Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States fell nearly 40 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to figures published in the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, the agency and its law enforcement partners confiscated an estimated 3.38 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2017. This total represents a 37 percent decrease from the agency’s 2016 totals, when it eradicated some 5.34 million plants.
As in past years, the majority of seizures nationwide (72 percent) took place in California, where law enforcement seized and estimated 2.45 million plants. That total was 35 percent lower than in 2016, when law enforcement confiscated an estimated 3.78 million plants. California voters in November 2016 legalized adult use marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales.
Law enforcement seized 472,927 plants in Kentucky (down 15 percent from 2016), 74,599 plants in West Virginia (down 40 percent), 62,323 plants in Arkansas (up 93 percent), 60,658 plants in Indiana (up five percent), and 34,646 plants in Tennessee (down 73 percent).
The agency and its partners reported making 4,502 arrests in conjunction with their cannabis eradication efforts – a 20 percent decline from 2016.
The DEA also reported seizing some $20.5 million in assets during their confiscation efforts – a 60 percent reduction from the previous year.