Kentucky One Of America's Largest Marijuana Growers

By: Ryan Dearbone Email
By: Ryan Dearbone Email

Even more than meth or cocaine, marijuana is still the drug of choice for most Kentuckians.

According to the "Bulletin For Cannabis Reform", Kentucky is the 3rd-largest marijuana-producing state in the country

If you thought tobacco was Kentucky's largest cash crop... then you'd be wrong.

Cannabis is actually at the top of that list, bringing in nearly $5 billion dollars every year.

However, the fact remains that this plant is illegal.

So figures like those are putting serious concern in those tasked with trying to snuff out marijuana within the state.

"To those of us in law enforcement its not really that shocking because marijuana has always been a big problem as far as the drug trade goes," says Kentucky State Police Trooper Charles Swiney.

Trooper Swiney says we are seeing an increase in the illegal cultivating because its seems to be an easy way to make financial green.

For example, 1 pound of "weed" can equal $2,000 in revenue.

"With the economic times as they are, as in the past, someones always trying to get away with it and its just a matter of them getting away with it till we happen to catch them," adds Swiney.

There are two ways the plants find their way into the state.

"Its either grown locally by individuals and its also coming in from the western part of the United States either up through Mexico and Nevada and that area over the east coast."

Rich Kentucky soil is why we have such strong tobacco farming, but Swiney says that also applies to marijuana.

"Our big crop is tobacco and the marijuana just happens to grow well in that type of soil, whether its grown out in the middle of the cornfields or in the middle of the woods," reminds Swiney.

Swiney says KSP, along with area Sheriffs' Departments and Drug Task Forces are constantly scouring the state for marijuana being grown in hidden spots.

"You'll spot it from the helicopter and then sometimes people will be there cultivating it in their plot, out in the woods. Sometimes they grow it next to their house in 5 gallon buckets."

With all of this marijuana in the state, I asked House Representative Jody Richards if there are any legislators that might push for a legalization bill.

He said emphatically, "No."


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