Pot Raids in NorCal

This is the preferred time of year for that time-honored cultural tradition in the Emerald Triangle in Northern California: The Pot Raids. Since legal growing begins in January in the state, the Counties have issued permits to many growers, and are processing more. The Sheriff will honor these permits, as well as incomplete paperwork still in process.

The trouble is, there are 10,000 growers (a guessed number) in Humboldt County, though only a few hundred are in the permit system right now. So for the remaining 9,500 the raids are conducted by the Sheriff, Wardens from California Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Scientists from California Fish and Wildlife, CAL Fire Law Enforcement Officers, specialist from the Humboldt County Environmental Health and HAZMAT Unit, Humboldt County Code Enforcement officers, and personnel from the California Army National Guard Counter Drug Unit. Note there aren’t federal agencies involved, so far.

The Sheriff will cite an offender for illegally growing cannabis. Few in NorCal are ever convicted and penalized for that violation, though. Instead, Fish and Wildlife issues a citation for salmon stream diversion, CalFire for timber conversion, the county for unapproved chemicals, the state for other pollution, and the county for permit violations.

The Judiciary is used to these: they quickly dispatch the felony growing charge and let you deal with the others. You have been sentenced without lawyer or trial to Bureaucratic Hell: there is no end to the fines, deadlines, clean-ups, and restitution; miss a payment or date and add on criminal charges.

You don’t need SWAT Teams in black shooting off military weapons everywhere like the feds do with the DEA. A deputy walks up, writes a ticket, and hands it to you. He walks off, but leaves the gate open for the state and local officials to go in and have at it.

No doubt there will soon be a full-blown DEA raid conducted for benefit of the media and politicians. But when all is said and done, you have much more to fear from that guy from the county….

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