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Yosemite National Park rangers raid and eradicate marijuana growing site in the park

Some of the marijuana plants seized Tuesday in Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite National Park rangers raided a large marijuana cultivation site in El Portal on Tuesday and seized 3,657 plants plus several pounds of processed marijuana worth an estimated $14.6 million.

The site was on land in both Yosemite National Park and the Sierra National Forest. The marijuana plants found ranged in size from young, 1-foot-tall plants to a mature plot with plants that were 5- to 10-feet tall.

The area was remote enough that hikers or other visitors to the park did not walk into it. Two men -- one armed with a loaded .45 caliber pistol concealed under his clothing -- were working the cultivation site during the raid and were taken into custody. Both suspects are Mexican nationals in the U.S. illegally and are currently in custody awaiting charges to be filed.

"We want these growers to know that we will not tolerate this type of activity on public lands and we will continue to aggressively seek out and eradicate illegal marijuana growing operations," Yosemite National Park Superintendent Don Neubacher said in a statement.

The operation, which came about after a joint investigation by the U.S. Forest Service and Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, concluded safely with only a few minor injuries to officers.

The grow site had hose lines, fertilizers, trash and human waste throughout the area and suffered extensive resource damage, including damage to the native vegetation and landscape.

This is the second pot farm discovered in Yosemite in as many years. In August 2009, Yosemite rangers and National Park Service Agents, with assistance from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, removed 4,735 marijuana plants valued at nearly $19 million from within the park.

-- Kelly Burgess

Photo: Some of the marijuana plants seized Tuesday in Yosemite National Park. Credit: National Park Service

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Comments (5)

People like this continue to make the case against illegal immigrants. Yet, is falls upon politically correct politicians' ears. Ship 'em all back to where they came from ASAP before they kill some innocent Americans out for a hike in the park.

$113 billion is spent on marijuana every year in the U.S., and because of the prohibition *every* dollar of it goes straight into the hands of criminals. Far from preventing people from using marijuana, the prohibition instead creates zero legal supply amid massive and unrelenting demand.

According to the ONDCP, two-thirds of the Mexican drug cartel's money comes from selling marijuana in the U.S., and they protect this cash flow by brutally torturing, murdering and dismembering thousands of innocent people.

If we can STOP people using marijuana then we need to do so now, but if we can't then we need to legalize the production and sale of marijuana to adults with after-tax prices set too low for the cartels to match. One way or the other, we have to force the cartels out of the marijuana market and eliminate their highly lucrative marijuana incomes - no business can withstand the loss of two-thirds of its revenue!

To date, the cartels have amassed more than 100,000 "foot soldiers" and operate in 230 U.S. cities, and the longer they're able to exploit the prohibition the more powerful they're going to get and the more our own personal security is put in jeopardy.

This is nothing more than a plain outright victory for the innocent children and teens in this country and another major blow to the drug pushers who keep preying upon all Americans. Get them out of here!! We, as Americans, have to push a new culture, a new agenda if you will, to de-glamorize drug use and marijuana. The people who use drugs and marijuana represent the dark bowels of inhumanity. Let's push back and say "No to drugs!!". America is too diverse to need drug use. There are thousands of activities people can engage in without using drugs, therefore, there is no need for drug use in this country. We can all take a new stand against all marijuana and drug interests by visiting the "No on prop. 19" campaign website: http://www.noonproposition19.com/contribute. This site will explain all the negatives to marijuana. In America, we can do it, we have a can-do attitude and we can eradicate marijuana and its use. Yes we can!!

what a shame...

Prohibition is a sickening horror and the ocean of censorship, hypocrisy incompetence, corruption and human wreckage it has left in its wake is almost endless.

Prohibition has decimated generations and criminalized millions for a behavior which is entwined in human existence, and for what other purpose than to uphold the defunct and corrupt thinking of a minority of misguided, self-righteous Neo-Puritans and degenerate demagogues who wish nothing but unadulterated destruction on the rest of us.

Based on the unalterable proviso that drug use is essentially an unstoppable and ongoing human behavior which has been with us since the dawn of time, any serious reading on the subject of past attempts at any form of drug prohibition would point most normal thinking people in the direction of sensible regulation.

By its very nature, prohibition cannot fail but create a vast increase in criminal activity, and rather than preventing society from descending into anarchy, it actually fosters an anarchic business model - the international Drug Trade. Any decisions concerning quality, quantity, distribution and availability are then left in the hands of unregulated, anonymous and ruthless drug dealers, who are interested only in the huge profits involved. Thus, the allure of this reliably and lucrative industry, with it's enormous income potential that consistently outweighs the risks associated with the illegal operations that such a trade entails, will remain with us until we are collectively forced to admit the obvious.

A great many of us are slowly but surely wising up to the fact that the best avenue towards realistically dealing with drug use and addiction is through proper regulation which is what we already do with alcohol & tobacco, clearly two of our most dangerous mood altering substances. But for those of you whose ignorant and irrational minds traverse a fantasy plane of existence, you will no doubt remain sorely upset with any type of solution that does not seem to lead to your absurd and unattainable utopia of a drug free society.

There is therefore an irrefutable connection between drug prohibition and the crime, corruption, disease and death it causes. Anybody 'halfway bright', and who's not psychologically challenged, should be capable of understanding that it is not simply the demand for drugs that creates the mayhem, it is our refusal to allow legal businesses to meet that demand. If you are not capable of understanding this connection then maybe you're using something far stronger than the rest of us. So put away your pipe, lock yourself away in a small room with some tinned soup and water, and try to crawl back into reality A.S.A.P.

Because Drug cartels will always have an endless supply of ready cash for wages, bribery and equipment, no amount of tax money, police powers, weaponry, wishful thinking or pseudo-science will make our streets safe again. Only an end to prohibition can do that! How much longer are you willing to foolishly risk your own survival by continuing to ignore the obvious, historically confirmed solution?

If you support the Kool-Aid mass suicide cult of prohibition, and erroneously believe that you can win a war without logic and practical solutions, then prepare yourself for even more death, tortured corpses, corruption, terrorism, sickness, imprisonment, economic tribulation, unemployment and the complete loss of the rule of law.

"A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded."
Abraham Lincoln

The only thing prohibition successfully does is prohibit regulation & taxation while turning even our schools and prisons into black markets for drugs. Regulation would mean the opposite!


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.