Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pot planting on private land is a growing concern in California: 'a little-spoken-of war'

The federal government may be focusing on stopping illegal marijuana crops on public lands, but that is not helping California private landowners and law enforcement officials stop pot growers from trespassing on private lands to grow their crop. "A little-spoken-of war is taking place behind California’s fences and property lines – trespassing marijuana growers are setting booby traps, resorting to violence and vandalism, and spoiling the land by stealing water and spraying dangerous chemicals that leach into streams," Robert Townsend of California Watch reports. The task for stopping these growers has fallen to local law enforcement.

"They’re dangerous people, but we’re in a situation, and I think they’re very much aware of this, where we’d be shooting each other," Rob Brown, a county supervisor in rural Lake County, told Townsend. "They're armed more for the idea of protecting their families at home than they are for themselves. That's not a theory or opinion; that's an absolute fact."

Some landowners worry about the environmental impact in addition to the violence from trespassing pot growers. Last year a Mendocino County grand jury found "trespassing growers had cut down trees, destroyed vegetation, diverted streams and littered the landscape with animal carcasses, garbage, human waste, herbicides and animal poisons," Townsend writes.

"Locating marijuana in Mendocino County is not our problem," Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, who estimates 30 percent of his budget goes to marijuana issues during the growing months, said. "We’ll take all the tips possible. However, I hope the citizens understand that we can’t investigate every marijuana tip that we get … especially this time of year." While budget cuts may have hampered law enforcement's ability to fight marijuana growers, they unanimously discourage landowners from trying to remove the crops themselves, Townsend writes. (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where's the CREW report on Rogers? Eastern Kentuckians need another reminder of how they got to where they are.......