The days of purchasing cannabis in the shadows from an unknown person are rapidly going the way of the dinosaur.

For many years the DEA has had a cannabis eradication program in place. For a long time the DEA pretty much ripped any cannabis plant out of the ground that they were alerted to.

That has slowed as legal, regulated cannabis policies have spread across the country. That's not to say that the DEA isn't still seizing cannabis, because they absolutely are, but they are doing it less and less as the years go by.

Part of that is due to federal politics. Members of Congress have repeatedly pushed to de-fund the DEA's war on cannabis. With legal cannabis spreading, its getting harder and harder to justify wasting tax dollars.

2015 sees continued decline in seizures

As Paul Armentano points out in a recent article he posted for NORML, recent federal statistics show a slight drop in the number of cannabis plants seized by the DEA in 2015 compared to 2014.

In 2015, roughly 4.25 million cannabis plants across America. That's compared to 4.3 million cannabis plants seized by the DEA in 2014.

Overall, that's an almost 60 percent decline compared to 2010, when the DEA seized over 10.3 million cannabis plants nationwide. Those drops are a good thing.

Why are the numbers dropping?

Probably the biggest contributing factor to the decline, as I previously mentioned, was reform victories. If someone can grow a plant legally in their basement, garage, or backyard, obviously they no longer need to put it on federal timber land.

I often measure the cannabis world pre-2010 and post 2010. Since 2010, a number of states have created laws and regulations to allow people to purchase and/or cultivate cannabis legally.

People are buying less cartel cannabis because more people are growing their own and/or purchasing it from a regulated dispensary. The days of purchasing cannabis in the shadows from an unknown person are rapidly going the way of the dinosaur, and that's a good thing.

Prohibition is far from over

Before people get too happy, realize that there are still many states that have yet to pass a real medical cannabis bill, and there are still 46 states that do not allow recreational cannabis.

For that matter, even the states that do have recreational and/or medical cannabis still need to be improved upon. Until citizens of Washington can grow their own medicine, reform will still be needed there, and likely even beyond a home cultivation victory efforts will still be needed.

Get active in your area. Contact your elected officials and let them know that it's time to end prohibition, entirely, and once and for all. My friend Mandy posted a great article with 6 ways you can help reform efforts. I suggest you check it out (at this link here)!

Should the DEA be de-funded?

Should the DEA be de-funded?

defund the entire agency
defund just cannabis eradication program
leave the dea alone