Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

December 29, 2012

Mammoth Cave Park Rangers fight marijuana growers

Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — It’s not uncommon for park rangers to find marijuana grows within the boundaries of Mammoth Cave National Park.

“We find it every year,” said David Alexander, park ranger.

Earlier this week, Ryan Pitcock, 22, of Bowling Green, was sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by two years of supervised release in federal court for conspiracy to manufacture marijuana inside Mammoth Cave National Park and at a home in Warren County, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Louisville.

Pitcock pleaded guilty to a four-count federal indictment on Aug. 21. He admitted to conspiring with a co-defendant to manufacture less than 50 kilograms of marijuana, a Schedule I controlled substance, according to the press release.

They cultivated the marijuana in a wooded area located in the back country of the national park.

Typically, more marijuana grows are found when there is a downfall in the local economy.

“People need money and it’s a quick way to make money,” Alexander said.

The number of marijuana grows found inside the national park, however, has decreased somewhat over the years.

“One thing we’ve noticed that has taken a hit on marijuana cultivation is, first, a lot of your older folks who grew marijuana on a regular basis, they are quite frankly getting too old to grow it,” Alexander said. “The younger generation is looking at pain pills, meth — things they can sell over the weekend. That type of activity has slowed down some of your marijuana cultivation.”

For the full story, see the print or e-edition of the Weekender.