KPD’s Green Harvest completed

Last week, the Kaua‘i Police Department in partnership with other law enforcement agencies conducted a marijuana eradication operation over West Kaua‘i.

A “Green Harvest” helicopter flew over Waimea Valley last Wednesday and Thursday, but the police department has not released the number of plants or amount in pounds of marijuana seized, or if any arrests resulted from the operation.

The Green Harvest program is funded by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency and has been run in the state since 1976 when the exercises started on the Big Island. Kaua‘i and all police departments in the state continue to assist each other in Green Harvest, and work in partnership with the state’s conservation and resource enforcement office (under Department of Land and Natural Resources). Officers are lowered from helicopters and use knives to chop down plants, which are usually chopped up and mixed with other greenwaste and used as mulch.

Operation Green Harvest is part of the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, which partners federal, state and local governments. This year, Kaua‘i received about $143,000 to conduct quarterly Green Harvest operations.

The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 authorizes the DEA to eradicate domestically cultivated cannabis on both private and public lands.

In a TGI report published in late May, Kaua‘i Police Department Deputy Chief Wilfred Ihu said that without Operation Green Harvest, the KPD would not be able to seize large amounts of plants being grown on state and private lands. Marijuana eradication operations separate from Green Harvest are limited to seizure of processed marijuana through investigations and search warrants, he said.

Last July’s Green Harvest netted 9,650 plants in sizes ranging from seedlings to eight feet tall.

The TGI Report referenced to in this article was published May 23, entitled “Kaua‘i receives boost to anti-drug programs.”


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