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. Rob MIch

    Lets see, paying all those cops/agents, plus what its going to cost to keep these 80 people in Prison, add that ontop of what its going to cost to destroy the plants and continue to conduct similiar raids.... Seems like we are spending a whole lot of money and effort to destroy a cash crop that could be making the state of California money. And I know what all you anti-marijuana people are gonna say, but before you go typing your angry rebuttles think about this with it being Illegal as it is, California makes 21 MILLION dollars in profit annually from "medical marijuana" hubs. You know how much it costs the state of California to operate there prisons a year? Which is mostly filled with NON-VIOLENT drug offenders? 330 million!

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

      I completely support legalization, but the problem here is that innocent people are being shot at while people are making profit off a crop being grown in a national forest. If you're shooting guns at people hiking at a national forest you are no longer a non-violent drug offender. Grow the crop on your own property and don't shoot people.

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

      yes, and...
      most of these busts are on large illegal grows on national forest land, being someone who lives in this area, most of these grows are conducted by illegals, in areas where they should not be growing. There are plenty of people growing in this area that do so on their own land, within the guidelines set up by the state of california. These "gorilla" grows are being conducted on public lands, people are being shot at for hiking and camping in public areas, these growers also do not respect the land, and cause alot of environmental issues. These people are in it for profit and profit alone, do not respect the environment. there are plenty of local small scale farmers who abide by local guidlines, who are being forced out of business by people who have no respect for locals and public lands.

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

      We have seen what a market-based economy does – when the focus is on the bottom line, everything else takes a back seat – homes, jobs, people. Been there, done that. How will enabling the use of marjuana make the US a more innovative, effective, energetic place? How will marajuana make this a better place to raise kids? Addiction is the same, whether it is marajuana, another drug, or an obsessive behavior. Let's get a solution on the table for that, then let's talk about ending the war on drugs. We do need to stop imprisoning users and start treating them for the illness they have.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob MIch

      Sorry, I did not mean to seem like I was supporting the gun violence it entails. But perhaps if it where being legally grown then these gang bangers could be getting job's as cultivators legally instead of joining gangs for money.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. bachmanntwit

    "Looks like poison ivy to me."

    – Michele Bachmann –

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

      hahahahahahahahahaha Why is there no 'love' this button?!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Caesar in Atlanta

    Why don't they just burn money instead, it's the same thing.

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

      Money wont give you the same buzz.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • person of interest

      Isn't that what they are doing in Washingturd?

      July 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Guillermo de la Vega

    I don't care. The Feds, the banks, the pharmaceuticals, and Wall Street have finished looting the US, and I need to start planting my garden, (veggies) cuz my money's gone and eating a congressman is illegal too.

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

      They probably taste like sh!t, since that's what they're all full of.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  5. SeamusShameless

    Why is it that trolls can post the most intellectually inept statements, yet my post is deleted for mentioning that the willful destruction of 292,000 PLANTS could be considered environmental damage? I don't condone the growers' use of firearms or their choice to grow in a federally protected area, but killing those plants was more detrimental to the area than leaving them there.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neeneko

      Because the CNN comment threads are carefully edited to give the correct (and marketable) mix of opinions. Moderate posts are also often deleted, leaving more hyperbolic ones that sell better.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. VoipOfReason

    If the gov would legalize it, we would have to pay the thousands of dollars in law enforcement personel to be landscapers. They should be doing more important things.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jack johnson

    reply to Brett, Didn't abboma start a law suite against Arz. on their laws on ilagale immagrents?

    July 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      I'd like to file a lawsuit against illiterate trolls. 😉

      July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • person of interest

      LMFAO!

      July 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. messwithtex

    Bill, your “weed” theory is unsound. I recommend you grow a little and then smoke a small amount to see the real facts…lol. After farming in California for many years I can assure you this is not a “weed”. Furthermore, if it became a weed paid tours would evolve for individuals to go and eradicate it, without weed killer. You would see tour buses returning to the first place food was served along with big smiles and happy people.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. rocky

    Ugh. How long can the politicians pretend to be deaf on this subject? I had read a statistic saying that almost all polling done on the War on Drugs shows 90% of people want it to end. >>90%<<!!!! How does any issue have 90% support and never get anywhere? Our system is broken. Rome fell eventually. We need changes.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  10. smokey

    Ah, we're facing bankruptcy– but we're still able to afford keeping people from consuming a plant. It's funny that the reason for growing on public land and the need for hired guns who are indiscriminate in their patrolling of what's a very lucrative crop– is PRECISELY BECAUSE this plant is illegal, and YOU'VE made criminals out of people who are not criminals.

    This was against marijuana was a farce to begin with, and is still a farce today. The only difference you are SPENDING MORE today to maintain the illusion that by 'eradicating' this plant, you are winning some kind of 'war' and saving lives... never mind the fact that the toxicity of cannabis is so low, that it is nearly impossible to overdose on... not the case for alcohol, hypocrites!

    July 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Guillermo de la Vega

    The Cheech and Chong rally starts at noon tomorrow. A candle-light vigil will be held at Marleys house after BYOweed.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. truth

    This is the mexican drug cartels trashing our national forests and endangering local citizens. Legalizing it would take their power away and restore some sanity tho this ridiculous situation. People need to wake up to the fact that very well educated and upstanding members of society like to smoke weed, not to mention people suffering from major ailments. The U.S. looks pretty childish in this situation.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  13. cleareye1

    The DEA would seem to be on the payroll of the Mexican warlords! How stupid can we be?

    July 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. erich2112x

    Someone p-ssed off some bureaucrats and they went after the plants.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. VoipOfReason

    If the gov would legalize it, we wouldn't have to pay the thousands of dollars in law enforcement personel to be landscapers. They should be doing more important things. (sorry for the repost)

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