Oklahoma, a state with some of the nation's harshest drug laws, is also a state in which marijuana cultivation is widespread. In fact, marijuana grows so readily in the state that drug enforcement agents even work to eradicate marijuana that grows wild, known as ditchweed or feral marijuana, across the state.
Wild Marijuana Plants in OK
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) reports that marijuana is Oklahoma's third ranked cash crop, following only wheat and hay, and beating out the fourth ranked crop by more than three times the value. However, wild marijuana has little to no street value, and large-scale cultivation is a difficult endeavor. Therefore, most cases handled by lawyers involve household operations.
One such case was discovered this week when Oklahoma County Sheriff's deputies investigating a missing children's case arrived at a home in Choctaw. The deputies were granted permission to search the premises, and though they did not find the children, they did find a hydroponic marijuana cultivation operation. Deputies seized sixteen marijuana plants, processed marijuana, marijuana seeds, and weapons.
They made two arrests:
- Dayna Michelle Lake, 48, was arrested on warrants including DUI and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
- Ronald James Rogers, 42, was arrested on complaints of unlawful drug cultivation, possession of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm while committing a felony, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Criminal Charges in the Case
Both Lake and Rogers were taken to the Oklahoma County jail, where they were held on bonds of $4,000 and $30,000, respectively. While sheriff's deputies are happening upon household cultivation while investigating other crimes, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control (OBN) is currently attempting to eradicate wild marijuana in areas across the state.
Though the OBN frequently cuts down each individual plant, this year they are taking a different approach by spraying fields with weed killer. OBN spokesman Mike Woodward says that cutting down plants was not only time consuming, it often left plants to grow back in subsequent years. He says that using a chemical spray to kill marijuana plants is much more effective at permanently eradicating the plants. The weed killer used to eradicate marijuana fields has been treated with a special red dye to alert people that the plants have been treated with toxic chemicals.
The OBN reports that, in the past, they have encountered people trying to cultivate wild marijuana fields, and they hope the red dye will prevent anyone from trying to grow, cultivate, or use the poisoned plants. The OBN is issuing a public reminder: "Don't Smoke Red Dope." If you have been accused of growing marijuana, contact us to speak with a drug cultivation lawyer about your case.