Game wardens throughout the state of Texas have experienced a rise in the number of marijuana cultivation cases over the last several months.
Since the beginning of July alone there have been four cases of what officials consider “large scale” marijuana cultivation cases, three of which involved land owners coming across large crops of marijuana growing on their land.
It is not uncommon for people to stumble upon marijuana plants growing on their property or on land on which they are hunting. Several cases have been reported over the last few years in which game hunters came across marijuana crops and reported them to local game wardens.
But Texas is far from the only state that has experienced an uptick in marijuana cultivation cases recently. Game wardens in states like Arkansas, Washington, and California have been seeing more illegal marijuana crops than in the past. While some may see cultivating marijuana in this fashion as a harmless activity, game wardens are quick to offer up reminders that such activity constitutes breaking a number of laws such as destruction of natural habitat, trespassing, and even various pollution and dumping statutes.
Moreover, many of the crops that the wardens in Texas have been alerted to have utilized significant amount of illegally pumped water from nearby sources. The same has been the case in California, which has been particularly problematic because of the state’s severe drought conditions.
East Texas Game Warden Supervisor, James Ranft, stated that the recent crops have not been small or minor operations but rather have contained as many as 100,000 marijuana plants. Game wardens who were alerted to the grow sites subsequently worked with other law enforcement agencies and are continuing to do so in an effort to establish a plan for seizing illegal marijuana crops and finding the individuals who are perpetrating these crimes.