victory" program of World War II. Because the DEA was slow to respond to DRCNet requests for current information, we were unable to provide accurate recent figures.

The DEA has now responded. DEA figures confirm that the vast majority of cannabis plants destroyed by the eradication campaign are ditchweed, feral cannabis plants that do not contain enough THC to provide any psychoactive effects other than a headache.

According to the DEA, the eradication program destroyed 252, 717,000 cannabis plants in 2000. Of those, 250 million were ditchweed, 2.5 million were cultivated outdoor plants, and 717,000 were indoor cultivated plants. In other words, DEA's own data show that 98.92% of all cannabis plants destroyed under the program were harmless weeds whose destruction has absolutely no impact on drug use in the United States.

This year's program is funded at $13.2 million dollars, the DEA told DRCNet, with grants to state and local agencies ranging from $5,000 to over one million dollars per agency. The grants go to some 106 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states.

Surprisingly, the DEA also claimed to "have evidence that sample "ditchweed" plants submitted from each state contain THC in excess of the levels accepted for "getting high."

That was news to cannabis expert Chris Conrad (http://www.chrisconrad.com). "I don't know what their 'levels accepted for getting high' are," Conrad told DRCNet, "but I would place it at something above 2% THC concentration. Mexican brick weed averages about 3%, and according to the study done by the American Midland Naturalists in the mid-1970s, ditchweed averaged around 0.5%."

Readers should not be surprised, however, that the DEA claims that ditchweed can get you high. This is, after all, the same agency that has expressed serious concerns about people getting THC in their bodies from hemp-based lip balms and other body care products.

-- END --
Link to Drug War Facts
Please make a generous donation to support Drug War Chronicle in 2007!          

PERMISSION to reprint or redistribute any or all of the contents of Drug War Chronicle (formerly The Week Online with DRCNet is hereby granted. We ask that any use of these materials include proper credit and, where appropriate, a link to one or more of our web sites. If your publication customarily pays for publication, DRCNet requests checks payable to the organization. If your publication does not pay for materials, you are free to use the materials gratis. In all cases, we request notification for our records, including physical copies where material has appeared in print. Contact: StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network, P.O. Box 18402, Washington, DC 20036, (202) 293-8340 (voice), (202) 293-8344 (fax), e-mail [email protected]. Thank you.

Articles of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of the DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.

Issue #195, 7/20/01 Editorial: Robert Downey's Business | Prescription for Prosecution: Feds Go After Oxy Docs in Southwestern Virginia | BC Marijuana Industry Approaching Critical Mass, DEA Not Happy | Ditchweed Update: DEA Numbers | Narco News First Amendment Trial Begins, Electronic Frontier Foundation Files Amicus Brief | Media Scan: Columbia Journalism Review on Cincinnati, Arianna Huffington on Colombia | For Sale: Merchandise and Services to Benefit the Cause | HEA Campaign Gets Media: Student Victim Cases Still Needed | Urgent Action Alerts: Colombia, HEA, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana, John Walters | The Reformer's Calendar

This issue -- main page
This issue -- single-file printer version
Drug War Chronicle -- main page
Chronicle archives
Out from the Shadows HEA Drug Provision Drug War Chronicle Perry Fund DRCNet en EspaŮol Speakeasy Blogs About Us Home
Why Legalization? NJ Racial Profiling Archive Subscribe Donate DRCNet em PortuguÍs Latest News Drug Library Search
special friends links: SSDP - Flex Your Rights - IAL - Drug War Facts

StoptheDrugWar.org: the Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet)
1623 Connecticut Ave., NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC 20009 Phone (202) 293-8340 Fax (202) 293-8344 [email protected]