The state of Utah had what it thought was a brilliant idea to eradicate marijuana farming on public land: Ask citizen snitches to report any pot patches they run across.
The state made it easy with a website with helpful links to assist its deputized citizenry in identifying marijuana and signs of grow operations, reports Greg Campbell at dscriber.
“Did you know marijuana is being illegally grown in Utah?” the site, with a keen grasp of the obvious, ominously warns. “Have you ever been hiking or camping and seen what looks like an illegal marijuana growing operation? We have created this website to make it easier for people to report this illegal activity, so we can crack down and keep these illegal drugs out of our state and off our streets.”
Yeah, it seemed like a great idea. That is, until NORML posted a story about Utah’s misguided efforts. Within 24 hours, pot-friendly visitors flooded the site with fake tips.
The NORML article noted that while nobody supports the misuse of public lands for growing marijuana, there is a better way to deal with it — removing the penalties for cultivation on private land, instead of turning hikers and campers into snitches.