Thundershowers hamper Georgia chopper search for marijuana
LaFAYETTE, Ga. — Tuesday's heavy thundershowers were a blessing to farmers -- especially those growing marijuana in Dade, Walker and Catoosa counties.
The rain grounded five helicopters Tuesday afternoon that were on the hunt for pot patches. The choppers were able to search in the morning and didn't have any luck, but officials said they'll be back before the first frost.
"We've got at least 30 places to look at," said Patrick Doyle, interim commander of the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force.
"We get buds on some of these plants that are over a foot long" and drug task force members have found plants as high as 20 feet tall at the season's end, Doyle said. Such giant plants can yield as much as 40 or 50 pounds of pot, he said.
Sometimes growers can't be found, but other times they leave telltale clues, Doyle said, such as the 600 feet of garden hose that led from a single pot plant in the woods to a man's home.
The aerial search for pot patches is an annual event. Helicopters with the Georgia Governor's Task Force for Drug Suppression take to the skies to spot outdoor pot farms so that local drug task force members on the ground can hack the marijuana down and arrest growers.
For more information, click here. (Chattanooga Times Free Press)