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. ajo

    This is not about some casual pot smokers...You all seem to think we should become more like Mexico... "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."

    July 26, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveSiniger

      If they ended prohibition of cannabis, violent criminals would no longer be in the buisness of supplying it. There would be no need to run grow operations in national forests so this problem would disappear overnight. The laws that cause prohibition of this plant are far far far more dangerous then the plant itself.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Unfortunately Dave, fools like ajo are not capable of understanding the rational reasoning of your reply.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • cambridgegreen

      that is because pot is so valuable, and that is because pot is so illegal. if this natural plant were legal the problems would go away. it seems we like to make mistakes with nature. we try to contain or destroy what is given to us, and look what it is doing. absurd.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • john

      since when is it illegal to defend your property from trespassors? No mention of the growers possessing medical marijauna cards which make their activities LEGAL and the raiding police's activities ILLEGAL.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  2. frmrma

    Even if it were legal, they would still have run this operation since the plants were on PUBLIC LAND!

    July 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • smokey

      If it were legal, they wouldn't have to grow it on public land... also they would be able to hire legitimate professional security guards and not (possibly paranoid) trigger happy thugs.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Austin

      ummm national forests are government owed that allow the public to be on them...get your facts straight.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • frmrma

      You are allowed to be on public lands, but you are not allowed to plant gardens on them. Get your facts straight.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyBizOwner

      Try to follow. Plants are grown out in the middle of nowhere due to the inability to grow it in OUR OWN BACKYARDS due to laws imposed by dips like yourself. Understand?

      July 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • buckwheat

      No, actually they wouldn't. If pot was legalized there would not be any profit in it. People would not pay $200. an ounce for something they can grow for free. Legalizing pot would be devestating to the Mexican and Columbian Cartels as well as the U.S. Lawyers and Congressmen who make billions a year from it.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • White Guy

      the government is represented by the people, funded by the people and elected by the people, nearly every aspect of the government is public, except for part that were deemed ok by the public to be kept secret. this makes the land public, get ur facts straight

      July 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveSiniger

      You have no idea what you are talking about. These mexican cartels are using every means necessary to supply this illegal product. If it was legal, legit buisnesses would take over the grow of it, the price would drop which would make it far less profitable, so the black market would no longer have a hold over it(see alcohol prohibition). There would be zero reason to grow in a national forest if you could setup a grow op in a warehouse with zero risk. but becuase its illegal, its as good as place as any to grow becuase you always risk getting caught. If its out in a national forest, they can't tie it to anyone if they don't catch anyone there. If they grew it in a warehouse, there would be a paper trail. So yes, it would actually stop all these illegal grows if it was legalized overnight.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mikey89 - Tax it?

    I'm guessing 100bil nationally every year if every state could grow and sell locally. Get us a little more comfortable during the great regression. Cut the mexicans right out the deal. Plus mexican brick poo poo would be worth nothing here if we're growing professional everywhere.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Not to mention all the other uses of hemp (basically the same plant) such as durable cloth, paper, rope, an so forth.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drome

      word.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alec

      Hemp is the same plant

      July 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. DanoMcRoo

    This is what happens when government has twice as many employees as it needs. It invents meaningless jobs for them to do in an attempt to justify their employment.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • melvinslizard

      Amen to that. Reform Mandatory Minimum and Cannabis Laws NOW.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      Right. So it's meaningless to pursue criminals who shoot at hikers and other land owners, abuse our public lands, and essentially run amok of the laws of the state of California.

      You sound like an idiot Tea Bagger.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Not Pot

    Those leaves resemble pot leaves but I don't think they are.. Most people won't know the difference so who cares.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Drome

      look closer.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ron

    Most people that favor pot, are law abiding citizens, that contribute to their society, would never harm a child, or hurt an animal. They are in EVERY walk of life. Yet they HATE being on the wrong side of the current laws. Legalize & tax marijuana.

    Some complain of the support, by users, of violent drug cartels, that we spend billions fighting against. But when prohibition ended, the illegal production of alcohol collapsed. No one wanted the substandard illegal goods any more. The same would apply here. I, as an adult, certainly would rather pay a tax used to better our economy.

    Plus, there are so many uses for the plants fiber. An easily renewable source of paper, cloth, rope, ink,... a seemingly endless variety of uses.

    Hope the cloud drifts east! 🙂

    July 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyBizOwner

      Amen!! Hemp has been used to make an entire car that ran on hemp oil 100% sustainable (learned that at Oaksterdam U) and the gov't put a nix on the whole deal. Hemp could relieve a very large portion if not all of our dependency on foreign oil. But we know that wont happen because all know there are too many politicians in BigOil's pocket. We need reform in our gov't. We need to abolish the Federal Reserve. And we need to legalize marijuana to utilize all the ways in which it can enrich the lives of our people and restore our economy. ** excuse me while i light my spliff

      July 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • RAW

      Totally agree with you! The problem is that the BIG Pharmaceutical and Logging companies will loose Trillions of dallars (as will Dupont and others) if marijuana is ever legalized.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. James

    When are we going to just legalize the stuff and end this problem overnight? Nobody will grow it in national parks if they can grow their own stash legally at home. It will put an almost immediate stop to marijuana smuggling too.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • frmrma

      You might not be completely correct on that one. If these plants were being grown by a mexican drug cartel (as the shooting at interlopers would suggest), why would they not continue to try to use public land that is free, as opposed to buying their own land? You think they will stop growing and distributing if it is legal? There will still be plenty of lazy people that won't grow their own.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      frmrma: for those who are too lazy to grow it on their own, there can legal avenues to buy it. Growing weed is easy. Growing good weed takes effort

      July 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. DaveSiniger

    Great, lets pay our cops 50-100k a year to be gardeners instead of catching PEOPLE WHO COMMIT CRIMES AGAINST PEOPLE AND PROPERITY. What a complete waste of time..Plants grow back..

    July 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • frmrma

      Illegal use of public land is not a "crime against property"?

      July 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveSiniger

      If they were growing tomaotes in the national forest..I wouldn't exactly want cops spending time chopping that down either. This should be a park ranger's job. But no, they are spending enormous state resources repelling cops from helicopters to essentially be gardners and uproot plants. Its a waste of time.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrBo

      Shooting at hikers is not a "crime against people?"

      July 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveSiniger

      So go find out who is doing that. Don't spend needless hours pulling up 200k plants! Arrest the people who had guns. Don't arrest the plants.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Logic

    They couldn't turn it into rope?

    July 26, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Paul

    legalize it so people can openly grow it on their property and you eradicate the market that these drug lords are catering too.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mahhn

    First line "Nearly 80 people have been arrested"
    next to last line "It's unclear who the growers might be."
    There is no journalism, or editor.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      The 80 arrestees are probably just hired hands. The actual growers may or may not be among those 80 people.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • MrBo

      You can bet the owners of those plantations were not among the 80 people arrested...
      Those were just the help.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  12. steven wilber

    They are eradicating marijuana gardens that are on public and private land that are being operated by the Mexican drug cartels. They pollute and destroy the forest, shoot at land owners and hikers and leave leftover fertilizer behind at the end of the season which gets washed into the local watershed. Every California pot farmer I have ever met which is in the hundreds supports these raids. You have domestic pot gardens and Mexican cartel gardens....2 completely different situations. Educate yourselves people!

    July 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alec

      Exactly...unfortunately we're probably reading a bunch of posts made by teenagers who actually don't know how to read. +1

      July 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • DaveSiniger

      I totally agree with that position. I am just saying that the laws that create this atmosphere has got to go. I don't like these grows anymore then you do but it is 100 percent fault of the government and if they really wanted to they could stop things like these overnight with a swoop of a pen.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alec

      True, but not without seriously harming the environment of a naturally preserved state forest. They need to carefully eradicate these operations so they can be sure to not damage any species, plants, or living thing that could be affected.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. TODAY

    ANOTHER TOMATO FARM GONE...SNIFF...LOL

    July 26, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Alec

    Ok I completely agree with everyone in this post that is saying legalize it, but this is a bigger problem than "legalization". This is actual civilians being put in danger now because people want to control their massive operations. Im FOR legalization, but I'm still not for criminals attempting to have a monopoly on the plant by threatening other Americans to stay off of privately/state owned land that isn't their own. This IS a problem and these people should not be threatening other Americans in a STATE forest and making them feel uncomfortable to be in live in their own counties.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • cambridgegreen

      Alec, that won't happen if growing and distribution is legal. You don't see that problem in Amsterdam.

      What is so hard for ya'll to get here people?

      July 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Logan

    Why exactly is Marijuana Illegal???

    July 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • TODAY

      anything that can remotely make you feel happy it's forbbiden in this society...sorry

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

      Marijuana is illegal becuase it has been shown to lead to other drug abuse and this causes intense strain on the services provided by the Federal government that can be shown to part of a problem so large it is measured in Trillions (of $).

      July 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • cambridgegreen

      Really TomA? I would argue the same for wine and beer then.

      TomA, I stopped drinking and doing cocaine. I only have my occasional pot pasta or tea. Seems it has done the opposite of what you claim. Stop comparing apples to oranges and please get over yourself while you are at it. People with your mentality have run this nation up the dirty creek.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • LadyBizOwner

      TomA: The short bus just pulled up. Yeah b!tch that means your ride is here, get your crayons and helmet and get the fu@k outta here.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • person of interest

      It has something to do with Randolph Hearst pushing the legislation to make it illegal. He wanted the hemp fields destroyed because it was interfering with his paper manufacturing business. Or something to that effect.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Report abuse |
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