MAHONING COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) — Ohio task forces seized over 20,000 pounds of marijuana in 2013, making it the most-commonly-seized drug in the state for 2013, according to the Ohio Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force Report released May 15.
Synthetic hallucinogens came in second with 433, 518 grams seized, according to the report.
Locally, marijuana also claimed the top spot, with 62.58 pounds seized by the Mahoning Valley Task Force, which operates in Mahoning County and Liberty Township in Trumbull County. Unlike the state, heroin ranked second, with just over 4,822 grams seized.
“Heroin is the premiere drug threat everywhere, if you talk to any commander of any drug unit,” said Mahoning Valley Task Force Commander Jeff Solic. “They’re gonna say heroin is the biggest issue they’re dealing with.”
Solic said he is not surprised that marijuana is the number one drug seized by weight, as it is more common to find mass quantities of marijuana than heroin. He also added that many drug users do not go straight to heroin but often start out using marijuana and that heroin is a much more deadly drug. Plenty of people die from heroin overdose, while a smaller number die in incidents in which marijuana was a factor.
Many communities end up paying the price of drug use indirectly, whether through drug-related deaths, eating the cost of items stolen by drug users or a number of other factors, Solic said.