Marijuana “grows” are the new environmental menace. Teams of sheriff’s deputies from three northern California counties found ample evidence of this in raids on several illegal grows last week. They were in a remote area called Island Mountain, where the three counties of the “Emerald Triangle” (Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino) converge.
The deputies served 20 search warrants, then seized and disposed of 86,578 “adult” marijuana plants, 4,394 pounds of processed marijuana, and 15 pounds of marijuana hashish in brick form. Along with these they seized 25 guns, 50,000 rounds of ammunition, and $8,877 in cash. They estimated the “street value” of the marijuana haul to be $26.5 million.
Officials of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife accompanied the teams to assess the effect of the grows on watersheds. They found 97 environmental violations. (Note: Combined, the seized plants required 50,000 gallons of water a day. One ounce of processed marijuana requires 34 gallons of water.)