Mysterious New Marijuana Plant Found
Can't Be Killed With Pesticides; Grows Year-Round
By MARK STEVENSON, AP
LAZARO CARDENAS, Mexico (Dec. 20) - Soldiers trying to seize control of one Mexico's top drug-producing regions found the countryside teeming with a new hybrid marijuana plant that can be cultivated year-round and cannot be killed with pesticides.
"These plants have been genetically improved," he told a handful of journalists allowed to accompany soldiers on a daylong raid of some 70 marijuana fields. "Before we could cut the plant and destroy it, but this plant will come back to life unless it's taken out by the roots."
The new plants, known as "Colombians," mature in about two months and can be planted at any time of year, meaning authorities will no longer be able to time raids to coincide with twice-yearly harvests.
Yields are so high that traffickers can now produce as much marijuana on a plot the size of a football field as they used to harvest in 10 to 12 acres. That makes for smaller, harder-to-detect fields, though some discovered Tuesday had sophisticated irrigation systems with sprinklers, pumps and thousands of yards of tubing.
"For each 100 (marijuana plots) that you spot from the air, there are 300 to 500 more that you discover once you get on the ground," Garcia said.
The president, who took office Dec. 1, sent 7,000 soldiers and federal officers to Michoacan last week.
Officials have arrested 45 people, including several suspected leaders of the feuding cartels. They also seized three yachts, 2.2 pounds of gold, bulletproof vests, military equipment and shirts with federal and municipal police logos. More than 18,000 people have been searched, along with 8,000 vehicles and numerous foreign and national boats.
"We are determined to shut down delinquency and stop crime in Mexico because it is endangering the lives of all Mexicans, of our families," Calderon said, calling the operation a "success" so far.
In the past week, soldiers and federal police have found 1,795 marijuana fields covering 585 acres in Michoacan, security officials said.
Officials estimate the raids could cost the cartels up to $626 million, counting the value of plants that have been destroyed and drugs that could have been produced with seized opium poppies and marijuana seeds.
On Sunday, federal authorities announced the capture of suspected drug lord Elias Valencia, the most significant arrest since the operation began.
YAY!!! Soon mutant strains of invulnerable GM killer weed will invade the whole world! The invasion is unstoppable! Go Go genetic engineering! :smoking::smoking::smoking:
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