Well, the federal government’s National Drug Threat Assessment for 2009 is out, and — who’dda thunk it? — “Marijuana availability is high throughout the United States.” This is despite record seizures of marijuana plants in 2007, as well as an all-time record number of marijuana arrests, over 872,000. Indoor cultivation — often in converted homes and other dubious locations — has increased “because of high profit margins and seemingly reduced risk of law enforcement detection.”
This year’s Monitoring the Future survey confirmed marijuana remains widely available, with 83.9% of high school seniors saying that marijuana is “easy to get” — a figure that remains virtually unchanged since the survey began in 1975.
The western U.S. remains a hotbed of domestic marijuana cultivation, yet the Drug Threat Assessment reports that only 2% of law enforcement in the Southwest region(stretching from Southern California to Texas and Oklahoma) report marijuana as being the greatest drug threat in their area, while in the Pacific region (Northern and Central California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Nevada) only 1.1% see marijuana as the greatest threat.