Pubdate: Wed,  7 Aug 2002
Source: West Hawaii Today (HI)
Contact:  2002 West Hawaii Today
Author: Tiffany Edwards 
Note: For more on medical cannabis and cannabis eradication in Hawaii go to


HILO - Councilmembers next week will take up a marijuana eradication mission
report that states 14,425 plants were seized in June. 

Comparing that to the 3,133 plants seized in the May missions, Police Lt.
Henry Tavares noted police have moved into what they consider to be the
"peak season" for marijuana growing. 

Tavares, who leads the Hilo Vice section, said that season runs from June to

More plants are eradicated during this time period because the height of the
plants makes them easier to spot from the helicopter, he said. 

Law enforcement personnel are mandated by the councilmembers to keep the
helicopters at an altitude of at least 1,000 feet. 

Among other conditions, the council requires them to submit monthly reports
in return for accepting federal funds for the "Green Harvest" program. 

The report for the June 24 - 28 mission indicates all 14,425 plants were
seized in East Hawaii, with a majority of them found in Puna subdivisions. 

In one day, 4,898 plants ranging from seedlings to 6 feet tall and spread
out in 203 plots were recovered in that area.

Police reported they received 12 calls regarding the June missions,
including several complaints about low - flying helicopters. 

One person reportedly told police "this is a war zone and the government
does not own the sky," the report states. 

Another claimed to be a Vietnam veteran who did not want the "post traumatic
stress" of helicopters being near his home, according to the document. 

One man called police asking them to fly over his property and check for
marijuana, after he encountered several people walking across the property,
according to the report. 

One Fern Forest subdivision resident called to express appreciation for the
eradication efforts in that neighborhood and to offer police a cup of coffee
while they were there, the report indicates.
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