Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Senate panel supports Hatch's pot farming penalties
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Washington • The Senate's immigration bill now includes tougher criminal penalties for growing marijuana on public lands after the Judiciary Committee unanimously accepted an amendment offered by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, on Monday.

The new criminal penalties largely target Mexican cartels that for years have set up one-season marijuana farms on Forest Service and BLM land throughout the western United States, including throughout southern Utah.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, explained the amendment as Hatch was still traveling from Utah to Washington, D.C., as the committee debated amendments to the criminal code.

"We need to enhance penalties for marijuana cultivation on public lands, that will ensure fewer drugs enter the market and protect our natural resources," Lee said.

Hatch's plan, drafted with assistance from Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Utah, would create a new aggravated penalty for growing marijuana on federal lands and impose a sentence that must be served after the criminal served time for an underlying charge for manufacturing or distributing the drug.

It also would create new penalties if people were caught diverting water, using certain fertilizers or using weapons to protect the marijuana plants.

"I have no interest in helping someone steal our federal lands, steal our natural resources to do something that is still illegal," said Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

Article Tools

 Print Friendly
 
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.