Raids In Mendocino National Forest Rack Up Big Numbers But CAMP's Funding's Cut For Next Year
More than 100 people were arrested and nearly half a million pot plants were eradicated in Operation Full Court Press–a multi agency operation designed to clear Mendocino National Forest of marijuana gardens. The two week series of raids also led to 1500 pounds of processed marijuana being seized as well as “23 tons of trash, 22 miles of irrigation line, 2,171 pounds of fertilizer, and 57 pounds of pesticides.”There were also 27 guns and 11 vehicles were also seized.
But will they continue to rack up these big numbers? The new budget just signed by Governor Jerry Brown eliminates the Campaign Against Marijuana Production’s funding. But According to the Bay Citizen, The federal government intends to continue its share but cash strapped California has other uses for its contribution.
CAMP’s 2010 operations cost taxpayers more than $3 million. The state contributed $1 million, and the DEA contributed $1.6 million. The state budget for 2012 cuts $71 million from the Division of Law Enforcement, including the narcotics bureau.
In the program’s early years, CAMP agents were known to buzz backyards in their helicopters and all but lay siege to some North Coast communities. Over the years, though, the focus has shifted to state, county and federal parks, which Mexican drug cartels and other large-scale growers have found to be excellent locations for illicit farms, the authorities say.
With CAMP now functioning more as a tool for protecting public lands from the depredations of large-scale marijuana farms, its potential disappearance, which a decade ago might have been widely celebrated on the North Coast, is instead raising alarms in many quarters.
Photo from The Bay Citizen’s piece on Camp getting its funding cut.