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Somewhere, Jerry Garcia is crying

By Matt Wood in News on Sep 29, 2005 6:29PM

Marijuana bustCounty, state, and federal officials really fucked up the rotation Wednesday when they burned over 6,000 marijuana plants seized from Cook County forest preserves. The weed would have been worth $12 million on the street, but officials said this year's crop wasn't as great because the drought has hurt pot farmers just as much as legit ones. Better start reading the almanac you stoners!

Police were assured that this stash had been cultivated, and wasn't just wild ditch weed, because some of the plants reached as high as eight feet. Besides, everyone knows that high school kids and hobos pick all the ditch weed anyway. The forest preserves have become a popular place to grow pot because tighter enforcement of the border with Mexico these days makes it harder to drive delivery vans made of marijuana through security.

For all the stereotypes about potheads being lazy, they sure are industrious when it comes to growing their own supply. Chicagoist knows an Indiana state policeman who used to love telling stories about the devious ways pot farmers concealed their crops, including booby traps and patches planted miles into the center of cornfields. Not nearly the great lengths crystal meth chefs go to protect their labs, but turning off the Widespread Panic CD and doing some gardening is a big accomplishment.

But why would the authorities burn that much weed at once? Chicagoist wonders about the kind of precautions the cops took to keep from getting the best contact high ever. Tribune reporter Tom Rybarczyk hints that they may not have done much, though, as he dreamily describes the "pungent mint aroma wafting yards away." We tried to reach him to ask about the scene, but his roommates told us he had gone out for a sandwich.