Law enforcement in the United States seized 37% fewer cannabis plants in 2017 than they did in 2016.
The statistic was included in the DEA’s annual Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report.
It’s great news that the number of plants seized by law enforcement was reduced significantly in 2017,
But it’s still unfortunate that the federal government continues to prohibit a plant that is safer than alcohol.
How does 2017’s seizure numbers compare to years past?
Below are the available historical numbers for total cannabis plants seized in the United States per year:
- 2017 – 3.38 million cannabis plants
- 2016 – 5.34 million cannabis plants
- 2015 – 4,25 million cannabis plants
- 2014 – 4.3 million cannabis plants
- 2013 – 4.39 million cannabis plants
- 2012 – 3.93 million cannabis plants
- 2011 – 6.73 million cannabis plants
The seizures were conducted by the DEA and/or their local law enforcement partners as part of federal cannabis eradication program.
As you can see from the historical data, overall cannabis plant seizures by law enforcement were down just shy of 50% in 2017 compared to 2011.
What contributed to the lower cannabis plant seizure numbers?
The reduction in cannabis plant seizures by law enforcement are likely due to a number of reasons, but one of the biggest contributing factors is the spread of cannabis reform across the country.
Cannabis reform results in less plants being cultivated for an unregulated market and less consumers purchasing unregulated cannabis.
With more and more cannabis cultivators and consumers moving to regulated industries a reduction in plant seizures is expected.
As cannabis reform continues to spread the Green Flower team expects the seizure numbers to continue to reduce.
Will cannabis plant seizures by law enforcement in the U.S. ever get to zero?
The DEA launched the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program in 1979 in California and Hawaii.
Three years later 25 states had joined the program and by 1985 every state in the country had jumped on board.
Unfortunately, until prohibition ends the program is likely to continue, and if not at the federal level, then in some form in states that still cling to prohibition.
The only way to completely end cannabis plant eradication in the United States is to completely end cannabis prohibition in the U.S.
A lot of work is still left to be done, but the end to cannabis prohibition in America seems to be closer than ever. Keep stepping it up and putting pressure on state and federal lawmakers!