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California Lawmaker Asking Gov. Brown To Declare Emergency Over Illicit Pot Grows

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

A California state lawmaker is calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency in Siskiyou County due rampant illegal marijuana grows.

Republican Sen. Ted Gaines recently took a helicopter ride over the county, which is in his district.

"I saw over a 100 illegal grows and they're on a massive scale," Gaines said. "It brings a criminal element. Could be actually syndicated crime that's engaged. Our county sheriff was bribed. Offered a million dollar bribe to look the other way. We need some help."

Besides exhausting local law enforcement resources, Gaines said the large scale pot growers in the county that touches the Oregon border are stealing water and damaging the environment. He said the operators of one site even offered the sheriff a million-dollar bribe to look the other way.

He's suggesting using the California National Guard to help the sheriff's department stamp out the large illegal grows.

"We need assistance," Gaines said. "It's a small county with a small sheriff's department and I'm asking the governor if we can get some help to eradicate it."

Gaines says he's not going after legal growers, but crime syndicates and drug cartels that have overrun Siskiyou County with huge pot plantations.


Drew Sandsor

Senior Producer, News

As Senior Producer of News, Drew works with reporters and anchors on the daily production and presentation of news stories on Capital Public Radio. He also works closely with the station's digital team on news coverage across various online platforms  Read Full Bio 

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