Wednesday, April 1, 2015


Tribune-Herald staff writer

Pot choppers took to the air over East Hawaii on Monday and Tuesday, a top state law enforcer said.

According to Keith Kamita, the Department of Public Safety's deputy director of law enforcement, the joint federal, state and local marijuana eradication mission netted 4,053 plants ranging from one foot to 12 feet in height.

"This is under the federal marijuana eradication program," Kamita said Tuesday afternoon. Asked if any more missions are planned for the Big Island, Kamita replied: "We're finished for right now for this operation."

Kamita said areas targeted include Hilo, Glenwood, Hawaiian Paradise Park, Hawaiian Acres, Eden Roc, Fern Acres and Kalapana.

The multi-agency task force included the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the state's Narcotics Enforcement Division and the Honolulu and Kauai county police departments "with support from the Hawaii county police," Kamita said.

He said two private helicopters and a Coast Guard chopper were used.

The Tribune-Herald received multiple calls Monday and Tuesday from areas ranging from Hakalau to Hawaiian Beaches reporting a low-flying red helicopter over populated areas. Kamita said "no red helicopters" were involved in the operation.

Coast Guard helicopters are usually red and white.

Kamita said one arrest was made. Asked about charges, he replied that it is "under investigation" and said the feds have jurisdiction. The Honolulu DEA office did not return a phone call late Tuesday afternoon seeking additional information.

Kamita said authorities encountered a number of medical marijuana permit holders. He said of permit holders in compliance with state law, "we talked to them and walked away."

As for permit holders growing more plants than the legal limit of three mature and four immature plants, Kamita said: "We had a few."

Email John Burnett at

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taxedtodeath's picture
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Milton Friedman, 500+ Economists Call for Marijuana Regulation Debate; New Report Projects $10-14 Billion Annual Savings and Revenues


To see the Savings/Revenues Projected in New Study by Harvard Economist go here.


taxedtodeath's picture
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Why are they wasting our money on an archaic policy that never worked but created what we see today. The problems are a result of the policy they didn't exist before prohibition. Your policy your fault but its almost over even more reason to stop wasting resources.

Here we come bigger and stronger than ever.

 Industrial Hemp Legislation Introduced in Michigan

A Resolution and two Industrial Hemp bills have been introduced into the Michigan House of Representatives The Resolution was referred to the Commerce Committee and the two House Bills were referred to the Committee on Agriculture.

California Hemp Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

A bill that would allow farmers in four California counties to grow industrial hemp has passed the state legislature and now sits on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) awaiting his signature. The bill, Senate Bill 676, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, passed the Senate earlier this year, then passed the Assembly last week.

Congressman Steve Cohen Demands The Drug Czar Reschedule Marijuana, Acknowledge It’s Medical Utility



alohvit's picture
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Mahalo nui loa to the authorities to keep our neighborhood safer by fighting illegal drug use, illegal drug promotion, illegal drug consumption. And all the associated criminal activities going along with them: robbery, gun violence, domestic violence, tax evasion, medical prescription abuse, alcohol abuse, theft, meth, etc.

Plant dope. Harvest Ice.

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Alohapuna - It gives our men in flak suits a hazard-time paycheck...That's who it benefits....That and the chopper pilots and owners...

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So, I got the scoop, Mr. Kamita and his band of 25 California Kops, plus our law enforcement officers from all the other islands took their machine guns and went to Medical Marijuana Patients homes and counted their plants. If anyone was over, THEY TOOK ALL THEIR PLANTS. So, the medical patients need to get together and call the ACLU, they are ready to file lawsuits, actually for anyone who was bothered by these lame excuses for law enforcement and public safety.

HOW MUCH DID THIS OPERATION COST MR. KAMITA? YOU GUYS WERE FLYING AROUND IN OUR COUNTY HELICOPTERS, WAY BELOW THE ALTITUDE LIMIT, FILMING PEOPLE'S HOMES. FOR WHAT - A PLANT? We have major economic and terrible ice problems, and you grown men are flying around with machine guns and helicopters pulling weeds...SHAME ON YOU ALL!


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And at what cost to taxpayers was this ludicrous operation? Did it actually contribute anything to the good of the community?!

taxedtodeath's picture
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We had a yellow helicopter here, sure looked like the county rescue helicopter (guess they trying to rescue the buds spur). We of course didn't have any marijuana like 99% of the people whose homes and property were searched without any probable cause. That is a police state tactic assuming everyone is guilty or might be so they can be searched at any time with no evidence of any crime whatsoever. This is how they waste our limited resources.

40 years ago, President Nixon declared the War on Drugs, a trillion dollar movement that still cost the US $15 billion in 2010. It was named an "abject failure" with "devastating consequences around the world" just this year by the Global Commission on Drug Policy. The result today in Hawaii county or any American town is the same, even after the latest mission by armed police in military fashion anyone who wants it can get marijuana any time they like.

It was a complete waste of resources same as always that paid those officers both overtime and hazard pay draining needed tax dollars for real crime, serious crime, no matter were those tax dollars came from (they came from us one way or another no matter how they spin it) they accomplished nothing again.

They actually came down to about 50' here to look into our homes (looking in the widows) like I said they found no marijuana because we had none I haven't used cannabis in many years and resent being searched without my permission or any reason other than maybe I am outspoken against these policy's.

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Here is a link that shows the various types of helicopters flying on this island....




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If they didn't spend this time and money on this, what would happen? A few folks would get high on pot instead of alcohol, etc., and a few people would earn some money from farming in an economy that has many suffering. Is that result soooo bad that it deserves our tax payer money MORE THAN TEACHERS DO???

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Keith Kamita, either you  are wrong, lying, or I am colorblind.  A RED helicopter went over my house three times on Monday.  If it wasn't the police, I have a problem with any aircraft being that close.  It was low and extremely noisy. Why don't you people just go away and let people live their lives?  Again I ask, why do the feds keep coming back to the same area every eradication?   Seems to me they have their own patch growing so they can harvest and up their eradication numbers and/or for their personal use.  Before budding, these plants are already at their maximum height and could be eradicated a month before the actual budding so WHY do the feds wait until they bud to take them?   Can't prove it but it seems obvious to me what's happening. 

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