Outdoor pot grows decline

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Patrol says outdoor marijuana growing operations continued to decline in 2013.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports eradication teams pulled about 39,000 plants this year across the state. That’s compared to the peak of 609,000 plants in 2009. In 2012, 216,000 plants were eradicated.

State Patrol Chief John Batiste says the goal of authorities is to keep Washington from keeping a source of marijuana. He says the illegal drug trade attracts violence.

Washington state voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana, with state-regulated stores expected to open sometime next year.

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