From the Washington Post:
“I deal in facts. I deal in science,” said special agent Matt Fairbanks, who’s been working in the state for a decade. He is member of the “marijuana eradication” team in Utah. Some of his colleagues in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree’s garden and seizing a number of okra plants.
Fairbanks spoke of his time eliminating back-country marijuana grows in the Utah mountains, specifically the environmental costs associated with large-scale weed cultivation on public land: “Personally, I have seen entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals, deforestation and erosion,” he said. “The ramifications to the flora, the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown.”
Fairbanks said that at some illegal marijuana grow sites he saw “rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana. …” He continued: “One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone.”
This is both hilarious and ridiculous for obvious reasons. More scare tactics by drug war soldiers who have nothing left to cling to.
It seems that these scare tactics are not working in Utah. In a recent poll conducted by Y2 Analytics, it was observed that 72% of Utah voters support legalizing medical marijuana. From Y2 Analytics:
Commissioned by Libertas Institute and the Drug Policy Project of Utah, Y2 Analytics surveyed a sample of 400 likely voters about their views on medical cannabis use for certain types of serious illnesses.
72% of likely voters support a policy in Utah that allows medical specialists to recommend cannabis to patients suffering from serious illnesses like cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s. Majority support is consistent across every identified demographic group, including 66% of Republicans (even 59% of self-identified Strong Republicans indicated support), 67% of self-described LDS or Mormon respondents, and 64% of respondents over 65.
52% of those surveyed have a friend or close family member who is suffering from cancer (34%), epilepsy (14%), or Alzheimer’s (31%). Among those who personally know a patient of one of these serious illnesses, 74% support allowing specialist doctors to recommend cannabis to their patients.
Respondents demonstrated a strong deference to medical expertise, prioritizing pharmaceutical flexibility for doctors over governmental regulations. 66% of likely voters agreed with the statement “It should be legal for people with terminal illnesses to use drugs recommended by their doctor but that have not been approved by the FDA,” while only 28% disagreed.
It is important to note that this survey did not ask respondents their opinions on non-medical cannabis use. This poll of 400 likely voters was conducted Feb 26-28, 2015 and carries a +- 4.9 percentage points margin of error. Live callers conducted the interviews over both landline phones and cell phones.