9 Aug 2010, 4:46pm
Latest Forest News
by admin

Marijuana a growing problem in Oregon forests

AP News, My Central Oregon, 08/08/10 [here]

As the helicopter raced over the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest Saturday morning, the pilot explained his rationale for flying low and fast.

“We try to fly about 300 feet above the ground,” said the Jackson County Sheriff’s deputy. “It’s better than at high altitude. This way you are only a target for a few seconds.”

Folks who grow marijuana on federal forestland have been known to take shots at unwanted visitors, he will tell you.

He and the copilot _both of whom asked not to be named or photographed because of the sensitivity of their work - were flying U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, to Gold Beach to discuss the growing marijuana problem on federal land with a team of drug fighters called Southern Oregon Multi-Agency Marijuana Eradication and Reclamation or SOMMER.

En route, the deputies pointed out sites where patches of marijuana plants had been confiscated in the mountains overlooking the Applegate Valley. Most of the raided patches resembled clear cuts from the air.

The pot isn’t just on federal land: the helicopter flew over countless marijuana plants growing behind tall fences adjacent to homes in Jackson and Josephine counties, which one of the deputies described as “pseudo medical marijuana” patches. Some of the sites had more than two dozen plants that look like oversized tomato plants from above.

But the pilot steered clear of what he described as two active “cartel grows” on federal land farther into the flight, noting he didn’t want to tip off the growers.

A “grow” refers to an illegal marijuana patch. “Cartel” is a reference to Mexican drug-trafficking organizations which law enforcement officials say are now involved in growing marijuana on federal land in the region.

To a man, the seven sheriffs in the group organized by Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters urged Walden for more funding to beef up their departments, which have been hit hard by budget cuts over the years. … [more]

3 Sep 2010, 1:34pm
by roger g.

Its only a “problem” because you won’t let people peacefully grow in their own backyards. End this nonsense. Go after the cartels and leave the domestic producers alone. Better yet, end the ridiculous prohibition and TAX THEM.

Reply: Your comment is a little bit accusatory, roger. What am I, King of the World? If you think so, then please send your taxes directly to me.

And another thing. Whether marijuana is legalized or not, there will still be criminals who attempt to circumvent the laws.

And another thing. Commandeering public property, with guns at the ready, for any purpose, is a crime. It will always be a crime. Whether perpetrated by aliens or domestics.



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