The grant pays for the manpower and the helicopter.
“There’s a lot of street value to the drug still and we know that Ohio is not an exporter of marijuana, so we know the weed that is gown here is being used here,” Irwin said. Estimated street value of each plant is $1,500, he said.
Medical marijuana is regulated and tracked, Irwin said. What is grown in a field for resale is not.
Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said his department is being paid for use in the eradiation operation run by the state. The department’s helicopter is used in about a third of the state’s counties.
“When marijuana is grown and unregulated they cut it with fentanyl and people die. It is not your normal marijuana. When it is unregulated they lace it with fentanyl and other drugs.”
Jones said it is no different than bootleg whiskey that can make people sick or kill them if they don’t know what it is made of.
“They are dying and they think they are just smoking a little marijuana they bought from the corner,” Jones said, adding the eradication operation is not about looking in backyards for 2 marijuana plants and “we don’t put people in jail for having little bag of weed.”
“Until they legalized it, other than prescription marijuana, sure there will be enforcement. You can’t just go and grow it for a profit and put other drugs in it,” Jones said.
A Butler County Sheriff’s Office helicopter will be used in Pike County to take aerial photographs.