West Virginia temperatures fell below the freezing mark this week and even landed in the twenties in higher elevations. This development occurred after an unseasonably warm Winter and early Spring had crops shooting up early.
Elmer Ronson of Glen Daniel, West Virginia said, "I really thought I was going to be able to buy a new house this year. It looked like it was going to be a banner year for growers this year. The crops were springing up like wild weeds. The mountains smelled like Lil' Wayne's dressing room. Then – boom – Jack Frost comes along and takes the pot literally right out of the bong. There's going to be some unhappy campers this year."
Although no one knows exactly how much revenue is made each year due to marijuana sales, it is generally perceived to be West Virginia's most profitable crop. The marijuana sales are thought to be higher than any other crop in West Virginia.
Many marijuana growers and wholesalers are thought to be diversifying into making meth and distributing pain pills in order to make up for the lost revenue. Roscoe Hart, Logan, said, "I used to be a regular farming and if something not out one crop you have to eat, so you just grew another. We were starving growing tobacco so we switched to pot. We were living high like kings until the frost last week. Now, I'm going to have to manufacture meth in order to get by."
Mike James of Clarksburg is concerned for another reason. "I'm an honest man who is out of work. Now these drug dealers are going to try to re-enter the work force. Every job they get will mean less work available for honest, law-biding men."
Larry Wheeler of Flatwoods, said, "First gas prices have gone through the roof, now this. I mean, I can walk or ride a bike when gas goes up, but I can't go without my daily joint. I'll have to pay it. That's just going to mean less food for my family."
Another obstacle for the marijuana growers impacted by the frost is since many of these growers are already collecting unemployment and/ or food stamps, there will not be any government services readily available to them to help through the tough times ahead of them. Senator Troy Helms has said that he plans to contact Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffet to see if they can headline a fundraising concert to benefit the struggling marijuana growers.