Domestic Cannabis Suppression / Eradication Program
Domestic Cannabis Eradication / Suppression Program
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is striving to halt the spread of illegal cannabis cultivation in the United States. To accomplish this, the DEA initiated the Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program (DCE/SP), which is the only nationwide law enforcement program that exclusively targets Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTO) involved in illegal cannabis cultivation.
The DCE/SP began funding eradication programs in Hawaii and California in 1979. The program rapidly expanded to include programs in 25 states by 1982. By 1985, the number of states participating in the DCE/SP had increased tremendously. In 2022, DEA continued its nation-wide illegal cannabis eradication efforts, providing resources to support the 115 state and local law enforcement agencies that actively participate in the program. This assistance allows the enhancement of eradication enforcement activities throughout the nation. In 2022, DCE/SP was responsible for the eradication of 4,435,859 illegally cultivated outdoor cannabis plants and 1,245,980 illegally cultivated indoor plants for a total of 5,681,839 illegally cultivated marijuana plants. The program also removed 2,840 weapons from cannabis cultivators.
The success of the DCE/SP is directly attributed to the decision of the participating agencies to share intelligence, technology and manpower. In many areas of the U.S., illegal cultivators have been forced to abandon large outdoor cannabis plots in favor of smaller, better concealed illicit gardens. Illegal cultivators are also growing indoor and outdoor cannabis under the cover of various legal cannabis grows based on state regulation.
Additionally, illegal cultivators have turned to sophisticated technology to cultivate cannabis plants indoors. The use of hydroponics (growing plants in a nutrient laden solution rather than conventional soil) and other technological advances have enabled cultivators to increase the potency of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis plants. Despite illegal cultivator efforts, the DEA and the cooperating DCE/SP agencies continue to identify and eliminate illegal cannabis grow sites throughout the United States.
DEA. 11 July, 2018. Domestic Cannabis Suppression / Eradication Program. Retrieved from https://admin.dea.gov/operations/eradication-program on 3 June, 2023
DEA. "Domestic Cannabis Suppression / Eradication Program."Drug Enforcement Agency, 11 July, 2018, https://admin.dea.gov/operations/eradication-program Accessed 3 June, 2023.
DEA. . Drug Enforcement Agency on DEA website. https://admin.dea.gov/operations/eradication-program. 11 July, 2018. Accessed 3 June, 2023.