A couple of decades ago, the annual late summer harvest of illegal marijuana plants was a big deal to police and local media. Police agencies would allow media members to tag along as hundreds, if not thousands, of farm plants were pulled from corn fields and clearings in the woods. Photos of machete-wielding cops and trucks loaded with piles of green plants were the norm.

As societal opinions toward marijuana have changed in recent years, and it's legalized in some states, these same agencies don't publicize the annual crop tending anymore.

I had one local high-ranking officer explain last summer that his agency doesn't publicize the pot harvest anymore because of the public backlash from the seemingly growing pro-pot crowd.

That's despite the fact that marijuana is just as illegal as it ever has been in New York, no matter the opinions of many who think the law should read otherwise.

The solution is for all involved to convince state legislators that New York's laws are outdated, so police don't have to enforce statutes that don't exist in other states.

While police can and do selectively enforce some laws, like not pulling you over for driving 71 mph on the Northway, they can't ignore crimes that they are made aware of. And growing marijuana is a crime, as it stands now.

-- Don Lehman

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Don Lehman covers crime and Warren County government for The Post-Star. His work can be found on Twitter @PS_CrimeCourts and on poststar.com/app/blogs.

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