Another day, another fear-mongering piece in a daily paper about marijuana grow-ops on public lands.

One thousand feet below Luke Wuest's office, brown rectangles of farmland sat poised to sprout corn and soybeans, tiny gray dots of fishing boats floated on blue lakes and grass glowed green against white curlicues of subdivisions. It all seemed bucolic and springlike Friday morning in the skies above southeastern Wisconsin.

That's not what Wuest and state Department of Natural Resources Warden Matt Groppi were looking at, though. They peered at the great expanse from the cockpit of the Cessna 175 that Wuest was flying and wondered where marijuana growers might decide to set up shop.

"When you get close to the fall, it's fairly easy to find because marijuana has a longer growing season and it'll stay green longer than other plants. It'll really pop out against the other plants and trees," said Wuest, a DNR pilot for five years. "But we want to find them before then."

Like any commodity, the profit margin spurs people to grow marijuana wherever they will get away with it. But while illegal marijuana plants have been discovered routinely on public and private land throughout Wisconsin each year, authorities are worried about the growth of some operations.

People shouldn't grow marijuana on public lands, of course, and they wouldn't grow marijuana on public lands if it was legal to grow marijuana in gardens, on farms, in clay pots set out on balconies, etc. But reporter Meg Jones couldn't find the time to get a quote from someone willing to make these points—probably because she spent all day lazily flying circles with a couple of drug warriors from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, looking for pot plants from 1000 feet up in the air. Not a word about why people are growing pot where they are, not a word about the effectiveness of expensive interdiction efforts, not a word about how much money it costs to keep two DNR agents circling rural lands in their flying "office," i.e. a Cessna 175, from early spring into the late fall.

And, yet again, you have to wonder just who the editors and reporters at daily papers think they work for. Almost without exception daily papers treat marijuana reform—decriminalization, regulation, taxation—as if it was outside the realm of civilized discourse. But every time one of these "law-enforcement" stories runs in a daily paper the folks who read and comment at the paper's own website rush in to make the points the paper refuses to touch:

Jesus, just legalize it already. What a waste of money.

What a waste of time and money. Let's just keep importing it from Mexico because that isn't causing any problems, is it? By the way I have never used pot, and when it is legalized I probably won't use it then either.

is this what i paid about 100 bucks in license fees for last year? i guess water quality, habitat improvement , stocking and restoration and enforcement of fish and game laws just isnt enough work. seems to me we have evidence of overfunding and overstaffing at the dnr in this story. maybe its time for cuts. cuts until there isnt enough money for stuff like this.

The readers of daily papers see drug interdiction efforts for the infuriating waste of time and tax money that they are. Why don't the dailies? Their readers regard the legalizing pot as a legitimate position. Why don't the dailies?