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. Tony

    I got no problem with marijuana, but you can't be protecting your crop with bullets... This is one bust that was deserved.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  2. JimGreen

    Good to see so many sensible people out there. As far as Im concerned if anyone wants to do drugs go ahead as long as: 1. you pay tax on it, 2. you do it in the privacy of your own home, 3. you do it on YOUR OWN LAND not public parkland, and 4. you DO NOT DRIVE while on it. Otherwise go destroy yourself anyway you want. I will disuade you from doing drugs if asked but otherwise its really nomfb what you do.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank M


      July 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicken sand

      Exactly. The govt. and people have no business in other peoples personal lives and homes. As a govt. and society we are way too intrusive in people's lives. Look at the gay marriage issue. IMO if you don't like gay marriage do get married to a gay person, if you don't like pot, don't smoke it; etc............

      July 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Do you feel the same way about alcohol in that it also kills the brain and, according to studies and evidence, is the far greater evil than marijuana? It should be legal and taxed. Marijuana is not cocaine, heroine, speed, meth, nor is it any more of a gateway drug than alcohol. In fact, an intoxicated person (from booze) is far more likely to loose their inhibitions and try something new. Smoke pot, you feel good, you're causing problems, no chance of an OD, and at worst you might get a case of the munchies.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • JohnM

      You sound like one of those teabagging idiots that think the only things that should be taxed is what 'other' people enjoy or benefit from.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      The only way pot could ever be legalized is if it made with an automatic sterilization drug component in it. That way the dopers cannot breed.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. chicken sand

    Legalize and the main problems here go away. If it was legal there would be less environmental damage as those who would grow it would be farmers who would use methods like crop rotation to avoid damaging the soil and the farmers would be under regulation like all current farmers are. The other main problem in this situation is the armed guards shooting at people on public land. If it was legal, there would be no need for armed guards protecting pot on public land and therefore endangering hikers and other people.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Brandon

    Nevermind whether or not you agree with pot being legal, RESIDENTS were being shot at! Obviously the mob/gangs were guarding their prize. Do you want these knotheads in business? They will shoot your little 5 year old daughter for simply running into their claimed area!!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicken sand

      which is why they need to legalize. The end of prohibition brought the end of the bootlegging gangsters like Al Capone.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  5. RJM

    Just legalize it, watch state deficits dwindle and some crime to decrease. This 40-year war on drugs has cost states and federal government to spend billions of dollars and marijuana is still produced and used by more Americans now than ever before.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. hippypoet

    toke time!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Jimmy Crack Corn

    Way to go California Nut Jobs. You have time to investigate a weed farm, but you can't investigate why your state is bankrupted and who to arrest for this epic failure? And yes, your state is an Epic Failure. Politicians can be arrested, you just need to man up and do it.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • frmrma

      So, they should have just turned a blind eye to the reports from people that had been shot at? And, it was clearly a Federal lead raid with state and local assistance.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Charles

    When is the burn scheduled? I could be in the area.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew M. (Tulsa, OK)

    Pretty crazy how you can smoke tobacco and buy it even though it kills you. Gives you cancer might I add. Yet, you can't smoke some medical cannabis? Doesn't hurt anyone. Oh wait! You can even go buy alcohol and drive and kill people. Crazy how dumb our government is. Legalization is the key to greatness. More jobs, better economy, more money.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      If you remember any history from high school, if you weren't too stoned that day in class, you might recall an effort by the govt to forbid alcohol called Prohibition. It did not work because alcohol was already too far in the mainstream of society and the gangsters kept supplying it illegally. If drugs are made legal, they will still be made illegally, just as tobacco is sold illegally now. Drugs gangs will still exist. Yes, alcohol kills and tobacco kills. That's why they are both heavily regulated. And both make plenty of money for the govt and provide many legal jobs. And they are getting more heavily regulated on the local level every year. Tobacco sales are down across the board for years for all American tobacco companies. Alcohol sales are flat for the past several years. People realize how bad they are....except you.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. dutspup

    I agree with the safty concerns with thsi aprticular issue but the problem is not these folks growing or the mexicans coming in and using forest land because thats exactly who we are talking about here, its this bogus failure called THE WAR ON DRUGS. These guys spent many man hours preparing for these raids, hundreds of thousands in tax payer dollars to go out and destroy something that can easily be resurrected within 90 days time. Now do you see wh ythere is a WAR ON DRUGS, its not about the drugs anymore, its about these agencies getting more and more tax dollars to fight a losing battle. What a waste, especially in a broke state like Cali, you will NEVER stamp out weed, especially these days, wont happen. The pharmaceutical companies know they cant patent a plant, a plant that can actually heal you and cure disease, so lets demonize it, go ahead, you will lose, wait you are losing hahahahahahahahahahahaha, HA!

    July 26, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      The War on Drugs has not failed. It is ongoing as evidenced by this massive takedown of the enemy forces. Over 80 arrested and 300,000 plants taken out. Great job lawmen. People like you are also aiding the enemy. You should be in jail you doper.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicken sand

      Fredman, I sure hope u are being sarcastic, because if not you are an ignorant fool. Educate yourself on the plant called marijuana. Educate yourself on the failed War on Drugs, that has been a huge waste of Govt. money.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      Chicken neck – what disease have you been cured of by smoking pot? Well, well, well... I'm waiting............

      July 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  11. iamthefredman

    Glad to see there are still some people in Cali NOT on the dope.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • jerm

      lets be real people!!!!!!! if u stop the drugs in the us, its still going to come in from out of country! U CANT STOP THAT!!!! WHY? cause we the people and our troops and lawinforcement, and other still smuggle it in!!!! BUT if u got the money u can smoke and grow and kill and shoot at people cause the system can be bought!!!!! we are not free, only the rich is living free!!! cause when u got the money u get the freedom and the power... so money can buy happiness! it buy fredoom which =happiness!

      July 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Janet Reno

      iamthefredman, I posted the links proving THC kills cancer cells. It causes cancer cells to undergo authophagy – killing the cancer cells while keeping the healthy ones intact. Why are you attacking me iamthefredman? My one sentence has already proven that you are an ignorant uneducated moron.


      July 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ron Sokota

    GREAT, now our taxes via law enforcement have put more Americans out of work, increased demand for foreign drugs, and increased our costs for investigation, eradication, and eventual litigation. What a ridiculous lose lose lose proposition. Legalize the damn stuff already.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Proctor

    Pot should be legailized for many reasons, but not because of any positive health benefits. Legalization would create tremendous amounts of revenue for either the federal or state governments depending on tax procedures. It would definitiley slash the demand for imported pot, which would have array of benefits including the reduction of immigration and boarder violence. Another reason for legalization is simply freedom to be whomever we wish to be. The prohibition violates personal choice and privacy, especially if people cannot smoke in their own homes. In retrospect, legalization may actually decrease demand. Simply because it will eliminate the thrill of partaking in an illegal activity. This sense of excitement may actually increase usage among adolescents and young adults who feel the need to be rebellious. With all of this being said, the notion that marijuana has positive health affects is somehwat absurd. Besides easing the pain of nausea associated with chemo therapy, I think it simply provides an escaape from the brutalities of reality. Marijuana does lead to amotivation, complacency, and in some cases anti-social disorders. In addition, it can also trigger psychotic lapses in people who are predestined to have mental illness. Also, marijuana like most other things, will be harmful if used heavily. Heavy use leads to a chronic cough and the fertilizers used; along with the paraphanalia, like cigar wrappers, may also trigger carcinogenic cells to activate within the users body. Anallyzing the situation from both sides of the spectrum is the best way to approach the question of whether or not to legalize marijuana. It would be interesting to see a comprehensive, non-bias, study of the plant, its effects on the body, its economic implications, and an overall cost-benefit analysis of the legalizaton of marijuana from an educated standpoint.

    Maybe I should publish an article.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      The effects of too much pot have taken over your writing. First you say pot is OK. The as you ramble on in your dope-induced diatribe, you say how dangerous pot is. Yes, it is dangerous and ILLEGAL and damaging to people's minds and to the economy in many ways. Get off the dope and straighten up. You want drugs, MOVE TO MEXICO.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • chicken sand

      Fredman, it is clear that you are a closed minded, ignorant fool. Educate yourself on this topic and stop being a bobble head who goes along with the propaganda put out there by the govt., alcohol industry and pharmaceutical industry.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      Proctor knows it is bad for him, but he smokes it anayway. This is evidence that you are a dope. It is so bad for many people that they become unable to work, get fired, can't maintain a home, become homeless, steal, rob and act violently. All this degrades society and puts tremendous extra costs upon law-abiding conscious clear-minded citizens. Again, I say get off the dope, get help. It is obvious from your writings you need help.

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

      The introdction clearly states that I see both sides of the problem. The rest of the paragraph then goes on to hit main points for and aginst marijuana. Though it probably should have been written in an outline format for easier reading, the post is hardly a "dope-induced diatribe."

      July 26, 2011 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • good call

      I really appreciate your economic standpoint because I feel that is very accurate. Eventhough the usage downfalls are sometimes true, I feel the economic benefits outweigh some of the negative, since those negative risks are generally fairly low. Good call on the educational reasoning though. If there was a "like" button, I would have hit it.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. realitybites

    If anyone has been following this story for awhile, you'd find out that most of this activity is being carried out by Cartels from across the border. They force illegals to camp out and grow the stuff in our National parks so they won't have to truck it across the border. I'm really disappointed by the writer's negligence to mention this in the article. Seems like a little more thought and research could have been done before releasing this to the press. Our national parks are being used by folks from another country to feed our habits and their wallets. This is a NATIONAL security issue that our government doesn't seem to be too interested in at this moment b/c it's too embroiled in a political posturing game over the friggin debt ceiling. Embarrassing.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Janet Reno

    THC kills cancer cells, everyone should know this.

    July 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • iamthefredman

      Janet, put down the crackpipe and get the needle out of your arm. THC gets you stoned, stupid and unable to function. That's it. Of course it relieves pain, the substance is a painkiller. It is also a brainkiller. That's why they call it DOPE. That's why other people call you a dope.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
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