Soldiers trying to seize control of one Mexico’s top drug-producing regions found the countryside teeming with a new hybrid marijuana plant that can be cultivated year-round and cannot be killed with herbicides. [...] The plants’ roots survive if they are doused with herbicide, said army Gen. Manuel Garcia.
“These plants have been genetically improved,” he told a handful of journalists allowed to accompany soldiers on a daylong raid of some 70 marijuana fields. “Before we could cut the plant and destroy it, but this plant will come back to life unless it’s taken out by the roots.”
The new plants, known as “Colombians,” mature in about two months and can be planted at any time of year, meaning authorities will no longer be able to time raids to coincide with twice-yearly harvests.
The hybrid first appeared in Mexico two years ago but has become the plant of choice for drug traffickers [in] Michoacan, a remote mountainous region that lends to itself to drug production. Yields are so high that traffickers can now produce as much marijuana on a plot the size of a football field as they used to harvest in 10 to 12 acres.