The Times West Virginian

Opinion

January 4, 2013

It’s critical to get drugs off street, career criminals behind prison bars

Marion County’s war on drugs continues.

And the county seems to be winning.

The latest suspect? A 48-year-old Fairmont man who was charged Wednesday with felony possession with intent to deliver and cultivation or manufacture of marijuana after sheriff’s deputies discovered and confiscated 79 “very high potency” marijuana plants, valued at upward of $100,000, in his home.

In addition to finding four rooms of plants inside the man’s home, deputies found lights, tents, fans, plant food and thousands of dollars of equipment. The plants were four breeds of marijuana: blueberry kush, strawberry kush, white widow and sour diesel, each in a separate room to avoid cross-pollination.

Officers said the plants were worth “every bit of $100,000” because it wasn’t the typical type of marijuana most drug dealers grow. They referred to the confiscated plants as high-grade, explaining that drug dealers typically can get more money for it.

As Chief Deputy Ralph L. Wright said, the seizure was a good one for Marion County.

“All this dope will not be on our streets. All this dope will not get to our kids or anybody else,” Wright said. “When we can get something like this off the street, it helps everybody.”

That sentiment was echoed by Sheriff Joe Carpenter, who commended the detectives for their thorough work on the case.

“We preach to kids that marijuana is 200 times stronger than it was 20 years ago. It’s much more addicting,” Carpenter added. “This guy knew what he was doing. This was a high breed of plant with very good, high levels of THC. It was about as good as it gets.”

This week’s arrest is just one more example of quality training being put to use, and it’s one more example of law enforcement officials’ dedication to the war on drugs.

But more importantly, the arrest means $100,000 worth of drugs has been taken off the streets of Marion County and an alleged dealer has been put behind bars. Additional arrests are pending, which means our streets could be even safer.

We hope officers’ efforts don’t stop until the community is indeed a safer place to raise our families and live out our golden years. It’s imperative that we get drugs off the streets and career criminals behind bars.

And when it comes to the war on drugs, victories of every size should be celebrated. The successful removal of $100,000 worth of marijuana is further proof that Marion County is committed to being a safe, drug-free community, and we’re one step closer to achieving that goal.

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