Marijuana in national forests is out of control

To the Editor:

Since the mid 1990s, Mexican criminals have been growing marijuana in our national forests. In recent years these operations have spread to at least 20 states and 67 national forests as well as on private land. We are still a sovereign nation, are we not? If that’s correct it begs the question: why have our national parks been surrendered by our government to Mexican drug traffickers?

An area of 3,500 acres in southern Arizona has been closed to U.S. citizens because of the dangers posed by drug smugglers. We can conclude from this that it is no longer safe for Americans to visit any national park less they inadvertently wander into a pot-growing operation guarded by well-armed drug traffickers who won’t hesitate to kill to protect their merchandise.

Wisconsin has just one national forest (the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest) where the first site in that state was discovered in 2008. Most people arrested there have been illegal immigrants from Mexico with connections in California (a shocker there) where traffickers were discovered in 1995.

Numerous arrests have been made of course, and tens of thousands of plants worth more than a billion dollars have been eradicated over the years. Many cases of arrests are “pending.”  

The relaxation of marijuana laws and now its legalization in some states significantly adds to the problem and sends critically mixed messages to law enforcement agencies.   Considering the experience of the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency and our sheriff in Jackson County recently, perhaps our inability to end (permanently) the desecration of our national forests is tied to our governments failure to obtain ACLU approval before making arrests.

In the end our government’s inability or unwillingness to reclaim our national forests and protect private property from drug traffickers (who are in this country illegally) demands this issue be an essential part of the debate about gun control. This is precisely why the 2nd Amendment was added to The Constitution of the United States. If our government refuses to act decisively, than we must.

David L. Snell


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