by Susan Soares
Shocking headlines are click bait but fudging the numbers in the war on drugs is more insidious than that. Take for example the article in Herald and News By STEPHEN FLOYD "$375 million in cannabis seized by Siskiyou in 2017". Floyd reports: YREKA — The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has reported seizing more than $375 million in illegal cannabis so far this year, with additional marijuana raids expected this week.
In a news release Monday, the sheriff’s office said 27,072 cannabis plants and 12,570 pounds of processed marijuana have been seized during 2017 by the Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT).
The plants totaled $324.8 million and the processed marijuana $50.2 million, based on values within the illegal cannabis market.
Let's look at those numbers. $324.8M divided by 27,072 plants equals $11,997.64 per plant. Outdoor cannabis is going for less than $1200 a pound these days but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and say each pound goes for $1500. That means they are saying that each and every plant had 8 pounds of sellable, cured, and top shelf cannabis on it. Wow!! Now let's look at the processed "marijuana". $50.2M divided by 12,570 pounds is nearly $4000 a pound. Those numbers just don't work out.
Inflating the value of a cannabis bust is a deliberate move for law enforcement's public relations and also to earn federal government grants. The bigger the bust appears is incentive because it results in more promotions and grant money for the local cops.
At this time in history where cannabis for adult use is about to be regulated and law enforcement in general is having the biggest PR crisis in history, it is counter intuitive that they would use this tactic. Please write to the reporter and ask him to fact check Siskiyou law enforcement's numbers.
Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.