It's Marijuana "Eradication" Season -- Do Your Part!

Aug 25, 2008

Never fear, we're not asking readers to support the annual exercise in futility known as marijuana "eradication," which is now in full swing as summer nears an end and harvest season approaches. Not only has there never been the slightest indication that these campaigns reduce the marijuana supply -- the supposed objective -- but the U.S. Department of Justice's own National Drug Threat Assessment 2008 indicates that "eradication" campaigns directed at outdoor farms are actually driving a shift to indoor growing in converted homes, resulting in year-round production of high-potency marijuana (often with jerry-rigged wiring and other dangerous conditions) and an "exponential increase in profits" for the criminal gangs that control most large-scale marijuana cultivation and distribution.

But there is something you can do: Help keep the news media honest.

 Most news coverage of these hopeless and counterproductive campaigns is devoid of skepticism or analysis. See, for example, this Aug. 23 story from a chain of California papers that fails to cite a single source not connected with law enforcement. That's not journalism, it's stenography.

If you see a story like this, write a letter to the editor, asking the paper to actually investigate the efficacy of marijuana "eradication" campaigns rather than simply act as a mouthpiece for failed polices. If y

ou see an unbalanced story on TV, write or call the station's news director. And let MPP's media team know about it. You can reach me at or Dan Bernath at

Finally, one quick word about making complaints to the media: Be diplomatic. Don't yell or make accusations. Be calm, clear, concise, and factual when you lay out your case. Reporters and editors are human, after all, and no one likes being yelled at. And (sadly) many are unaware that there is another side to this story.