37K marijuana plants destroyed in 2012

723 arrested, $1.7M in assets seized

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced 37,388 marijuana plants at 771 grow sites were destroyed in 2012.

The state's Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program also resulted in 723 arrests, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam said Friday.

"Our agency plays a significant role in safeguarding Florida's 19 million residents from potential threats," said Putnam. "Our partnership with local law enforcement on this initiative helps prevent marijuana from getting to our communities, making them safer for everyone."

In 2012, county and local law enforcement agencies seized $1.7 million in assets.

In the 31 years since the Eradication Program began, this initiative has detected more than 36,624 illegal grow sites, eradicated more than 2.6 million marijuana plants valued at more than $4.2 billion, and resulted in the arrest of 16,646 cultivators in Florida.

The department received $500,000 of the seized assets from the DEA and distributed more than $436,771 to 54 sheriffs' offices and 17 police departments in 57 counties to help offset costs of eradication efforts.

Another $60,000 was used to train 122 law enforcement officers from 62 different agencies in detection and investigation of marijuana operations.

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