Mexican drug gangs take over US parks

Mexican drug gangs are taking over large areas in our national parks to grow marijuana. They employ armed guards, booby traps, and explosive devices to protect their crops.  (story here)

Even if they had the manpower to police the vast wilderness, authorities say terrain and weather conditions often keep them from finding the farms, except accidentally.

Many of the plots are encircled with crude explosives and are patrolled by guards armed with AK-47s who survey the perimeter from the ground and from perches high in the trees.

This is not only happening in border states, but across the country.

In Wisconsin, the number of confiscated plants grew sixfold between 2003 and 2008, to more than 32,000 found in 2008.

Wisconsin agents used to find a few dozen marijuana plants on national forest land. Now they discover hundreds or even thousands.

“If we are getting 40 to 50 percent (of fields), I think we are doing well,” said Michigan State Police 1st Lt. Dave Peltomaa. “I really don’t think we are close to 50 percent. We don’t have the resources.”

We need to face the fact that we have lost the war on drugs. The only way to stop this, especially with marijuana, is to legalize it, regulate it, and tax it.

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