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Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:40 AM

Deputies plan to bulldoze 500 illegal marijuana grows in Antelope Valley after massive bust

https://ktla.com/news/local-news/deputies-plan-to-bulldoze-500-illegal-marijuana-grows-in-antelope-valley-after-massive-bust/

Authorities seized tens of millions of dollars worth of illegal marijuana grown in the high desert Tuesday as part of an effort to curtail the black marketís grip on Southern California.

Twenty-three people were arrested in the crackdown Tuesday in the Antelope Valley, 70 miles north of Los Angeles, and officials planned to bulldoze 500 illegal grows in the area over the coming days.

So-called recreational marijuana became legal in California in 2018, but the black market continues to flourish.

The massive bust was partly in response to residentsí complaints of water being stolen, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva said during a news conference in Lancaster. The largest grow discovered Tuesday had more than 70 greenhouses over 10 acres, with an estimated marijuana crop worth $50 million.

Unspecified cartels operating the illegal marijuana grows were stealing millions of gallons of water, the sheriff said. Armed cartel members were taking from wells maintained by alfalfa, potato and carrot farmers in the middle of the night, as well as breaking fire hydrants and operating their own illegal well
s.

Finally someone is doing something about this trash, in my opinion they should turn them over to the feds for the harshest sentences.

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Response to ripcord (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:44 AM

1. Potatoes and carrots seem like awfully weird

crops to grow with expensive water. Are they some kind of specialty potato. It is not like we have a shortage of them.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:49 AM

5. Water rights often go in order of the age of the claim

Many of these farmers have been here for a century or more and have a legitimate claim to water rights. Cartels who come in, squat and have no permits don't, water theft is serious in the high desert. If our water table drops below a certain level we have to start drawing from the aqueduct and paying 3 times the normal rate.

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Response to exboyfil (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 10:13 AM

11. The high desert climate is where "seed potatoes" are grown

that are then used the next year to grow the commercial bottom land grown potatoes we eat.

At 6,000 ft altitude, seed potatoes are grown in the high country of Marysville, ID, that are then stored and transplanted the following spring to lowland potato farms.

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Response to ripcord (Original post)


Response to ripcord (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:46 AM

3. Meh. No one, not even carrot farmers should be farming there.

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Response to ripcord (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:49 AM

4. Illegal watering.

I've a southern California friend who got a ticket for allegedly watering the lemon tree in his backyard.

Too bad for the city, he was using house grey water. He totally messed with their heads.

Unfortunately a large grow operation uses lots of water to grow a quality product.

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Response to Throck (Reply #4)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:54 AM

6. Here they just steal water

They pull trucks filled with totes or even tanker trucks up to fire hydrants and legal wells in the middle of the night and just start filling up. Of course the thieves don't use a meter to track water to pay for it and worse they don't use back flow devices so they are putting potable water supplies at risk.

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Response to ripcord (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:54 AM

7. They are not selling it cheap enough I guess.

Here in Oregon there is no incentive to grow pot except for personal use.

The going rates for black market weed is so low it is not worth it. The criminals turned to other resources but mostly the legal growers made the price point below what the black market rate was.

Been that way almost 10 years now.

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:59 AM

8. I would speculate that they weren't selling it in California, nt

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Response to Boxerfan (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 09:59 AM

9. Most of it isn't being sold in California

It can be grown very cheaply when you don't have to worry about the fees and permits required to operate a business, some of these idiots actually think legalization meant there would be no regulation. The cartels grow it here and ship it to states where marijuana is still illegal, it is much safer to smuggle across state lines than the international border.

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Response to ripcord (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 10:13 AM

10. Illegal growers are among the most vocal opponents to cannabis legalization....

It has cratered what they can sell weed for in legal states, so they are forced to smuggle loads to states where it is still illegal.

I can legally grow cannabis in MA for pennies a gram; I wouldn't have to buy from anyone The state dispensaries are about a $3-5 a gram, sometimes less during sales. In illegal markets, it can be $10/gm.

And what is with the "so-called recreational marijuana"? There is nothing so-called about it, and recreational marijuana is not what was being grown here. It was an illegal commercial operation.

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Response to getagrip_already (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 04:26 PM

12. It is good that the Sheriff is handling it

The locals are getting pissed and one guy caught stealing water had the shit beat out of him and his truck trashed.

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Response to ripcord (Original post)

Wed Jun 9, 2021, 05:14 PM

13. This problem would go away if cannabis was legal everywhere.

Anyone using it would know someone who was growing it -- from family and friends giving it away for free, to small boutique local farmers, to national conglomerates.

It would be like tomatoes.

Are there any illegal tomato growing operations in the deserts of California?

Of course there are some people who think they deserve all the water in places where water is scarce, as if God deeded it all to their people, not for his fish...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jun/08/klamath-falls-oregon-protests-ammon-bundy

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