The Mountain Times

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Funding drops for Vt.’s marijuana eradication

(AP) _ Funding for Vt.'s marijuana eradication program has declined and so has the number of domestically grown plants that have been destroyed.

Public Safety Commissioner Keith Flynn says resources are better spent fighting an opiate trade that fuels burglaries, pharmacy robberies and other crimes.

The budget for the so-called cannabis eradication program has dropped from $34,000 in 2011 to $25,000 in 2012 and 2013. Fifteen years ago the yearly budget was $60,000.

Eradication numbers also are down. Drug Enforcement Administration statistics show that 1,500 outdoor and indoor plants were destroyed last year, compared to 4,000 in 2010. About 6,400 were eradicated in 1998.

Arrests related to the discovery of the marijuana cultivation also have declined.