It’s been about a month since the Department of Justice said they wouldn’t interfere with marijuana laws in Colorado and Washington, but they said nothing of those states where marijuana is still illegal, for all reasons, no matter your medical condition. Here in Tennessee, that means the feds and state law enforcement are still looking for people breaking marijuana laws on large scales—particularly those accused of marijuana cultivation and/or trafficking.
In a recent story found on the website of Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System, a little-known company who specializes in video and audio surveillance equipment and knowledge for law enforcement and military alike, we learned the National Guard and the DEA have teamed up for their annual cannabis eradication program known as ERAD. In order to have the best luck in rooting out marijuana growing operations, they’ve deployed helicopters and high-dollar surveillance equipment into the skies above our state.
According to the report, Tennessee has been within the top seven states for marijuana cultivation since 2007. Because of the cover that dense vegetation and mountains provide, the ERAD operation is focused on the eastern part of the state.
“This is our office away from our office,” remarked one special agent of the mobile command post located on McGhee Tyson ANG Base.
The aircrafts circle the sky, flying low enough to make out growing operations. A spotter on the helicopter is there to identify potential fields of marijuana and relay the coordinates to law enforcement on the ground for search and seizure.
This year’s effort resulted in 2,600 marijuana plant seizures. And while they call it a “success”, that number of plants is likely to have hardly made a dent in the state’s supply.
Marijuana cultivation and trafficking are very serious crimes with very serious potential penalties. Fortunately, they don’t always result in convictions. Until all states in the U.S. have loosened marijuana laws, there will continue to be a black market demand and subsequent supply. It’s a lucrative, albeit risky, career choice.
If you stand accused of a serious marijuana offense in the state of Tennessee, contact our attorneys today to see how we can help you.