A Pot Plant Grows on 1st Street

Marijuana plants growing randomly throughout city

By Juan DeJesus
|  Friday, Jul 23, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM EDT
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Weird News Photos: Holiday Edition

A NW Side house fire leads to the discovery of 130 pot plants, 10 pounds of dried marijuana and equipment used in a "very sophisticated" growing operation.

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These are high times in the city.

Pictures have surfaced on the Internet of what looks like marijuana growing near the intersection of E. 1 St. and 2nd Ave. -- the latest photographic evidence to suggest that errant pot plants are taking over the city. 

Last month, a writer scribed a personal account in the The New York Times about a cannibas plant she saw in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn.
Days later, someone snapped a photo of what appeared to be a pot plant that sprouted in Union Square Park.

Witnesses emailed Gothamist at the time to say there was one large sapling along with a few smaller sprouts of the smelly, fan-like plant. To confirm, the blog sent the photos to Senior Cultivation Editor at High Times magazine, Danny Danko, for his expert analysis.

He said "it absolutely is [weed]."

All these plants appear to be growing sporadically and not cultivated. Danko says the plants growing in the public space can either be a protest from the marijuana community, or may have been grown from seeds that were discarded. But he doubts someone expected to harvest an actual marijuana crop.

Currently marijuana possession is a violation and not a crime in New York State. However if the marijuana is "open to public view,a person can charged with a misdemeanor.

Police have made some 400,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests over the past decade, according to a 2008 study released by the New York Civil Liberties Union,.

The NYCLU study estimated that marijuana arrests in New York City cost taxpayers between $50 million and $90 million annually.

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