Marijuana is illegal in the state of Utah. And, while California may have legalized it for their state, it is still illegal on the federal level as well. Although federal enforcement in California is difficult, without the cooperation of the state, in Utah, it is a different story.
Marijuana distribution, in Utah, is a growing concern. Marijuana growers are getting creative, in the attempt to hide their activities from law enforcement officials. Last year, DEA officials in Utah found many marijuana growing sites across the state. Eight counties each had at least one site discovered on state lands in their area.
In 2010, over 100,000 marijuana plants were found and destroyed. This was an increase of over a quarter more than the year prior. Arrests for marijuana sales, during drug busts, are also on the rise with 24 individuals arrested in 2010.
Government officials from federal, state, and local government agencies are joining forces to control marijuana, in Utah. This high level of cooperation has helped them discover and eliminate more marijuana from the state. Even the Forest Service is engaged in the fight and has helped find many concealed grower sites, hidden away in the backlands of the state.
Marijuana, although considered by users to be ‘natural’ and ‘not as bad as other drugs,’ is fast becoming one of the top addictive drugs, in the United States, for which individuals seek drug treatment. With the technology of genetic engineering, marijuana now has a much greater THC content than it did in the 60’s, when it was already a public safety concern.
Now, over 50 years later, marijuana is a bigger problem than ever. Also a gateway drug, one that is known to loosen inhibitions and lead to the use of heavier street drugs, it is a major concern in the field of addiction treatment as well. More public education is needed to help combat marijuana on the most basic level, starting with the young people that might otherwise end up seeking it out.