The DEA has had a rough year regarding their unwavering stance against cannabis, and some Congressmen would like to see the agency’s efforts devoted to more important issues. Last week, 12 congressmen wrote the House leadership to push a new spending provision that would eliminate half of the funding for the DEA’s Cannabis Eradication Program.
The DEA spends roughly $18 million annually to find and uproot cannabis plants in an effort to reduce supply of the drug, and thus, demand. The program, however, has been found to be ineffective as 98% of the plants destroyed by the DEA are actually the non-psychoactive cousin of cannabis. Additionally, marijuana use has almost doubled since the DEA began its eradication program.
The 12 congressmen who wrote the letter think those funds could be better spent elsewhere, and are calling for a $9 million reduction in the DEA’s cannabis eradication budget. Last year, the cost to taxpayers for each plant destroyed by the DEA averaged $4.20, reaching as high as $60 per plant in some states.