PELICAN RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) — A large marijuana-growing operation was discovered at a Minnesota state park thanks to a hiker’s tip, according to authorities.

On Sunday, the hiker came across the pot plants growing in two separate clearings at Maplewood State Park, which is located east of Pelican Rapids.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office was notified and 187 marijuana plants — all about 5 feet tall — were removed Monday.

The Sheriff’s Office said that some of the plants had plastic markers at the bottom of them with different names, including Voo Doo, Blue Skunk and Poison.

At this time, there are no suspects or arrests.

Anyone with information can call the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office at 218-998-8555.

maplewood state park marijuana growing 3 Hikers Tip Leads To Pot In Minnesota State Park

(credit: Otter Tail Co. Sheriff's Office)

Comments (57)
  1. busy bodies get a life says:

    Why would somebody go out of their way to call the cops cuz they found some pot growing? why dont these people go do something worth while for the community like work at a food shelf or volunteer at a hospital? A little pot smoking is the least of the problems we have in 2011…. people need to get a life and ease up on the pot laws, they waste money, time and recources.

    1. Steve "Wangsta" K says:

      I agree with you 100%. I can not recall ever hearing on the news that someone smoked pot and got into an car accident (driving while high). From a friend of mine, he said smoking pot makes him sleepy. No urges to drive or get off the couch. (I’m taking his word for it)

      1. dummy says:

        Because they can’t link any evidence to driving under the influence. DUH!

      2. Oakdale Mom says:

        I’m a 54 year old mom and I just said the same thing in replying to a friends status – alcohol vs pot. There aren’t too many deaths caused by pot smoking drivers. Not that I want the whole world to be high 24/7…just that alcohol is a much bigger issue in my book.

    2. scrooge says:

      Who wants to help out at a food shelf? Who has time to do that?
      Calling in a report takes less than a minute. Volunteering is a nice act, but no thanks. I have better things to do, like Golf and count my money.

    3. Steph says:

      This person didn’t ‘go out of their way to call the cops’. The article clearly states it was a hiker who came across it. Good grief, take a moment to actually READ the facts instead of glancing over the words and coming up with your own story, perhaps you were high when you attempted to read it….. And fighting drug problems is NOT the least of our problems. You must be a pot head to write something like that. People get killed over drugs and drug deals and yes I realize its not just pot. Smoking pot is for idiots, I’m certainly glad I’m not one of them. And to the ‘Wangsta’ I knew some boys in high school who would smoke pot, cross their arms across their chests, exhale and have someone else hold them up against a wall until they passed out to ‘get more of a buzz’ off the pot. Guess where those boys are today? 3 are sitting in jail for drug related charges and one is dead becuase of drugs. Smoking pot is stupid no matter how you look at it, and you’re naive if you think someone isn’t getting behind the wheel of a car after getting high.

      1. FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS says:


      2. Kristi says:

        I totally agree with you Steph!!

      3. Jim says:

        Steph, you should save this rant for alcohol, which is a legal drug in this country and causes a lot more harm than marijuana does. And if your real concern is that “people get killed over drugs and drug deals,” then you should support legalization of marijuana to eliminate this problem, at least for this drug.

        As for your weird story about “some boys in high school,” I would just say that kids are stupid. When I was in high school a few kids smoked pot, but almost everyone drank alcohol and two people in my grade were killed in drunk-driving accidents, as well as my friend’s father. So forgive me if I think marijuana prohibitionists who have no problem with alcohol are hypocrites.

        1. derp says:

          lol potheads are funny.

        2. Mike D says:

          Isn’t marijuana the gateway to more dangerous drugs? Why yes, it is…

          1. Mike says:

            If marijuana is a gateway drug to what, success? Their are millions of people who have used cannabis at some point in their lives and some of them are billionaires, millions and highly successful people. Equating drug use to only negative outcomes is idiotic and most people who do it are morons. Why yes they are……..

          2. Richard Martin says:

            ummm….no its not….check your facts…..less than 1% of pot smokers do harder drugs

          3. Get educated says:

            That is a actually not true. It is something that the “War Against Drugs” has made us believe. Marijuana is now being studied to stimulate different parts of your brain and help cell development. I am not a user of the drug; however, I do believe that it can be used for a much better purpose than to simply get high. It helps many people suffering from many different ailments.

        3. Lindy says:

          I totally agree with you Jim, well said.
          It’s time this prohibition ends. Number of deaths and overdoses directly attributed to pot, zero.

      4. Mike says:

        Of course Steph, children shouldn’t be smoking anything including cigarettes, but save us your sanctimonious BS and your patronizing, fictional stories for your kids.
        As an adult who has used marijuana over the years, I can assure you that the problems you highlight wouldn’t exist if it was a legal substance. The war on drugs is a complete failure except for the attorneys, law enforcement and judges making a tremendous amount of money destroying peoples lives when in fact, most of them used it at some point in their lives and they turned out to be model citizens.

        1. The Dude says:

          Plus, it rally ties the room together

      5. Joe says:

        Enjoy your martini tonight, lush.

  2. curly_racks says:

    what a waste of resources…….and herb

  3. quentin says:

    I just hope the perps weren’t using a state park for this during the government shutdown. It clearly was not an essential service.

    1. ganja says:

      “not essential”?? speak for yourself.

    2. T says:

      Odds are good that they were. That’s how it goes in California, at least, when the state doesn’t have enough money to keep its state parks open (which is to say: all the time). There are whole cartels operating out of some of the state’s closed parks. Hell, there are whole cartels operating out of some of the state’s *open* parks.

  4. Bob Marley says:

    Legalize it!

    1. Nah says:

      Not legalize it, decriminalize it. If it became legal, it would be so expensive and government controlled. The FDA would have a say about the type. Dealers would also be illegal and they wouldn’t be able to supply or grow without a license to do so. It would cause a black market.

  5. UpNorthNaturalist says:

    The big issue with illegal pot growing operations (not considering the plant itself) is that many of these operations end up doing harm to the land and to the environment. Not all growers may do this, but many will use chemicals such as pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. These growers are unlikely to dispose of them properly, or use them safely. So it ends up polluting the ground and waters. They may be dumping garbage in the area. Not to mention the plant is taking up room that should be used by native species. Some may clear out trees and vegetation to make room for these plants. To me, whether or not marijuana is illegal is not the big issue. It’s the impact it may have on the environment. I would be just as mad if I came across someone growing vegetables on the land as I would if it were pot.

    1. markH says:

      I have some shocking news for you-there is no way to dispose of these chemicals “properly”, they all wind up in our foodstuffs, remain in the soil, or get washed into storm drains and rivers. Using these chemicals on pot is no worse than using them on tomatoes or corn-the damage (if any) is already underway the moment they are released into the air. Peace.

      1. UpNorthNaturalist says:

        You are quite correct. Use of those chemicals are widespread, and it’s not really any different for these grow operations than it is for other uses. But when it comes to these more sensitive areas in State or National Parks, Forests, Refuges, etc., and you have people dumping these chemicals in rivers, streams, swamps, lakes, or just on the ground, it’s flagrant disrespect for the people who wish to enjoy these places, those who are trying to preserve it, the habitats themselves, not to mention to the taxpayers. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need these chemicals. But in the meantime, it’s people’s responsibility to conduct their ‘business’ in a way that doesn’t harm others, whether it’s directly or through our resources. This debate could go on forever, honestly.

        1. Tree hugger says:

          have you hugged a tree today?

          1. UpNorthNaturalist says:

            I confess, I do actually hug a tree now and then. Mainly old growth giants. I’m not exactly a conventional ‘tree-hugger’, since I’m preparing to get a Conceal and Carry Permit. A little of column A, a little of column B.

            1. The Dude says:

              My kinda human

        2. markH says:

          Sorry if I sounded sarcastic (I assumed you already are aware of these facts) but thought others should be aware. Peace.

          1. UpNorthNaturalist says:

            No apology needed. These debates and discussions are important. Whether or not information is accurate, assumed or simply believed in, everyone learns a little something.

      2. Mike says:

        I got some news for both of you agriculturally ignorant idiots. Their are no real pests to cannabis grown outdoors in the state except deer. Anyone who has experience growing marijuana would not be using pesticide or herbicides. Fertilizers used in excess will not hurt ground water, but will potentially kill the plants. Growing cannabis is an environmentally sound resource.

        1. UpNorthNaturalist says:

          ‘Responsible’ growers know this, and let the plant’s hardiness do it’s job. But there are plenty of growers that will do anything to get that edge on the market, and will use these chemicals. Not just the agricultural chemicals, but may be dumping other waste products where they are growing. It seems in many industries, legal or illegal, there are those who are responsible and those who are irresponsible.

          1. Mike says:

            Of course you have sources or some kind of link to support your allegation?
            I have never heard of any outdoor marijuana growers polluting the land and making it environmentally unsound do to chemical use. What waste products are you talking about? Growing cannabis does not do well being fed anything that other plant vegetation wouldn’t utilize. You must be trying to spin some correlation to a meth lab that uses chemicals and products that are environmentally damaging, and has absolutely nothing in common with growing marijuana.

            1. UpNorthNaturalist says:

              To all those whom I’ve been in discussion with, or are simply interested in my reply, this will be my last post. As much as I enjoy discussing this topic, I have been putting off a few chores that need to be done.

              Most of my information has either been first-hand accounts that have been told to me by trusted friends who are professional or amateur naturalists, supporters of the organic movement, and even those who are in various natural resources careers (including those in DNR, USFS, USGS, and others some of you may assume are biased or censored), and many more. I must admit, I can’t come up with any links as of this moment. Some of these are opinions of mine, and perhaps are biased or incorrect. I may regret this later as my inbox may be full of spam soon, but I am willing to continue this discussion by email with anyone who wants to. I am always trying to see all sides of stories, even if I disagree with them, and to do this I would like to hear your information as well.

              1. Mike says:

                Thanks for willingly admitting that your allegations were biased and lacking merit. .
                Their is no evidence anywhere that will support your hypothesis that growing cannabis hurts the environment and quite the contrary has been a part of our environment for hundreds of years.
                Good luck with your inquires.

                1. The Dude says:

                  Dudes, knock it off. You’re harshing my mellow. Just throw a little miracle groww on it and let it go.

    2. Bob Marley says:

      This is because growing marijuana is against the law and farmers are not held to proper standards. Legalize it and the cultivation of marijuana would have no more or less effect on the environment than growing tobacco or corn.

      Legalize it!

  6. Dbag says:

    There goes my plans for this weekend’s big party.

    1. Kristifer says:

      Well, the name sure fits!

  7. Jimmy says:

    DUDE, I wondered where I planted my stuff!!!! Give it back DUDE!

  8. Joe says:

    Ouch! And so close to harvest. They would have had to harvest that weed before October.

  9. No Big Deal says:

    Ron Paul, 2012. Nuf said!

  10. Acid Jesus says:

    LEGALIZE IT you dumb mortals! I gave you the great gift of weed and you ban it! your all going to hell except my beloved stoners -_-

  11. herb says:


    Do your homework. Pot is a weed! Any use of herbisides or pestisides will kill the plants. Not something that someone taking a risk by growing outdoors would take. No, you have been endoctrinated into the “Alcohol legends” camp that is promoted by BIG ALCOHOL and supported by the far right. MONEY flowing into the coffers of BIG ALCOHOL, and the use of that money to lobby legislators is the ONLY roadblock to legalization of this far less damaging recreational drug. Anyone who tells you differently is either lying, has their own political agenda or is uninformed.

    1. UpNorthNaturalist says:

      I assure you, I’ve done my homework. There have been agricultural chemicals specifically formulated to spare Cannabis, just like many other crops. Some of these are sold underground, or in other countries. It’s supply and demand. The legality of Cannabis is not what I’m arguing about. It’s the impact operations that are run carelessly that upsets me. Cannabis certainly appears to have the potential to be beneficial, but like many things, there are those who seem to take the responsibility to heart and others who simply use it for selfish, even destructive reasons. It’s a complicated issue, and we could discuss it for a long time.

      1. Mike says:

        UpNorthNaturalist- You continue to make these allegations, but you have not posted one link, source or chemical that is used in the cultivation of cannabis that is causing problems in the mid-west! Please educate us and provide some evidence.

    2. Mike says:

      herb, it is incredible the amount of ignorance that people use to cast a negative to cannabis use and production. You are correct in your analysis of using herbicides or pesticides and the latter is what the DEA uses to kill plants!

  12. Go figure says:

    Have any of you smoked pot grown outdoors in Minnesota? Bring some aspirin, this is not pot. It is called ditch weed and will give you a huge head ache if smoked. Good luck

  13. Weed Can Save Us says:

    give the ganja farmers a break !!!!

  14. Deep Thinker says:

    I’m so wasted…

  15. Weird s hit man says:

    Has anyone seen my crop of rubarb

  16. Godsaid says:

    …and behold i have given you every herb that is good… God.

  17. David Ball says:

    I hate a rat.

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