Northern Ohio’s hot weather, combined with scattered, intense showers, was just what marijuana plants needed, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. Drug agents in the seven-county Greater Cleveland area have seized $804,000 worth of the illicit plants in fields and wooded lots – four times as much as last year. It was the largest haul in Northeast Ohio since 2001. Police believe that’s just a small fraction of what’s growing.
The marijuana was seized by sheriff’s officers working with state agents to spot the fields from helicopters. The figures do not include busts by local police or marijuana cultivated in homes. Authorities say Northeast Ohio bucked a statewide trend: In most of Ohio, the hot, dry weather wilted plants. “You can’t just throw a bunch of seeds in the ground and come back months later and expect great plants,” said Steve Bloom, editor of High Times magazine, which monitors marijuana growth around the country. The corn crop is a good barometer, said Scott Duff, who coordinates marijuana seizures for the Ohio attorney general’s office. “If the corn grows, the marijuana grows, too,” he said.