April 20, commonly referred to as 4/20, has become recognized as the marijuana holiday predominantly among marijuana users.
In an attempt to decrease marijuana use, law enforcement agencies scheduled raids all across Kansas City on Wednesday.
“We wanted to celebrate with them today,” Highway Patrol Sgt. Bill Lowe said.
Police officers on both sides of the state line carried out these raids on in-house marijuana growing operations.
According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, 14 arrests were made and 900 plants were seized from the operations.
By the early afternoon, officers from an estimated 30 law enforcement agencies in eastern Kansas and western Missouri had raided 20 grow houses and continued their efforts throughout the day.
Officials have made it clear this is not the end of the operation.
In days to come, the same measures will be taken to prevent and eliminate marijuana use.
The operation was called “Constant Gardener,” an operation that took much planning by police task forces.
Lowe explained how “Constant Gardener” was part of an on-going investigation involving collaboration between law enforcement encompassing regions from Wichita all the way to Columbia.
Lowe also explained that these marijuana-growing operations take place at various venues.
Motel rooms, barns, warehouses and even residences have been used as grow houses.
Officers have even come across entire homes occupied by growing marijuana plants.
Since 2007, more than 130 in-house marijuana-growing operations have been terminated and more than 10,000 marijuana plants have been seized by police.
With the measures taken, police officers may now see a decrease in drug-impaired driving.
Most only regard alcohol when considering drug impaired driving. However, driving under the influence of marijuana can be just as dangerous.
The chief concern about drug impaired driving is that it substantially affects one’s motor skills, reaction time and judgment, all crucial tools needed when driving.
Drug-impaired driving accounts for a significant number of crashes and highway fatalities.
Operation “Constant Gardener” and the future measures that will be taken by patrol and law enforcement partners can be seen as a message to those who endorse illegal drug use.