Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It Was Bound to Happen

It's the marriage of genetic engineering and an insanely lucrative cash crop - marijuana.

Mexican troops have encountered a new, hybrid marijuana plant that can be cultivated year round and is resistant to pesticides.

The new plants, known as "Colombians," mature in about two months and can be planted at any time of year, meaning authorities will no longer be able to time raids to coincide with twice-yearly harvests.

The hybrid first appeared in Mexico two years ago but has become the plant of choice for drug traffickers Michoacan, a remote mountainous region that lends to itself to drug production.

Yields are so high that traffickers can now produce as much marijuana on a plot the size of a football field as they used to harvest in 10 to 12 acres. That makes for smaller, harder-to-detect fields, though some discovered Tuesday had sophisticated irrigation systems with sprinklers, pumps and thousands of yards of tubing.

Maybe it's time for us to rethink our policies on pot. The problem is bound to get bigger and we're not beginning to keep pace with it.

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