Pot farms in California forest raided, dozens arrested
About 292,000 marijuana plants were found in the raid.
July 26th, 2011
11:49 AM ET

Pot farms in California forest raided, dozens arrested

Nearly 80 people have been arrested in the largest marijuana-eradication law enforcement operation in California history, several local reports say. About 292,000 plants have been discovered, Justice Department spokeswoman Michelle Gregory told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

Raids involving local, state and federal authorities have been going on for days in the Mendocino National Forest in remote, mountainous areas in Glenn, Colusa, Tehama, Mendocino, Lake and Trinity counties, according to the Tehama County Daily News.

Officials are beginning the massive cleanup of the sites, which have suffered environmental damage, the Daily News and Press-Democrat report.

The idea for the operation reportedly came after a public meeting in Covelo in north Mendocino County in 2010. Residents said that armed people had confronted them in and around the forest. Hikers and ranchers also said they had been shot at when they mistakenly walked into areas where marijuana was being grown, the Press-Democrat reports.

It's unclear who the growers might be.

Pot farms on national forests have been a problem in California and across the country for years.

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Filed under: California • Marijuana
soundoff (798 Responses)
  1. SeamusShameless

    Of course the area has sustained environmental damage, the authorities eradicated 292,000 plants!

    July 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • tommas

      Tonight at 9PM, PBS new cannabis special !

      July 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Well, the people growing on public forest land usually do not have proper irrigation and then dump a whole bunch of chemical fertilizer on it without considering where the run-off is going to end up.

      Now, if they'd just legalize, then actual professionals would be growing it on there own land or in warehouses. The psychopaths that grow on public land and shoot at anyone who passes by would be put out of business pretty quickly

      July 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt


      "their" own land is what I meant to write

      July 26, 2011 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike in NYC

      Screw it .... legalize it, tax it and get over it already! I'm SURE California could use the extra "revenue". 😉

      July 26, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lucidz

      It is legal in CA. Thanks.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jj

    where are the tree huggers?

    July 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jan

      Now that was good. I have never come back with any reply, EVER but this was good.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Rrenk

    This is where my taxes go?! Why cant we put this money into education and not into people cutting plants?

    July 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • ben

      Must've missed that part where peoeple were getting shot at just for walking in the forest. You pay taxes so you can take a hike without fear of getting killed by drug lords protecting their pot plantation.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gregg

      @Ben...I don't think the plants were the ones doing the shooting...

      July 26, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      @Gregg – Your point? The existance of those plants on public land has caused a safety issue for people rightfully using that land. That's besides the main issue which is people creating crops (of whatever plant) on PUBLICLY OWNED land, which is paid for and protected by tax payer money.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisdom

      Gregg, please wait until the late afternoon before you toke up...... or at least THINK before you speak(or type).... i am 56 years old and have been smoking MJ since i was 15.... i have been a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, a High School Grad, i am a veteran of the United States Air Force, hold 2 semi-worthless degrees, and have been an AVID OUTDOORSMAN through the whole life experience..... so if ANYONE was to shoot at me "on the trail", i'd shoot back and get the law on their asses.... then i'd go home and puff to take the edge off..... if you shoot at innocent folks for walking up on your pot farm, you deserve to be shot at and your pott farm destroyed.... grow your own at home for personal use.... if you are growing to be a profiteer, you are in it for the wrong reason.... you become a criminal at that point.... AGREED, pot plants dont shoot guns, but if their owners do.... dig up the plants, and bury the criminals......

      July 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Geezer

    What a travesty.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. blake

    the government is sick

    July 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Syntax

      Oh yes. This government is sick for having concerns for hikers who were shot at by armed men in their national forests, and for stopping people who are illegally growing plants/substances for profit in a protected forest area that by law, prevents business ventures such as these. Yes, the government is sick, isn't it?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • tommas

      Yes the government is sick , it is their fault it is there to begin with.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Let's get real!

      If it were legal the criminal element that you are referring to wouldn't be an issue. Not to mention the untold MILLIONS of dollars in taxes it would supply to the government to battle true threats like cocaine and heroin.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mick

    Thank God!

    We can finally feel safe and sleep at night. Phew!

    July 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. mike

    "It's unclear who the growers might be."

    Really, CNN?? Actually, it's Mexican cartels. This isn't news. Too bad CNN is LYING.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • svscnn

      I was thinking the same thing, mike. Perhaps this writer should have read some of CNN's own previous articles about the cartels growing in the national parks before hitting the keyboard.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Conky2012

      What is really hilarious, is that the government is trying to hard to stop Cartel grow ops in California, Oregon, Washington, but nobody buys that weed in those areas. Medical Marijuana states have Medical Marijuana all over the black market, which is awesome for people who buy it. Not only does the money not go to Mexico, but it stays in our country and goes to our citizens, where it belongs. Even people who sell "drugs" (Yeah, we still call pot a drug rofl) pay rent, buy food, pay utilities, buy clothes, a.k.a pay taxes.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Pete

    Just what this country needed. More wasted money. Want to save a billion dollars? Disband the ineffective and outmoded DEA.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Syntax

      The next time you walk into a national forest, and get shot by a bunch of pot growers, say the same thing.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Syntax – Oh please do share with us the number of people shot by mexican cartels in CA.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. voliza

    I love how I see this on the front page alongside the reports about the national debt crisis. We need ways to make money? Legalize it, regulate it, tax it.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Ventura

      Very good Idea. Will you please run for President?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      I couldnt agree more.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlexK

      You have my vote. I am hoping that in these secret debt ceiling debates that we aren't privy too that someone (anyone) is emphasizing this as an easy way to lower our debt by billions each year without adversely effecting a single US citizen (who is legally employed).

      July 26, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      So you're saying the government shouldn't prevent people from planting crops on protected lands meant to preserve the natural wildlife of the area? I guess it's okay if I start growing coffee plants and corn, of course by cutting down all those trees.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ThatGuy

    Seamus. The problem is not the plants, the problem is the caustic fertilizers used for MJ cultivation to make the stuff potent enough for current markets. That stuff is horrible for the surround land. Furthermore, farmers will clear out local vegetation to make room for their plants. This is just another argument for taxation and regulation... to protect the environment.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • voliza

      So what? Farmers clear out natural vegetative over hundreds of thousands of acres to grow genetically modified corn which also relies on toxic pesticides/herbicides all to support the need for high fructose corn syrup that our soda manufacturing industry relies on.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      @voliza, except those are on PRIVATELY owned land. Not National Parks which PUBLICLY owned. Get of the reefer and try reading the article.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisdom

      @Thatguy...... come on, you really just showed how much you know about farming.... our nations's water supply is being poisoned by FARMING and Corporate Manufacturing effluent every day.... and if you knew ANYTHING about growing MJ, you'd know that there are "2 seperate camps" heatedly divided by concept... Chemical fertilizers(aka hydroponics) versus Organics...... i dont know of a situation where bat guano or bone meal or dolomite lime has caused environmental damage.... oh, by the way, I AM a grower.... a MJ farmer.... as well as a gardener for vegetables.... why limit my capabilities? at least i dont have to run out to the local market once i get the munchies...

      July 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Matt B

    We should be taxing this not destroying it. It has medicinal value. What a waste, especially in these tough economic times.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      What a waste for those sections of the National Parks that were destroyed because some potheads wanted their fix.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RodBinNC

    They should hold a police auction.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan Ventura

      Good Idea. 292.000 plants. Sell each one for $ 20.00 the state ends up with Five million eight hundred and forty dollars. This is a conservitive figure

      July 26, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlexK

      That is a very conservative figure. You could probably get at least $100 per plant. Why don't we have politicians who can come up with simple plans like this to resolve our debt problems?

      July 26, 2011 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • wisdom

      then the police would get busted by the DEA.... you can get clones cheaper at any "clinic" in the Bay Area.... these were plants that had about 2 to 3 months before they are useable, they were still "immature" and non-psychoactive.....

      July 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • 420chik

      sell the seeds to the LEGAL STATE GROWERS to see if maybe a cross breed would be beneficial... Keep profits for police to continue against the ILLEGAL growers, as a pothead I do care about the environment & I do not think that growing it in a state park is smart, nor does it give you quality smoke...

      July 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mike

    For years we've had Mexican drug cartels setting up grow operations in California forests. This is nothing new.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • neoritter

      Learn to read.

      "...the largest marijuana-eradication law enforcement operation in California history..."

      Meaning, the authorities have done this before.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Seymour Holz

    I'm pretty sure California burns about 300,000 plants EVERY night, but LEO is not normally invited to the party.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. person of interest

    I would have given them a few bucks for it. What a waste of taxpayer $$.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
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