Janice Morse reports
This year, even the pot plants are puny.
That’s what Butler County Sheriff Rick Jones said Tuesday after his agency’s annual marijuana sweep found pot plants “considerably smaller than in years past.”
Jones thinks this summer’s drier-than-normal conditions affected this year’s crop of marijuana. “I guess the current drought we are experiencing is not just hurting our legitimate, hard-working farmers,” he said in a news release.
In a program the Ohio Attorney General’s Office supports, trained spotters aboard the sheriff’s helicopter looked for marijuana plants and directed officers on the ground to fields where pot was growing, the sheriff’s office said.
Officials found the contraband crop growing in seven different locations, yielding more than 80 marijuana plants. Officers cut them down and confiscated them.
Investigations were continuing to gather evidence that could lead to charges against whomever was “farming” the pot plants, police said. Often, property owners are unaware that their land was being used to support this type of cash crop, the sheriff’s office said.
This summer’s drought has been the most widespread across the U.S. since 1956, federal agencies said in mid-July. The hot, dry conditions have devastated corn crops to the point where dozens of counties in Indiana and Kentucky were declared natural disaster areas. Recent rainfall has brought only limited relief from the drought, the National Weather Service says.
The Louisville Courier-Journal and the Associated Press contributed.