The DEA Just Got Scolded Over Its Marijuana Eradication Program
Published on Nov 13, 2018
Despite cannabis legalization sweeping the United States the DEA's marijuana eradication program is still spending many millions of dollars and to make it worse a recent report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that the DEA is not properly collecting documentation about it. Without the proper documentation the GAO cannot tell if the DEA is meeting it's program goals or if the money meant for the program is being used in the right place at all. The GAO issued four recommendations to fix the issues and the DEA has agreed to take the necessary steps forward. Without detailed government records it's impossible to ensure the agency is following regulations, an example of which came in a report earlier this year showing that when busting illegal cannabis grows on public lands the agents were not cleaning up after which can be harmful for humans, animals and the environment as a whole.
In other words, the agency expends about $17 million in funds to partners across the U.S. each year to help them get rid of illegal cannabis grows. That includes fully legal states like California, where enforcement efforts are generally limited to public lands—namely national forests. But due to inadequate record keeping, the DEA doesn’t really know if that money is serving its purpose.