Kansas City Internation Airport Marijuana Grow

On Saturday July 17th 2011 at 4 am Platte County Sheriff’s SWAT conducted a raid on what was described as a “clandestine marijuana grow” operation located on the Kansas City International Airport property accessible only by a three mile off-road drive, aided by the Missouri Highway Patrol, Kansas City Police Department, and the KC International Airport police.

Lean-to shanty used by suspected Mexican nationals working the fields at the Kansas City Airport.

While the raid yielded no arrests at the time, the survivalist style camp was empty when the raid began. The police did discover and consequently eradicated some estimated 3000 plants by late afternoon valued by the police at two to four million dollars.

The grow site was discovered by mushroom hunters who happened upon the area back in April of this year but authorities chose to wait until the crop was closer to harvest, which they suspect this was the second harvest from the site.

The police were unsure as to why the suspects abandoned the site but there where clear signs that the people lived at site and worked the field are undocumented immigrants as is evident by the canned goods, clothes and toiletries found left behind in and around the lean to shacks made of sticks and scrap wood.

 This grow site is “typical of the type being used by Mexican drug trafficking organizations” said Capt. Erik G. Holland of the Platte Counties Sheriff’s Office. Going on to say about the site’s close proximity to the airport that “they can easily identify the flight patterns of planes coming in and out of the airports, therefore, they can tell if there was a law enforcement plane coming over doing enforcement.”


With the lucrative nature of the unregulated “black” market coupled with the difficulties in shipping countless thousands of tons of low-grade cannabis over the border and across long distances it makes business sense for the cartels  to set up cannabis cultivation operations within the states to reduce costs and the risks associated with transportation.

At the same time we have our various police agencies ranging from local, state and federal working countless hours and using untold workforce resources to (in most cases) locate, survey, and eradicate these crops while the amounts and dollar values of seizures are typically over estimated and misreported to justify the overtime paid out to law enforcement agents. These officers typically have other law enforcement duties that go neglected by the diversion of time and resources to pursue cannabis producers.

In addition, if cannabis is the threat to society drug warriors claim and that those who grow, distribute, and sell cannabis must pose as much theoretical danger as the plant, why then did the police wait between three to four months before conducting this raid? Was the decision to wait until closer to harvest time to make a larger “bust,” that makes a better photo op than taking immediate action to arrest the suspects in this case, to justify their drug interdiction budgets? This is akin, in theory, to the police witnessing an individual committing assault with a deadly weapon yet choosing to wait until the person is dead so that they can charge the suspect with homicide as opposed to assault with a deadly weapon, thus resulting in a noteworthy case to bolster the homicide department’s budget.

We need to start asking those in our communities unsure of legalization and those who are in favor of continuing marijuana prohibition serious, well thought out, and deliberate questions aimed at addressing the serious issues we face with this failed yet continued  policy of cannabis prohibition.

Question such as the following; why spend all this money to pay police overtime while increasing the size and power of the government in order to fight the cartel cannabis producers who send the majority of the profits from the illicit sales of this valuable commodity south of the border into the hands of these criminal organizations? When we can legalize the cultivation, transportation, sales and consumption creating economic revenue for business’ of all sizes and tax revenues generated from the licit market created while at the same time reducing the scale and scope of the negative impact that these failed policies have had on society by ruining otherwise law abiding cannabis consumers futures and lives?


About TriXteR Phillips

Founder and Jack-of-all-Trades at Stand Up and Speak Out a volunteer organization devoted to providing the public with safe, legal, and supportive events on 4-20 to help bring public attention to the need to end cannabis prohibition for all humanity. Founder, Admin, Blogger, and Jack-of-all-Trades at TriXteR Phillips: A Poison Thorn in Prohibition's Side.
This entry was posted in Grass-Roots Radio Active Marijuana, MO Marijuana News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Kansas City Internation Airport Marijuana Grow

  1. Leila says:

    This was a great article and I wonder why I didn’t see it in the news! Also, I’d like to mention that I always smell “skunk” on our way to the sailboat (which is 3 miles from the airport). Is this a trend, do you think? My husband said, “maybe it’s just a skunk,” but after smelling it OVER AND OVER AND OVER again all summer long, we’re all convinced that it’s a skunk of a different stripe! Are you in K.C.? I’m up here in Portland, Oregon and these are the very questions I ask people when they say they are against legalizing marijuana.

    • Leila:

      Thank you for you commenting on this article and apologies for taking such a dreadfully long time to reply to your comment; also, I will not bore you with excuses as to why.

      Having said that, if I recall correctly there where a number of large busts around the nation, at the border, and a particularly large growing operation discovered in Mexico led to this one being buried under these other events. At least outside of Missouri, to tell the truth it did not get much coverage other than the cursory coverage from local news outlets within that region of the state. In addition, I am on the opposite side of the state in the St Louis region.

      It seems from what little I have read on the subject that now we have people from Mexico getting in on the gorilla grow operations here in the United States. I did a small amount of research looking into skunks spraying habits/patterns and most articles said nothing about mating season and the constant spraying associated occurring during the summer. Therefore, in regards to the “skunk” smell, that could well have been what stripe of skunk you suspect(ed).

      It does appear that when people start to apply logic to the arguments put forward in support of cannabis prohibition this logic tends to lead these people to the same line of reasoning and to the same basic questions that follow, which end up being those posed to the supports of the afore mentioned prohibition. “Great minds think alike” would be the short bombastic way to state this thought, lol.

      Thank you, again, for your input and apologies, again, for the tardiness of my reply to your comment.


      TriXteR Phillips

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