Blogging: National Marijuana Parks 8/19/05

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As reported last week, DRCNet's Prohibition in the Media blog has resumed publishing today after a hiatus. Last week we commented on reporting by Reuters on an outbreak of drug trade violence in Acapulco that failed to note the role of drug prohibition. Yesterday Prohibition in the Media took aim at an Associated Press story on marijuana growing in Arizona's national forests.

50 marijuana grows were destroyed in Sequoia National Park last March.
The story, which ran from Phoenix on Tuesday, reported that Gila County narcs had spotted their sixth marijuana farm in Coconino National Forest this year. Task Force Commander Steve Craig commented that they "seem to be the marijuana growing capitol of Arizona." Defendants busted from the previous five grows are all Mexicans in the country illegally, and are facing sentences up to ten years. If US Attorney Paul Charlton is to be believed, some of them were using assault weapons to guard their crops. All in all, the grows so far this year have had more than 83,800 plants. And the latest one is in a heavily forested canyon that is so steep that Craig's task force is having to airlift the plants out, an operation which they expect to take at least a week. Robin Poague, Forest Service law enforcement chief for Arizona and New Mexico, says the cultivation hurts the environment too, because the growers use pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to forest vegetation.

No on quoted in the story pointed out that the Parks don't have a problem with assault weapon toting, pesticide-using growers planting hidden fields of strawberries or corn or wheat -- crops which are legal. If marijuana were legal then this sort of thing wouldn't happen with that crop either.

KPHO Phoenix, a CBS affiliate, is one outlet that ran the story. (The link points to a text article, but with at least two video links at the bottom right.) If you know of any other outlets running this or related stories, please post that information back to our blog entry from the Prohibition in the Media main page or the entry's permanent archive page. We weren't able to find any e-mail addresses or feedback forms, but that doesn't mean they aren't there -- please post that info too if you find it. We have also initiated a thread on KPHO's online forums, in the Valley News section.

Last but not least -- visit http://stopthedrugwar.org/blog/ to check out Prohibition in the Media as it comes out or to subscribe to the Prohibition in the Media e-mail alerts list.

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Issue #400 -- 8/19/05

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Editorial: Long Memories | Appeal: Please Make a 400th Issue Donation to DRCNet for Drug War Chronicle | Feature: Killer Drug Raids -- What's the Alternative? | Feature: DC "Two Million is Too Many" Prison Rally Lays Groundwork for More, Better Collaboration | Europe: Leader of Liberal Democrats in European Parliament Says Legalize It All | Weekly: This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories | Blogging: National Marijuana Parks | Methamphetamine: In Anti-Meth Lab Move, Oregon Becomes First State to Require Prescription for Cold, Allergy Medications | Methamphetamine: Souder Attacks HHS for Funding HIV Meth Conference | Asia: More Reefer Madness from the Philippines | Web Scan: Seattle Weekly on the Drug Issue | Weekly: This Week in History | Weekly: The Reformer's Calendar

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