Part of Sequoia National Park in California was closed this week while authorities destroyed a marijuana crop being grown in a rugged canyon just half a mile from a popular cave, the Associated Press reports.
A week earlier, the same thing happened in Yosemite National Park, according to the Los Angeles Times.
This is not a Cheech and Chong joke, with a few plants grown by a dopey hippie. These are huge operations that are seriously damaging the forests and bringing heavily armed criminals into close proximity to hikers and tourists.
It wasn’t clear who did the planting in these cases, but in other cases members of Mexican drug cartels have been arrested, CNN reported last year. Scary stuff.
Far be it from me, a humble travel blogger, to suggest I have an answer to this country’s massive drug problem. But it seems to me that when the AP reports that the National Park Service got an additional $3.3 million to eradicate drugs this year and that its rangers are pulling up plants worth $20 million and $40 million at a time, this is not an equal fight and it’s not going to end any time soon.