Kentucky goes after 'Marijuana Belt' growers - USATODAY.com: "Many of the small towns of Eastern Kentucky, steeped in a tradition of bootlegging moonshine, also have high rates of unemployment and poverty and in some cases, public corruption, according to federal drug officials. People can make as much as $2,000 from a single plant, an often irresistible draw when good-paying jobs are scarce. Much of what is harvested is carried in car trunks to such cities as Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Detroit, authorities say. The estimated worth of seized plants alone far outstrips Kentucky's other crops. Federal statistics from the Department of Agriculture for 2005 show state receipts for tobacco were $342 million and corn was $336 million, compared with close to $1 billion of pot eradicated last year by HIDTA. Over time, growing pot has become an 'accepted and even encouraged' part of the culture in Appalachia, according to a 2006 report from the Office of National Drug Control Policy."
....The 68 counties in Eastern Kentucky, eastern Tennessee and western West Virginia that make up the area have less than 1% of the country's population, according to Census and National Drug Intelligence Center data, but HITDA figures indicate the region contained roughly 10% of the marijuana eradicated nationwide in 2006."
October 01, 2007
It does make you wonder, with so much profit and tax revenue potential, why they don't just leave all of these people alone and let them grow this damn crop, make some money, and save the area from further poverty and malaise.