Sheriff says illegal marijuana sales contribute to meth influx

BARDWELL, KY — The Carlisle County Sheriff’s Department warns that the cultivation and sale of marijuana contribute to the influx of methamphetamine in the area.

Photos from Carlisle County Sheriff’s Department

On Monday, deputies responded to a report of a domestic disturbance in Bardwell, said Sheriff Steve Perry. But when deputies arrived at the home, they discovered about 20 marijuana plants.

After Monday’s bust, the sheriff’s department posted on its Facebook page a message that says, in part:

“Most citizens do not realize that marijuana is being cultivated and sold to create revenue streams to facilitate the purchase of this pure form of methamphetamine that we now see locally. This meth is not made here in our county, but it is shipped in from other states in smaller quantities to avoid detection and interception by law enforcement.

“Cultivating, selling and using marijuana is not a victimless crime in small communities like ours. Those that cultivate and traffic marijuana use the funds generated to purchase other illegal and more dangerous drugs such as this 98 percent pure methamphetamine as well as heroin.”

Perry said deputies in Carlisle County typically only see a single marijuana plant here and there, so it was unusual to find a home with about 20 plants. But even one plant can be worth a lot of money.

“A good sensimilla female plant will bring you $1,500 once it’s stripped and things of its leaves,” he said.

Perry said some people grow marijuana solely as a source of revenue for purchasing meth.

“It’s not as much as you would think. But it’s happening, starting to happen more and more, because if they don’t have a job, they got to get their money some place,” said Perry.

But advocacy groups, like Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), say legalizing cannabis can solve a lot of the problems.

“When marijuana is illegal, all of the money that’s being spent on it goes to the illegal market, where it’s funding other illegal activities,” said Mason Tvert, the national spokesperson for MPP. “By regulating marijuana, making it legal for adults, we can take that money out of the underground market and have it go to legitimate businesses that are paying taxes.”

The cultivation of more than five marijuana plants is a class D felony in Kentucky. A conviction carries one to five years in prison, said Perry.

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