(Video: Fox News)
As the price of food soars and an increasing number of Americans are finding their grocery store shelves on the bare side of stocked, Laura Ingraham is investigating reports that China is gobbling up farmland in Oklahoma and turning it into marijuana farms.
“Over the past few years, Chinese nationals have begun buying up tens of thousands of acres of farmland in the state of Oklahoma,” Ingraham reported on Thursday’s episode of Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle.”
“While they’ve been doing so on a number of states,” she continued, “Oklahoma has become their go-to state for these purchases.”
“So, what’s China’s end goal here?” Ingraham asked.
She cited the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Public Information Officer Mark Woodward for the answer.
“Eventually, these farms typically become commercial marijuana growing operations,” Woodward told “The Ingraham Angle.”
Woodward noted that the Chinese buy agricultural or livestock farms, turn them into marijuana grows, and sublet that business to Mexican workers.
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According to Ingraham, that has Oklahoma citizens concerned, and constituents are flooding the office of Congressman Frank Lucas, who represents Oklahoma’s third district, with calls.
“According to the Bureau, there are 8,500 medical marijuana grow licenses in Oklahoma and agents say 25% of them are run by criminal organizations from places like China, Russia, and Mexico,” Rep. Lucas said in a statement.
Ingraham then played a clip of police officers describing the scope of a large-scale Oklahoma drug bust, in which several Chinese nationalists were arrested.
“Over 500 structures on 80 acres,” Donnie Anderson, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics reported at the time.
Anderson called the busted group a “pretty good-sized drug trafficking organization,” and added, “The nine that we did today are all connected and it’s part of this organization that’s responsible for moving tons and tons of marijuana out of Oklahoma and into other states.”
“And these aren’t just marijuana farms,” Ingraham stated. “According to Senator Lankford’s office, constituents have mentioned these buyers often aren’t doing anything with the land at all. Quote: ‘They just purchase it and they just have it.'”
“In other words, these Chinese-affiliated buyers want to devalue American farmland in any way they can or just hold it in their portfolios,” Ingraham explained. “How nice.”
Constituents have even reported that Chinese businessmen have knocked on their doors and offered them “a suitcase of cash” if they sell their properties that day, according to a spokesperson from Lankford’s office.
While Oklahoma bans the foreign ownership of farmland, Ingraham noted that “there’s a loophole that allows foreign investors to create a business and then buy land for that business.”
A state Senate bill aimed at closing the loophole was introduced in February, but according to Ingraham, “it hasn’t gone anywhere.”
Vowing to air updates as the story unfolds, Ingraham urged Congress to step in.
“Given the economic and the national security ramifications here, Congress should get involved,” she said. “A bill to limit purchases of agricultural tracks by China was working its way to the House but it apparently stalled in committee.”
“This is absurd,” concluded Ingraham, “and typical Washington — failing to do what needs to be done as it spends money that we don’t have on stuff we don’t need.”
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