More than 98 percent of all of the marijuana plants seized by law enforcement in the United States is feral hemp not cultivated cannabis, according to newly released data by the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program and the Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics.A single recent example from Prescott, Arizona was where two seniors watering an "attractive weed" between their residences were surprised to learn from a Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputy that they were cultivating marijuana.
According to the data, available online at: http://www.albany.edu/sourcebook/pdf/t4382005.pdf, of the estimated 223 million marijuana plants destroyed by law enforcement in 2005, approximately 219 million were classified as "ditchweed," a term the agency uses to define "wild, scattered marijuana plants [with] no evidence of planting, fertilizing, or tending." Unlike cultivated marijuana, feral hemp contains virtually no detectable levels of THC, the psychoactive component in cannabis, and does not contribute to the black market marijuana trade.
Previous DEA reports have indicated that between 98 and 99 percent of all the marijuana plants eradicated by US law enforcement is ditchweed.
(Hat tip to Dave Palmer on the SKEPTIC mailing list, who offers the comment that it looks like the War on Drugs is going about as well as the War on Terror.)