Dey Got De Ganja 090711
Airborne Weed Wackers
California’s Campaign Against Marijuana Production, the California Department of Fish and Game, The Forest Service, Sierra County Sheriff’s office, California Department of Justice and probably other cops not identified busted a large marijuana grow today on the North side of Turner Canyon about a mile from Highway 49.
Restricted area at the Vista Point
The cops ferried grunts into the rough back country with a helicopter, and brought out at least ten large loads of emerald green marijuana to the Vista Point, where it was deposited into a bin which was provided by an un-named Sierra County solid waste provider.
The helicopter flew cross-country with giant Popeye spinach loads, occasionally losing a few plants on the trip. Little point heading into the woods, the plants most likely landed in trees.
Judging from the helicopter’s coming and going it seems at this time that there were two marijuana gardens, perhaps located a little ways from each other.
How many cops does it take to hack some pot?
A helicopter of this sort typically uses about 20 gallons of fuel per hour, at a likely cost of about $6-8 per gallon. In addition, helicopters usually cost about $200 an hour in other costs. There were at least 10 other staff and officers, at an average cost of about $35 an hour.
Even so, this was a good deal for the county, since it removed several tons of pot which otherwise would have competed with mom and pop ganja growers in the county in an increasingly tough pot market.
Cops, getting high.
The Prospect estimates the take was about a thousand large, healthy plants which, would have a street value of a whole stack of Benjamins, probably close to the road budget of the county.
There is some question as to who owns the pot. It isn’t the growers', they lost it. Does it belong to the state? If so, then the state needs to pay the Sierra County landfill for burying it at the landfill. Better yet, if it belongs to the county now, let’s put some people to work clipping and snipping and sell it to a medical marijuana facility.
The grow was reportedly located on public land just off private property. The Prospect spoke with the property owner on the condition he not be identified.
The landowner said he was glad cops busted the grow, and glad they weren’t growing on his land. He said he favors marijuana legalization, but worries about guerrilla grows in the woods and on private property. He said he would have cooperated with law enforcement to allow them to cross his property if asked, but was glad they didn’t need to. He said that, had he discovered the grow on public land he probably would not have reported it, but if he found it on his land he would report it at once. He favors legal medical marijuana gardens, but doesn’t feel that’s what this was. The landowner said he doubts it was the Mexican Drug Lords. He pointed out that there are a lot better places to grow than the Eastern Sierra.
Dude! You're flying your pot into that tree!
The Prospect is currently waiting for a press release from the head of Drug Interdiction at Sierra County Sheriff’s office.