Herbal Calamity

Earlier this week, the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department vowed to continue their valiant struggle to rid the west metro area of an organic herb and called for citizens to help in the effort.

"Law enforcement relies on the involvement of all sectors of society to fight crime and enhance safety,” said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek in a Tuesday press release. “We need your help to stop these grows from multiplying.”

Cannabis sativa—or, as the kids call it, “marijuana”—is indigenous to central Asia and has been used by humans for centuries, often during religious ceremonies. When smoked, the plant is known to elicit feelings of euphoria and heighten senses of taste, sound, and color.

In modern times, however, the herb is better known for its tendency to attack unsuspecting victims unprovoked. Even worse, say officials, the insentient plant matter often targets families, leaving authorities no choice but to call for stepped-up warfare against the weed’s malevolent photosynthesis.

"We have to increase the war on these local marijuana grows to keep families safe,” said Stanek. “We are seeing large increases in the number of local marijuana grow operations and the violent crime that comes along with these drug crimes.”

Stanek neglected to specify whether the violence is attributable to the plant itself or to the underground nature of the illegal, unregulated drug trade. Whatever the case, cannabis plants recently seized by county officials are up to three times more potent than pot of yore. Highly sophisticated grow houses in affluent suburbs have allegedly been cultivating crazy-dank bud, some harvests containing THC levels of 18 percent.

To be fair, numerous studies over the years have concluded that the maligned foliage is neither physically addictive nor harmful when used in moderation. (Though experts say side effects may include temporary paranoia, lethargy, inexplicable cravings for peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches, and clumsy attempts at social satire.)

As a result, some states have passed legislation allowing the curative herb to be used for medicinal purposes. Some radicals have even gone so far to suggest that those who smoke marijuana recreationally should not be caged in prison like criminals.

Officials remain steadfast that they’re fighting the good fight.

“We’re talking about big-time dealers here,” said Kathryn Janicek, a public information officer within the department. “We’ve seized many dangerous weapons from these sites.”

As for the data (The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department compiled the following statistics from January 2006 to present):

- Value of Marijuana Seized: $28,944,000 - Processed Marijuana (ready for sale) Seized: 333 lbs - Cash/Accounts Seized: $801,694 - Value of Property Seized: $1,376,600 - Siphoning taxes from the citizenry to fund a self-perpetuating prison state: Priceless

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