Recent statistics has shown that the marijuana drug is readily obtainable in almost every place in the United States. The drug is largely cultivated in cities, homes, suburbs, and also on farms. Cannabis is commonly found nurtured on public terrain regularly in isolated locations so as to prevent identification and observation of those involved in its growing or rather the responsible growers. In 2003, the drug enforcement agencies seized close to 2.7 million pounds of marijuana from unlawful operations. The drug is also imported into the U.S. illegally from countries like Thailand, Cambodia, and Mexico amongst other nations. Actually, in 2006, marijuana was the leading cash crop, even more costly than wheat and corn combined together (Gettman 3).
Recently, there has been a growing drift in the U.S. towards indoor farming of marijuana plant. This has stemmed from the continuous efforts by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to restrain the expansive outdoor cultivation which had rocked the country for ages. These indoor marijuana cultivators grow cannabis in sophisticated greenhouses, fish tanks/ponds, and even in closets. A number of marijuana producers have gone to the extent of building structures that seem similar to real homes, but they lack inner walls, all of this with the aim of hiding their marijuana producing operations (Eradication on Cultivation Trends and Availability).
Marijuana farming has been in practice for over thousand years, and this has seen the passing over the techniques of growing with perfection of the practice from generation to generation. There have been strict legal undertakings and restrictions aimed at reducing or even elimination of the cultivation of marijuana in the country in modern times thus making its growing an underground bustle with hardly any exceptions. There arise numerous reasons for cultivating cannabis which include medicinal use and industrial use where it is prepared into hemp and then applied in making rope, clothing, and additional fibrous materials. Nonetheless, the plant has undergone misuses where it is illegally utilized as a drug through smoking it as a cigar or cigarette (US Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control).
There have been speculations concerning the steady rise in the indoor farming operations of marijuana across the country in the recent years. This phenomenon has seen it become a huge scale dilemma. For instance, agencies in 2000, the Drug Enforcement Agency in partnership with other came out with statistics showing the leading five states in the country in regard to indoor cultivation of marijuana; they were Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, California, and Florida.
Through studies, it has been found that in the year 1998, more than seventy one million American citizens above the age of twelve had once or several times tried using marijuana; at that time, this figure made more than 25% of the countrywide population. Regular usage is currently lower than it usually was in 1979 as at that time, 13.2% of the United States’ population above the age of 12 years was consuming marijuana on a monthly basis. In 1999, this usage had decreased to about 5.1% (Gettman 9)
The increase in demand of marijuana over the years has caused numerous setbacks to the growth of the country and basically the encroachment of public land. The illegal large scale farming practices aimed at producing more marijuana for the market has destroyed natural resources, the environment and posed a threat to public safety. This activity has resulted into the creation of wildlife hazards, masses of discarded refuse, poaching of protected wildlife, clear cutting of indigenous vegetation, diversion of normal water courses, alteration and contamination of watersheds, and massive deforestation of natural foliage. Moreover, crimes related to the issue of marijuana like homicides and shootings have been reported to rampantly occur (Facts and answers to the frequently asked questions about marijuana).
The marijuana farming has become a lucrative business protected by the use of violent as well as extreme measures. The cultivators even have firearms and also hidden traps intended to mutilate and even kill. This hurts haphazardly not only the law enforcement staff or daring thieves, but also innocent passersby, campers, or hikers (Eradication on Cultivation Trends and Availability).
Another trend that has changed drastically over the years is the consumption of marijuana particularly in the demographic groups. In the pioneering ages, the older generations were the ones majorly involved in the use of marijuana but over time, it has overtaken all economic, age, and racial boundaries where the highest users of the plant are the representatives of the younger generation.
Statistics shows that the pervasiveness of marijuana utilization in youngsters has dramatically doubled from years 1992-1999. It was found that 1 out of each 13 children between the ages of 12-17 was a consumer of marijuana during the year of 1999. To further show the fast growth and availability of marijuana, the NationalCenter on Addiction and Substance Abuse in 1998 found that the drug was very simple to acquire. The most recent trend at teenager parties is to no longer warm cocktail or recommendation medicines embezzled from their parents' medication cabinets. As an alternative, escalating numbers of adolescences are turning to the consumption of marijuana for fun as they say (Facts and answers to the frequently asked questions about marijuana).
Actually, for a period of 25 years (1982-2005_, it has been evident that the production of marijuana which goes hand in hand with its demand grew close to tenfold, and its propagation in all parts of the country exhibits how marijuana has turned out to be an ineffaceable and persistent element of the general economy. The breakdown of rigorous abolition programs advocates that it is the high time that the serious contemplation to marijuana’s substantiation was granted in the U.S.
There has been considerate increase in the demand of marijuana both in the medical sector as well as in the common general public. This trend has resulted in more cultivation of the plant and has seen the encroachment of perpetrators to national parks and game reserves thus disturbing the ecosystem. Growing, using, selling, buying, or even possessing marijuana is illegal in most states in the country though some of them have allowed its consumption only under a doctor’s prescription. The central together with the federal governments have conjointly imposed stern penalties in cases concerning marijuana which usually vary from area to area, although they basically consist of prison time, a hefty fine or even both. All these measures have not really succeeded in suppressing the utilization, farming, or selling of marijuana in the U.S. In spite of the legal and health risks that arrive with the consumption of marijuana, it has continued to be the illicit drug of preference for numerous Americans (US Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control).
The law enforcement authorities have over the years been conversant with the usual channels though which marijuana is consumed; therefore, this has seen a massive diversification in terms of methods of taking in the drug. Some peddlers open up a cigar, remove out the tobacco in it, and then refill the whole paper with marijuana. They also have invented the water pipes which have a basin-shaped bases so as to inhale the smoke. In addition, there have been reports that nowadays marijuana is even prepared as tea or even baked into foodstuffs like cakes and brownies. These new innovations have caused the trend of farming and consumption of marijuana to rise as they ensure that there is a steady usage of the drug throughout the county without the notification of the authorities (Gettman 4).
The medical use of marijuana has risen over the years as many people succumb to health complication which requires the prescriptions of the drug like in surgery where it is applied as an anesthetic/analgesic. It is also prescribed for AIDS and chemotherapy patients to stimulate hunger, amelioration of vomiting and nausea, to treat intestinal illnesses as well as glaucoma. These uses have seen the drug being in demand thus stocking in medical marijuana shops all over the country, and the massive growth of clients has caused the intensity of marijuana cultivation so as to cover up the ever escalating demands.
Marijuana is indicated as the biggest cash produce in the U.S., in fact, more precious than wheat and corn combined. This ranking of the crop in the country has emanated from its rising demand in both the healthcare sector and the general public where it is used as medicine while others consume it illegally as cigarette. The estimated count of the country’s marijuana crop stands at 56.4 million plants which were cultivated outdoors and are worth about $31.7 billion along with 11.7 million vegetation of marijuana planted indoors valued at $4.1 billion. This trend is quite troubling as many youths indulge themselves in illegal marijuana consumption thus fostering dark days ahead if the relevant authorities do not put massive crackdown on illegal growing of the plant accompanied by harsh penalties to the offenders found guilty of committing similar offences.