Trump’s DEA: ROI for Marijuana Eradication?
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Is the ROI for DEA's Marijuana Eradication Program Worthwhile?
February 12, 2017
  • The number of plants annually destroyed through the DEA’s drug eradication program has fallen, from 10.4 million in 2009 to 4.3 million in 2015.
  • During the same period, the value of assets seized has fallen from $37.4 million to $29.7 million.
  • Of the $18 million spent by the DEA for the program in 2015, California received the highest allocation at $5.4 million, with New Mexico the lowest at $6,000.
  • The cost per eradicated plant varied widely nationally: New Hampshire saw the highest cost per plant eradicated with 27 destroyed plants costing $740 apiece, while in California more than 2,300 plants were destroyed at a cost of $2 apiece.
  • While the DEA’s national average of cost-per-arrest was $8,600, five suspects arrested in Hawaii averaged $113,000 apiece for the highest cost-per arrest rate in the country.
  • Cannabis production in the legalized industry has dwarfed the DEA’s eradications: From 2014-2015, the DEA eradicated 8.6 million plants nationwide; meanwhile Colorado’s legal cannabis industry alone cultivated 12.4 million plants.
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