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Critics Call Campaign To Eradicate Large Marijuana Growers A Costly Flop

Audio

Aired 5/10/10

State and federal law enforcement officials are meeting in San Diego this week to plan this year's campaign against illegal marijuana cultivation. Meanwhile, advocates for drug policy reform say the war against marijuana is a failure.

— State and federal law enforcement officials are meeting in San Diego this week to plan this year's campaign against illegal marijuana cultivation. Meanwhile, advocates for drug policy reform say the war against marijuana is a failure.

The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting began in 1983. It's a multi-agency task force that eradicates large marijuana farms in California. Over the last few years, the campaign says it's destroyed millions of illegal plants.

But Margaret Dooley-Samuli argues the effort's a big waste of money. She's with the Drug Policy Alliance.

"Availability of marijuana is not going down," Dooley-Samuli points out. "The price of marijuana is not going up. So the question has to be, if your goal is to make marijuana less available, if your goal is the increase the price of it, then this program is not working."

Dooley-Samuli is pushing a measure on the November ballot that would allow marijuana to be regulated and taxed. She says it would drive illegal growers out of business.

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