The Difference Between a Legal Pot Grow and an Illegal One…
Let’s first compare it to something VERY easy… This way even the simplest of minds will be able to grasp the gravity of the issues… Two very easy to grasp comparisons here.
1. Remember the movies where outer space aliens go from planet to planet to strip it of resources then move on to another planet leaving vast and total destruction behind them? Some of those movies depict near destruction of the human race itself.
2. We all understand the concept of the never ending “moocher”. The person who will overstay their welcome because they do not have to pitch in on anything – the place they stay provides it all, and the moocher tends to be very destructive to the place they mooch from.
This is something each of us has experienced at some point in our lives. It might be a family friend crashing at your house, making messes and never pitching in. It might even be a close family member that has been going from one place to another never working, living off others, makes huge messes and never helps out. I think the mental picture of this has been painted so with that in mind let’s move forward.
A community can be compared to a large family unit, especially a smaller community. Even the outcast has a role to play in the success of the smaller community to keep it running smoothly.
An illegal pot grow is that outer space alien that has come to destroy everything, even the people to strip the resources from the area and leave utter destruction behind.
An illegal pot grow is the “moocher” that moves in and continues to TAKE until the community has nothing left to give and then it moves on to another place it can benefit from – at little cost to itself, but HIGH cost to the community it just left. Aren’t you tired of all the illegal trash dumping that has become a major problem since more and more illegal pot grows have moved into the area?
The SBSD latest estimate is that there are over 800 known illegal pot grows in this area with an estimated 200 more operating here.
An illegal pot grow strips the community of SAFETY by bringing in mafia, gang members, illegal immigrants to work these grows – many of these have been previously deported for violent felonies…. All of which are heavily armed.
An illegal grow will either buy up remote land or just find “abandoned” land to set up shop on, knowing the owners will likely never know they are there, and they will not be forced to leave. This drives UP land prices beyond what is reasonable for the area.
An illegal grow buys up the vast majority of gardening supplies from local sellers also driving up prices and demand for locals who need these items – causing shortages.
When an illegal pot grow moves into any community vehicles get stolen, mainly trucks and hauling trailers. These vehicles are then used to haul water to the illegal pot grows driven by illegal immigrants who hold NO driver’s license and NO vehicle insurance.
Occupants at the illegal pot grows are typically heavily armed and will shoot at ANYONE who approaches. This was proven recently in Newberry Springs, California where a guard at an illegal grow shot at a police cruiser that had been called out on a different location. What will stop them from shooting at a child who happens upon them by accident while out on their quads??
An illegal grow also brings their fertilizers across the border – using chemicals we have long since banned in the USA. These chemicals contaminate ground water supplies as well as local ecosystems. Many of these banned chemical fertilizers are known to cause cancer or worse. The harm not only humans but any living organism they come in contact with, be it through direct contact or indirect (after these chemicals seep into the ground).
In the case of Lucerne Valley, the grows are literally stripping local water supplies to the point private wells are going dry, municipal customers are reporting low to no water pressure at all and stealing water from fire hydrants to the point city officials are discussing REMOVING much needed hydrants to prevent water thefts. What happens if they remove these hydrants, and someone DIES in a fire because the fire department has no access to water???
Day after day we see reports of one accident after another, many of them fatal – some due to illegal grows hauling water and running people off the road, some due to persons working these grows, driving stolen vehicles and simply speeding and other accidents that are just hard to grasp as to why this area has MORE fatal accidents per capita then LA County.
In the late winter we begin seeing post after post about missing dogs. These posts continue til early Summer then boom, very few missing dogs. I personally had a dog come up missing in early Spring who has never been seen again. Odd that so many dogs come up missing never to be seen again and it ONLY happens as the illegal pot grows move in for the growing season.
As these illegal pot grows move in, odd things come up missing from yards – even fenced, gated yards. Water cubes are stolen, wheelbarrows and smaller things are stolen that typically do not get reported to police. Many have generators stolen right off the back of their work trucks, among other items that disappear to never be seen again.
These illegal pot grows utilize local businesses to help them set up. These services include, but are not limited to, ground clearing, plumbing, electrical, water hauling, and other local services that make them setting up much easier. This puts residents waiting on such services on hold, sometimes indefinitely, while these local contractors fill their pockets working for these illegal pot grows, thus welcoming all this criminal activity into their own community and saying nothing about it. Since they are paid in cash for these services, they typically do not report the income, pay no taxes on it and it has no financial benefit for the community.
Due to the increase in crime in the communities where these illegal pot grows set up shop, police and emergency response times is longer – if they respond in person at all. I personally have called only to have the deputy call me back and take the report over the phone because the on-duty deputies are overwhelmed with calls. Also, reporting locations of these grows seems to do nothing since officers never seem to even check out such reports. This produces a bad taste in residents that police could care less. Many hit and run accidents are also related to these illegal pot grows and rarely are any arrests made. The latest one killed 3 young girls and left 1 in ICU nearly 6 weeks ago and to date no arrests or any real progress has been made. We are told they have a person of interest and are preparing search warrants, but we see no effort being made towards an arrest.
Illegal pot grows make communities VERY dangerous for the residents. The short-term cash flow is NOT worth the long-term damage they do to the area. It is like an MLM get rich quick scheme. It looks good on the surface, lots of tax-free cash can be pocketed, but at what cost??
Some use the excuse that times are tough, and they have a family to feed. Well, things are tough for EVERYONE and inviting crime into a community because YOU need some cash is selfish and borderline criminal. The actual criminal code is called “aiding and abetting” that depending on the circumstances can be a felony that carries up to life in prison.
Are the few bucks you gain today worth risking prison time for? What will your kids do if you are locked up? You will not be able to put food on the table from behind prison walls. Do you think these illegal pot grows give a rats ass about your families?
Are the few bucks gained today worth the long-term damage to the local water tables? We are in the middle of the worst drought in recorded history. Water tables are at all-time lows. Lake Mead will be issuing a Tier 1 water Emergency beginning in August. How does Lake Mead, so far away, affect Lucerne Valley? Well, Lake Mead is the reservoir for the Hoover Dam. This dam not only provides at least 25% of municipal water supplies across Southern California, it also supplies the vast majority of the electric to Southern California. If the river cannot turn those turbines, then less electricity is produced. Less electricity means more rolling power outages and some areas losing power for good.
There is a massive trickle-down effect when these illegal pot grows move into a community. They will return year after year when they KNOW they can get services, and no one says a thing. They will keep returning until every resource is stripped and they can no longer produce a product viable to sell. Only then will they move on to another community and completely strip it of resources and so on.
They are leeches that suck the very life out of once thriving communities, leaving behind them a wasteland of destruction and useless land that will be marred forever.
Because of the criminal element that comes with these illegal pot grows, people are afraid. They are afraid to speak out, afraid to photo, video document what they see, just outright afraid of just about everything. People are even afraid of driving at night for fear of illegal grows that might shoot at them for being on the wrong road.
I have posted so many references about what illegal pot grows do to local resources, this time I am going to allow people to look shit up for themselves. For those too lazy to do so and want spoon fed the info – sorry but there is no help for you. It is high time people begin thinking and seeing for themselves rather than demanding to be spoon fed when they will refuse to believe hard facts even when they see them.
So, how did it come to this? Where did it all begin? Well, at some point in the past someone opened the door for the illegal grows to come in. Whether it was corrupt politicians or greedy landowners looking to make some quick cash we do not know without some heavy-duty research in tracking down the first known illegal grow in the area.
How do we get rid of them? That part is actually easier than it sounds. I have also commented on it many times in social media posts.
1. Local contractor businesses have to stop providing services to illegal pot grows. (Now, do not say it is impossible to know if it is an illegal pot grow – ALL grows in unincorporated areas of California are illegal pot grows – simple – there are ZERO legal grows in the Lucerne Valley area, that argument is resolved) (How do you know it’s a grow? Well, these contractor’s most certainly have repeat customers from these illegal grows…. Look at land ownership papers before doing ANY work be it ground clearing, electrical, plumbing etc for ANY new job or any new pop-up greenhouse that has a camper by it) Pop-up greenhouses in remote areas should be a red flag to ANY contractor – they should check credentials before accepting the job and doing the work.
2. Local residents must stop selling water to these illegal pot growers water haulers. When people see water thefts from fire hydrants or any other water source call the cops immediately, take pictures and document the theft in progress.
3. Residents must report suspicious activity on abandoned land. Suspicious traffic to remote locations, suspicious lights – anything out of the ordinary must be reported.
The simple solution is to cut off their services. Once they cannot get what they need to produce their crop they will move on somewhere else. We cannot obliterate the practice as a whole. We can only protect the community we live in. But if we begin taking a stand it will set an example for other communities as well. Little by little these illegal pot grows will have nowhere to go. In the process of doing so we also protect the ecosystem our community and area depends on.
The question is – can our community stand together and say NO to these illegal pot growers or is the greed for the fast cash too rampant here? Ask yourselves this – is this the legacy you will leave to your children? A vast wasteland destroyed by greed or a strong community that protects them and their future interests? What good is the cash now if the damage these illegal pot grows do ends up killing the very ones who will inherit your legacy????