The state of Texas has shattered the record for the largest marijuana growing operation after authorities found a field in Lipscomb County that contained over 100,000 plants. Authorities seized over 109,000 plants in total during a bust, and there were no arrests made at the time of the raid.
In comparison, in 2014 there were 100,000 plants seized from 29 growing operations near Houston, Texas, and the value of those fields was estimated to be at a total of $175 million. Based on these stats, the total value of the growing operation in Lipscomb County was estimated to be around $200 million.
Texas is one of the largest spenders on marijuana prosecution
In spite of marijuana’s legalization and decriminalization in many parts of the United States, the state of Texas remains one of the leading prosecutors of marijuana related offenses.Over $740 million was spent by the state on arrests related to marijuana in 2013.
There were over 70,000 arrests made in 2013 with an average cost of over $10,000 each for incarcerating and prosecuting offenders. Possession of 2 ounces or less of cannabis is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine. Offenders are also often usually required to forfeit their driving privileges for six months.
Texas residents overwhelming favor marijuana decriminalization
Residents of Texas are overwhelmingly in favor of reducing the penalties for marijuana offenses. A poll by the Texas Tribune found that two thirds of residents were in favor of reducing the $2,000 fine and 180 day maximum jail sentence down to a $250 ticket. 26 percent of residents were opposed to reducing the penalty and 15 percent were strongly opposed to reducing it.
Governor Greg Abbott will not change marijuana laws while he is in office
The governor of Texas, Greg Abbott has said multiple times that he is unwilling to change marijuana laws while he is in office. In spite of this, Abbott did sign a law recently which allowed non-euphoric cannabis CBD oil to be used to treat epilepsy starting in September of 2017. The oils contain no active THC in them.
There is nothing to suggest that Abbott will attempt change the laws regarding the use of cannabis and he has been consistent in his views that marijuana should not be legalized for medicinal purposes in spite of mountains of evidence that prove its effectiveness and safety.
Before he signed the law to legalize the use of cannabis CBD oil he affirmed his beliefs, saying that he was convinced that the state should not legalize the drug or open the door for conventional marijuana to be used as medicine.