Culture

California eradicated more than 1.1 million illegal marijuana plants in 2020


More than 1.1 million cannabis plants were eradicated in 2020 in California through the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, often referred to as CAMP.

Humboldt County was not where the majority of the work was done. In fact, the county didn’t even make the top five, although the region is known for illicit cultivation and county officials have estimated there have been tens of thousands of illegal grows.

“I bet most people would venture to guess that all the top counties would have been in Northern California,” state Attorney General Xavier Becerra after hearing that Riverside County in Southern California was the No. 1 location in 2020 with 293,019 plants eradicated.

In fact, the only county in the Emerald Triangle to break the top five was Trinity County, where 76,462 plants were eradicated in the 90-day CAMP season. The top five was rounded out with Tulare, Lake and Siskiyou counties.

Humboldt County came in eighth place with 27 illicit grow sites visited and 57,130 plants eradicated, according to the Attorney General’s press office.

“I think it’s safe to say that 2020 was CAMP’s toughest and most challenging season yet, in its almost 40-year history,” said Becerra of the program that began in 1983. “At times, we were unsure whether we’d actually be able to take on the challenges of trying to eradicate marijuana given all that’s going on with the arrival of COVID-19 … (and) the wildfires.”

In total, he said, more than Becerra said there were 90 days of operations in 29 of the state’s 58 counties. There were 140 arrests, 174 weapons were seized and in addition to the 1.1 million plants eradicated, there were also 20.5 tons of processed cannabis seized and destroyed.

“The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office was a proud partner in the CAMP program this year,” Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said in a statement sent to the Times-Standard on Thursday. “Though COVID-19 caused our enforcement efforts to begin later than we would have liked and the recent wildfire activity has cut enforcement short as the team shifts priorities to life safety, our Marijuana Enforcement Team nonetheless exceeded last year’s statistics due to our aggressive enforcement efforts.”

This year’s county statistics and a comparison to last year’s statistics were not provided by the sheriff’s office by the publishing deadline.

Honsal said the county and the state “have taken painstaking efforts” to bring illicit growers into legal compliance.

“With this in mind and the egregious environment damages occurring on a daily basis, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office will not tolerate illegal cannabis cultivation in our county,” Honsal said.

The Humboldt County Growers Alliance noted that the efforts are not necessarily a long-term solution.

Trespass grows are environmentally destructive and always unacceptable,” said Natalynne DeLapp, the group’s executive director. “But we know based on decades of experience that enforcement does not make these problems go away. Ending prohibition at all levels of government, and ensuring that responsible farmers are able to make the transition into the legal market, are the only long-term solutions to the problems caused by the illicit …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

      

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