How many of you watch Weeds? The Showtime comedy – starring Mary-Louise Parker – centers on a widowed suburban housewife named Nancy Botwin who turns to selling drugs to make ends meet.
As it turns out, the show has come to show light on a growing trend. All across the country – yes urban, suburban and rural – Americans are looking to marijuana as a means to make money.
On what’s spark the surge in weed seizures, Ed Shemelya, head of marijuana eradication for the Office of Drug Control Policy's Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, made it plain to the Associated Press.
"A lot of that, we theorize, is the economy," Shemelya said.
He added: "Places in east Tennessee, eastern Kentucky and West Virginia are probably feeling the recession a lot more severely than the rest of the country and have probably been in that condition a lot longer than the rest of the country."
But it’s not just Appalachia picking up on the pattern. The number of plants seized has jumped this year in California, the nation's top marijuana-growing state (shocker, I know), while seizures continue to rise in Washington after nearly doubling the previous year.
The fact is people are so hard-pressed for money that they’re willing to risk their freedom for it.
It’s been reported that along with the economic gap shrinking, the typical American household made less money last year than the typical household made a full decade ago. People are suffering and looking for a way to stay above water.
A bad economy has always fueled the drug trade, and as Shemelya notes in his interview, as far as illegal drugs go, weed is the cash cow as it offers the greatest return on investment.
Now, when I was 10, I won an essay contest launched by D.A.R.E., so I’m not advocating drug use; that said is there harm in seriously contemplating whether or not to legalize marijuana and get that industry booming already?
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Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.