As the most widely used illicit substance in the world, it’s not surprising that criminals and drug users have taken to growing marijuana in highly controlled indoor environments. In fact, law enforcement agencies from around the nation are reporting a surge in the number of indoor marijuana grow operations cropping up in every corner of the country. This is evidenced on a regular basis by news stories of entire houses being utilized as major growing operations. However, what’s troubling about this is that the reasons growers have taken their operations indoors are the same reasons that make the drug more harmful than it has ever been.
One of the reasons that experts have cited for the growing trend in indoor marijuana cultivation is pressure from outdoor eradication efforts. In recent years law enforcement agencies and other groups have begun integrating records and pooling resources in order to mount massive search-and-destroy campaigns targeting outdoor marijuana grow operations on public lands. These efforts have yielded massive busts that have forced many growers indoors where conditions are generally considered to be more secure.
Growing marijuana inside allows more control over the environment and thus enables growers to manipulate the amount of time to maturity and the overall yield of the plants. Additionally, indoor growers can harvest crops continuously throughout the year, whereas outdoor growers are only able to harvest once in most regions. However, in the illicit drug industry the biggest benefit is the ability to significantly increase the potency of the drug. In an article for CNN, Jeanne Meserve and Mike M. Ahlers stated that:
“The average potency of marijuana, which has risen steadily for three decades, has exceeded 10 percent for the first time . . .” “At the University of Mississippi’s Potency Monitoring Project, where thousands of samples of seized marijuana are tested every year, project director Mahmoud ElSohly said some samples have THC levels exceeding 30 percent. Average THC concentrations will continue to climb before leveling off at 15 percent or 16 percent in five to 10 years, ElSohly predicted.” (1)
This potency is disturbing considering that it is significantly higher than what most people were accustomed to in the sixties, seventies and eighties. But since the 90’s potency levels have been steadily increasing, leading to a corresponding increase in the number of people that develop dependence on marijuana. This trend can be expected to rise considering data compiled by the U.S. Justice Department, which states that from 2004 to 2008 the number of marijuana plants eradicated from public lands increased by more than 2 million. (2) This increase in and success of eradication efforts is often viewed as the direct cause of so many more instances of indoor growing operations being discovered.
The marijuana of today is potent enough to be a serious cause for concern. If you or someone you love is struggling to beat an addiction to marijuana, please call the number at the top of your screen now. We can discuss your options with you confidentially, including;
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