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China is busting pot farmers from space

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A Chinese satellite has detected the largest illegal marijuana plantation in the country's history, Reuters reports, citing state-run media. The original announcement was reportedly made by China's space agency, which did not detail the specific size of the field, but noted that it had been spotted in Jilin and Inner Mongolia, in the northeast corner of the country. The state-run China News Service reports that a number of other fields were spotted in neighboring provinces.

China's space agency is said to have been detailing the various ways that a new satellite is being used for security, including spotting illegal border crossings. Using satellite imagery for the purposes of law enforcement isn't new — a man in Oregon was busted with the help of Google Maps last year — but China's satellite puts growers or anyone else up to illegal activities under new scrutiny. The satellite that captured the activity was the Gaofen-1, China's first satellite with HD recording abilities. If you're curious just how nice of an image that produces, you can see 10 of them over at the site for China's space agency — one of which is reprinted below.