Illegal Marijuana Cultivation Declines in Washington State

Illegal Grow Ops

In Washington state, illegal cultivation of marijuana has taken a sharp decline. According to the Yakima Herald, the number of marijuana plants confiscated by the Drug Enforcement Agency has fallen from 321,583 in 2010 to approximately 57,000 in 2014, an 80 percent decrease over four years.

Although many attribute the drastic decline of illegal grows to the state legalizing recreational marijuana, Washington State Patrol Lt. Chris Sweet has credited the decline to an increase in air reconnaissance and cooperation between state and federal agencies.

“It moved them into other states that don’t necessarily have the response teams we do,” Sweet said. Sweet also said that it is too early to tell what impact legalization has had on the state. “The trend for now doesn’t really tell us if there will be an increase or decrease or whether it will remain the same.”

Despite the drastic decline, Washington is still ranked as one of the top 10 states with illegal cultivation.

William Sumner, a freelance writer and marijuana journalist, was a staff writer for MJINews from May 2014 through February 2018. You can follow him on Twitter @W_Sumner.

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