Kentucky State Police are preparing to begin the yearly Cannabis Suppression program, the summer seasonal campaign to catch high volume growers. The seasonal enforcement campaign is a multi-agency operation including the Drug Enforcement Administration, Appalachia HIDTA, US Forestry Service, National Guard, US Marshal Service and KSP.
In 2011, Kentucky marijuana suppression teams eradicated nearly 400,000 outdoor pot plants from over 5,000 plots resulting in 371 arrests. “One fully developed pot plant can be processed into one pound of street packaged marijuana,” adds Lt. Brent Roper, a twenty-one year veteran of KSP and current commander for the Cannabis Suppression Branch. “A one-pound unit will sell for approximately $2,000,” said Roper.
KSP teams removed nearly $800 million dollars worth of outdoor pot in 2011.
Roper sees marijuana as an avenue to finance trade for other illicit substances and drug-trafficking enterprises. “Marijuana is definitely a cash crop in Kentucky and what some people don’t understand is that these funds are assisting in illegal trade operations of other dangerous drugs,” says Roper.
According to the KSP website, the top ten counties for outdoor marijuana eradication in 2011 (by plant numbers) were Wayne, Knox, Bell, Lee, Knott, Casey, Monroe, Pike, Harlan and Leslie counties.
“Through our website, we provide the total number of marijuana plants eradicated in each Kentucky County,” adds Roper. “This gives citizens an opportunity to see what is going on in the communities where they live.”
KSP is encouraging the public to get involved with the seasonal campaign by calling their toll free hotline at 1 (800) DOPE-TIP. Callers can remain anonymous all tips are investigated.
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