Drug interdiction efforts along the US border often involve the seizure of small quantities of marijuana and no other substances, according to a pair of recently issued reports.
The totals are the highest reported by the agency since 2011, when it reported making an estimated 8,500 marijuana-related arrests and seized some 6.7 million plants via its domestic eradication program.
Scientists reported: “Our results clearly demonstrate that NIDA cannabis samples are substantially genetically different from most commercially available drug-type strains and share a genetic affinity with hemp samples in several of the analyses.”
Just over 1,000 people were sentenced federally in 2020 for violating marijuana trafficking laws. That’s down 67 percent since 2016, and over 80 percent since 2012 – when Colorado and Washington became the first two states to legalize and regulate the adult-use marijuana market.
The DEA’s website did not provide a timeline as to when it anticipates finalizing the applicants’ grow authorizations or when it plans to take actions on the dozens of remaining applications that are still pending before the agency.
“In US markets, Mexican marijuana has largely been supplanted by domestic-produced marijuana. … CBP marijuana seizures along the SWB have decreased more than 81 percent since 2013,”
For over five decades, federal regulators have only authorized a single licensee – the University of Mississippi – to cultivate cannabis plants for use in FDA-approved clinical studies.
“These common-sense regulatory changes are necessary and long overdue. The reality that most high-schoolers have easier access to cannabis than do our nation’s top scientists is the height of absurdity and an indictment of the current system.”