Better East Texas: Uprooting illegal marijuana growers should be - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: Uprooting illegal marijuana growers should be top concern for East Texans

The relatively recent increase in law enforcement discovering fields of marijuana across East Texas should be a big concern for all of us.

Estimates put the value of the fields, usually on private property, at hundreds of millions of dollars – hundreds of millions of dollars. And the fields can be hundreds of acres in size. That is a big business and it is attracting big players – most notably the Mexican drug cartels that are setting up shop in East Texas and they are not here by chance.

They are here to grow marijuana, harvest it and sell it across the nation. It is quickly becoming easier to trespass on private land in East Texas, grow marijuana and sell it than it is to smuggle it across the border.

Law enforcement is stepping up, going in and destroying the fields but even they are largely reliant on landowner discovery or some kind of tip for them to locate the plots. This situation also creates a safety issue with landowners as hunting season nears and hunters and families are getting on their property now more than any other time of year.

We need to enable law enforcement to use every means available to canvass our area of the state, especially in the rural, wooded areas that attract this type of activity. I understand the privacy issues involved but this is quickly becoming an epidemic that needs a remedy.

Keeping illegal pot growers out of our area will make for a Better East Texas.

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