In the past three years, the amount of bulk processed marijuana seized by authorities has doubled, and the number of seized marijuana plants has dropped considerably. There was a 46.5 percent drop in marijuana plants in California between 2010 and 2011, where the majority of pot is seized in the United States.
These numbers significantly decrease the national average of marijuana seizures by authorities. A number of factors have contributed to this decrease. Some of these factors are: changes in growers’ tactics, changing weather patterns, and budget cuts, both locally and state-wide, the DEA suggests.
Generally, drug enforcement agencies use helicopters to search for marijuana growing fields. Some of these fields are owned by Mexican drug gangs, who are using American soil to cultivate their product.
Casey Rettig is a spokesperson for the DEA. She says there has been a shift from growers using large scale farming operations to using small farms to prevent being detected by helicopters.