"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)