Marijuana production is at an all-time high in Florida, and so are grow-house busts. Law enforcement weed eradication programs have seen a 50 percent spike in these grow labs in less than four years. It's easy pickings for Johnny Law when you think about it: Growers are stoners. They concoct harebrained schemes to build impregnable Kush farms over multiple bowls of Fruit Loops. With that in mind, we pre-
sent the most outlandish pot busts of 2010:
If you're a former Miami Beach cop facing accusations of unjustly killing two innocent bystanders, setting up a grow house may not be the best way to pay for your criminal offense. On May 24, Miami-Dade police raided Adam Tavss's house in West Kendall where they found a fully operational marijuana grow lab with 47 plants worth about $50,000 on the street. He pled guilty in October and will be on house arrest for the next two years.
Florida weed busts
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Perhaps Mark Weiner was conducting tests on the medicinal properties of Cannabis sativa. On June 5, Marion County Sheriff's Office deputies paid a visit to the 46-year-old quadriplegic's Ocala home where they found six marijuana plants growing in one of the rooms. Weiner told the cops he was conducting an experiment and showed them a bong, 40 grams of cultivated weed, and more than 50 pot seeds. His caregiver helped tend the crop.
Leiner Hidalgo and Luis Florencio Gonzalez Reyes thought they'd built an underground Narnia, where all stoners fight alongside a lion that rises from the dead to slay the evil White Witch. On September 8, Miami-Dade police arrived at their house on SW 29th Street in Westchester. They found the pair had dug out a basement on the home's eastern side to house a 26-plant crop.
Marijuana growers have good reason to feel like they have no privacy. On September 15, Cape Coral police descended on a suspected grow house at 321 NE 29th St. Deputy Chief Bart Connelly told Fort Meyers News-Press that a drug dealer had barricaded the front door with furniture. The alleged doper also sent out a distress call via a Facebook status update: "I am going to jail, talk to you later." After bombing the house with tear gas and sending in a robot to scour for booby traps, the cops seized 35 plants in the garage.
And then there was the dude in a Chevy SUV who pulled over on the Palmetto Expressway in Doral on September 15. A Florida Road Ranger stopped to offer the driver, who was asleep at the wheel, help. The bleary eyed fellow couldn't believe his luck. He offered the Road Ranger a few hundred bucks to drive him and the 100 pounds of marijuana plants in the SUV to a safe place. Instead, the roadside helper called Florida Highway Patrol. Dopey took off running.