Humboldt more likely to Arrest for Marijuana than the rest of the State?

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According to an excellent article on the California Progress Report,

Humboldt County had one of the state’s highest arrest rates while adjacent Mendocino County, both places where pot growing is a major industry, had one of the lowest. Those differences can only be explained by law enforcement priorities, not by behavior.

I wouldn’t have thought Humboldt had an especially large number of arrests for cannabis.

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40 comments

  • I just read that Progress Report myself. That was surprising.

  • I just read that Progress Report myself. That was surprising.

  • I find it hard to believe that Mendocino County had one of the lowest arrest rates in the state.

  • I find it hard to believe that Mendocino County had one of the lowest arrest rates in the state.

  • Is it actual arrests or citations?

  • Is it actual arrests or citations?

  • Humboldt County has consistently had around 0.5-1 arrest per 1,000 people for years.

    I think a major difference that is not taken into account is the distribution network that lies in Humboldt County. That is, not all of those arrests are for cultivation. I don’t know the exact breakdown, but I would imagine most Mendo arrests are strictly cultivation whereas many in Humboldt would be for things like transportation, sales, etc.

    I thought Mendocino arrested 1/1,000 last year anyway.

    CoCo County only arresting 42 people is not a surprise. I’m sure the police there are real concerned about weed when they have a full caseload of murders going down every week.

  • Humboldt County has consistently had around 0.5-1 arrest per 1,000 people for years.

    I think a major difference that is not taken into account is the distribution network that lies in Humboldt County. That is, not all of those arrests are for cultivation. I don’t know the exact breakdown, but I would imagine most Mendo arrests are strictly cultivation whereas many in Humboldt would be for things like transportation, sales, etc.

    I thought Mendocino arrested 1/1,000 last year anyway.

    CoCo County only arresting 42 people is not a surprise. I’m sure the police there are real concerned about weed when they have a full caseload of murders going down every week.

  • This is definitely a good counter argument for people that say crime is associated with marijuana traffic. Everyone knows Mendocino county for one thing and that’s growing pot.

  • This is definitely a good counter argument for people that say crime is associated with marijuana traffic. Everyone knows Mendocino county for one thing and that’s growing pot.

  • I wonder if the Police Academy at CR has anything to do with it? Do local police departments have a higher than average number of first posting recruits when compared to counties without acamedy programs? It would give our local departments a kind of “teaching hospital” character that could account for overzealous pot arrests. Just a theory of course.

    Another theory is that local police have lots of low hanging fruit to choose from. Officers with the Eureka and Arcata PDs and the HSU campus police could literally find someone who reeks of dankness within three blocks of their respective headquarters on most days.

  • I wonder if the Police Academy at CR has anything to do with it? Do local police departments have a higher than average number of first posting recruits when compared to counties without acamedy programs? It would give our local departments a kind of “teaching hospital” character that could account for overzealous pot arrests. Just a theory of course.

    Another theory is that local police have lots of low hanging fruit to choose from. Officers with the Eureka and Arcata PDs and the HSU campus police could literally find someone who reeks of dankness within three blocks of their respective headquarters on most days.

  • I wish I could find out more about those stats. The stats need some explanations.

    The police academy question is a good theory. My impression is that they aren’t necessarily posted much around here but that isn’t backed by any facts.

    I think the low hanging fruit theory would work except for the comparison to Mendo. From what I’ve seen ( as the commenter above you noted) the growers and users seem pretty large–roughly proportional to here.

    Mr. Nice, I like the idea but isn’t Mendo known for sales and distribution, too?

  • I wish I could find out more about those stats. The stats need some explanations.

    The police academy question is a good theory. My impression is that they aren’t necessarily posted much around here but that isn’t backed by any facts.

    I think the low hanging fruit theory would work except for the comparison to Mendo. From what I’ve seen ( as the commenter above you noted) the growers and users seem pretty large–roughly proportional to here.

    Mr. Nice, I like the idea but isn’t Mendo known for sales and distribution, too?

  • Mendo folks drive straight to Santa Rosa themselves. Humboldt ships a lot of the bud that comes out of Shasta, Trinity, and Del Norte. Those folks don’t drive to Mendo to engage in distribution as Mendo does not have as large scale an existing distribution system. All one has to do is go to Eureka during harvest madness and notice all the facial tattoo folks counting hundreds in broad daylight. That is where a good portion of these arrests are coming from: the mules these gangsters pay to drive out.

    Even so, Mendo arrested more people last year than this year. I think the cops just ran out of money this year and decided not to pop so many people since obviously the D.A. wasn’t going to stick it to them due to lack of funds.

    And above I guess I meant 1/100. Seems ridiculous that 1/100 people are arrested for weed, but there it is.

    The HSU theory doesn’t hold much weight given that those cops generally give warnings or at the worst citations. If no handcuffs go on, it doesn’t make it to the arrest statistics.

    The weed trade has been good to this part of the state while it lasted. A shame it is going away soon.

  • Mendo folks drive straight to Santa Rosa themselves. Humboldt ships a lot of the bud that comes out of Shasta, Trinity, and Del Norte. Those folks don’t drive to Mendo to engage in distribution as Mendo does not have as large scale an existing distribution system. All one has to do is go to Eureka during harvest madness and notice all the facial tattoo folks counting hundreds in broad daylight. That is where a good portion of these arrests are coming from: the mules these gangsters pay to drive out.

    Even so, Mendo arrested more people last year than this year. I think the cops just ran out of money this year and decided not to pop so many people since obviously the D.A. wasn’t going to stick it to them due to lack of funds.

    And above I guess I meant 1/100. Seems ridiculous that 1/100 people are arrested for weed, but there it is.

    The HSU theory doesn’t hold much weight given that those cops generally give warnings or at the worst citations. If no handcuffs go on, it doesn’t make it to the arrest statistics.

    The weed trade has been good to this part of the state while it lasted. A shame it is going away soon.

  • I think Mendocino has surpassed the other Emerald Triangle counties as the place to go to make money in the marijuana industry; whether that be growing, trimming or distributing to points beyond. Most of the busts down here come from idiots transporting through the county. Big illegal operations are a close second. Sadly though, home invasion robberies are the one real marijuana related crime that rarely has a favorable outcome (i.e. busts). And I think that has also been what Lake and Mendocino counties are becoming known for (at least in the “thug” circles down south).

  • I think Mendocino has surpassed the other Emerald Triangle counties as the place to go to make money in the marijuana industry; whether that be growing, trimming or distributing to points beyond. Most of the busts down here come from idiots transporting through the county. Big illegal operations are a close second. Sadly though, home invasion robberies are the one real marijuana related crime that rarely has a favorable outcome (i.e. busts). And I think that has also been what Lake and Mendocino counties are becoming known for (at least in the “thug” circles down south).

  • What came to mind for me was all the low level busts in and around the Arcata Plaza. It seem that they could even up that number. I even read about bicycle cops making busts on the Plaza – how sneaky is that?

  • What came to mind for me was all the low level busts in and around the Arcata Plaza. It seem that they could even up that number. I even read about bicycle cops making busts on the Plaza – how sneaky is that?

  • What this conversation needs is some different statistics ;^] . According to this really cool Sacramento Bee interactive arrest-rate map by county, all three emerald triangle counties have police forces that resent economics. Check it out:

    http://www.sacbee.com/1098/story/1843314.html

    Their stats show Humboldt only a bit more avid than Mendo in busting economic contributors. Also, the AVA reported a couple of months ago that Mendo’s DA has announced to their Board of Supervisors that she just can’t afford to harass potheads at the rate she ginned up after being elected on backlash against impudent growers. I’ll get this wrong, but the article said more than 700 arrests had been made last year, up from ~400 the year before–but now charges would be dropped against the non-violent offenders, which was almost all of them, since enforcement seemed to concentrate on the easiest and least scary obvious targets, like grandparents and working moms.

    Pebbles Trippet of Mendo’s medical mj movement got this info out.

  • What this conversation needs is some different statistics ;^] . According to this really cool Sacramento Bee interactive arrest-rate map by county, all three emerald triangle counties have police forces that resent economics. Check it out:

    http://www.sacbee.com/1098/story/1843314.html

    Their stats show Humboldt only a bit more avid than Mendo in busting economic contributors. Also, the AVA reported a couple of months ago that Mendo’s DA has announced to their Board of Supervisors that she just can’t afford to harass potheads at the rate she ginned up after being elected on backlash against impudent growers. I’ll get this wrong, but the article said more than 700 arrests had been made last year, up from ~400 the year before–but now charges would be dropped against the non-violent offenders, which was almost all of them, since enforcement seemed to concentrate on the easiest and least scary obvious targets, like grandparents and working moms.

    Pebbles Trippet of Mendo’s medical mj movement got this info out.

  • longwind, Lintott’s office is fully staffed now and and from what I gathered, is back in the game.

  • longwind, Lintott’s office is fully staffed now and and from what I gathered, is back in the game.

  • Good thing that this isn’t a game show as I would would have got the first question wrong.

    That is, I never would have guessed more pot busts take place in Humboldt than Mendo every year.

    I hope you can find some more stats to round out what’s really happening. Are authorities (or whoever came up with these stats) comparing apples-to-apples from one county to the next?

  • Good thing that this isn’t a game show as I would would have got the first question wrong.

    That is, I never would have guessed more pot busts take place in Humboldt than Mendo every year.

    I hope you can find some more stats to round out what’s really happening. Are authorities (or whoever came up with these stats) comparing apples-to-apples from one county to the next?

  • thanks you guys. I’ll try to follow up on this when I have a bit more time.

  • thanks you guys. I’ll try to follow up on this when I have a bit more time.

  • What a truly beautiful floral shot. I haven’t seen a flower that sweet since – umm – err – never mind.

  • What a truly beautiful floral shot. I haven’t seen a flower that sweet since – umm – err – never mind.

  • Something is hinkey with these pot bust stats. Follow longwinds link to the California map and click on Alpine County – the pink one that’s to the right of Sacramento and borders Nevada. 21.7 arrests per thousand?

    • The article noted that Alpine County has about 3000 residents, so one avid sheriff can really skew the stats there.

      What’s striking to me is the emerald triangle is bright statistical red, all three counties rank in the top 10 statewide for pot busts per capita. It doesn’t feel that way around here, though, does it, which affirms the old ‘safety in numbers’ explanation for the vast herds grazing in security together, even while an occasional zebra’s being taken down and devoured. Life goes on.

  • Something is hinkey with these pot bust stats. Follow longwinds link to the California map and click on Alpine County – the pink one that’s to the right of Sacramento and borders Nevada. 21.7 arrests per thousand?

    • The article noted that Alpine County has about 3000 residents, so one avid sheriff can really skew the stats there.

      What’s striking to me is the emerald triangle is bright statistical red, all three counties rank in the top 10 statewide for pot busts per capita. It doesn’t feel that way around here, though, does it, which affirms the old ‘safety in numbers’ explanation for the vast herds grazing in security together, even while an occasional zebra’s being taken down and devoured. Life goes on.

  • Longwind, I think you hit it on the head. The sheer amount of growers and users here makes the few who do get busted seem very small indeed.

  • Longwind, I think you hit it on the head. The sheer amount of growers and users here makes the few who do get busted seem very small indeed.

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