Eradicate pot program

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The federal government thinks marijuana use ought to be stopped. So it has a program to “eradicate” the plant. The program accomplishes little, sometimes at much cost. Instead of the plant, Congress should eradicate the program.

In 2015, the program awarded $20,000 to New Hampshire. That eradicated 27 plants. You can probably do the math, but, as The Washington Post points out, it’s $740.74 per plant. In Utah, by contrast, nothing adds up. There, at a cost of $73,000, zero plants were eradicated.

The Drug Enforcement Administration, which runs the roughly $14 million program, credits it with the seizure of $29.7 million of assets. Yet federal agencies should not be allowed to defend their programs by how much they seize. Taking people’s property doesn’t produce wealth, and counting it in a program’s favor creates an incentive that has nothing to do with any legitimate policy goals.

Trying to eradicate marijuana is futile. It’s too easy to grow, and there’s too much demand for it. Worse, the program runs against the trend of public policy and public opinion.