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weed growing wild

Trent, the South Bend police spokesman, said local police also field occasional calls about the wild marijuana and people who illicitly try to harvest it. In some cases, trespassers have been found with garbage bags of the ditch weed.

In fact, even as some would-be harvesters continue to find their way to the patches of wild cannabis, authorities have largely backed away from seeking and destroying ditch weed — partly because of funding cuts and a focus on more sinister drugs, but also because getting rid of the plants is seen as an impossible task.

“We respond to it as we’re able. Do we have people out there searching for ditch weed? No. Generally, our efforts are concentrated on marijuana that’s being potentially cultivated.”

“We know they’re going to come in there, we know they’re going to cut some, but we’re not here to play police — we’re just farmers,” he said. “They’re not hurting anything, and we don’t worry about it too much.”

But not all property owners see the wild plants as a major issue.

Joe Burkus, who manages a large South Bend farm, said he has occasionally encountered people on the property and has little doubt they were looking for marijuana. And he once found a pile of leaves drying under a nearby overpass, but the farm has seen few problems overall.

The plants are still illegal to possess, Trent said, and once police become involved, they are obligated to treat the weed as legitimate, high-quality marijuana. Narcotics officers can spot the differences, but they still seize the ditch weed and take it for standard testing.

“It’s just there’s so much of it, I don’t foresee ever getting rid of the problem.”

“It’s amazing how much marijuana is growing down there,” said Capt. Phil Trent, a South Bend police spokesman. “It looks like you’re in Colombia when you’re down there.”

Weed growing wild

Prior to this paper, the predominant notion was that Central Asia was where cannabis was first domesticated.

But despite the seemingly comprehensive nature of the sampling effort behind this paper Kane says it leaves geographical gaps that could yield new wrinkles in cannabis’ domestication story. For instance, the study contained no samples from Afghanistan, which is renowned for its profusion of cannabis, or Russia, which encompasses a vast swath of territory, much of which has little history of cultivating the crop and thus has potential as a bastion for wild cannabis.

Armed with this trove of genetic information, the team analyzed the genomic data to figure out the evolutionary relationships among these cannabis plants from around the world. The analysis revealed that a group of feral plants hailing from East Asia are more closely related to cannabis’ wild ancestors than any of the varieties grown today for fiber or medicine and recreation.