Sea of green: Even with harvest season weeks away for California’s largest cash crop—marijuana—the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Production (CAMP) has already broken records for the number of plants seized in one season. As of Aug. 19, CAMP had taken 634,741 plants in 374 gardens, making 16 arrests and seizing 53 weapons. The DOJ claims to have taken $16 billion worth of pot in the 22 years CAMP has been in existence.
Illustrating the dominant trend in California pot production, Butte County sheriffs found last week what they believe to be a grow sponsored by Mexican drug cartels. These groups have begun squatting on rural lands, setting up large growing operations often guarded by armed men. In this latest bust, off Dollar Road near Feather Falls, two suspects escaped, leaving 3,472 plants and a .22 caliber rifle.
Liquid oppression: A recent report by the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water details how the development of California’s water system has marginalized minorities and the poor across the state.
In a section dealing with Butte County’s water woes, Lynn Barris of Butte Environmental Council refers to the system as “legalized feudalism,” noting that unelected water district boards, generally made up of rich landowners who stand to profit from selling water, often end up the writing water policies that affect every county resident.
Check out the report, “Thirsty for Justice,” at: www.ejcw.org.
Fruity bouquet, strong finish, no ID: Alcohol Beverage Control officers looking for places in Chico willing to sell booze to underage decoys last Friday caught an unlikely vendor in their net. Creekside Cellars Wine Shop & Tasting Room is hardly a hot spot for underage drinking, but at about 6:40 Friday evening, 20 minutes before closing, an ABC decoy was reportedly able to purchased a bottle of petite syrah, said owner Brenda McLaughlin.
“We were obviously a little bit surprised and embarrassed,” she said. Friday nights, she explained, are the busiest of the week for her shop and on that night she was operating short-handed. The decoy, she said, had some trouble finding a bottle of wine because his bosses only gave him $10 to make his illicit purchase.
No sympathy for the devil: Signs waved and clever song references flew Sunday as a Rolling Stones concert in Boston became an opportunity to blast Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger for corporate fund-raising.
David Welch (pictured) was among about a dozen California nurses who joined teachers and firefighters outside Fenway Park to talk with concert-goers and pass out fliers claiming “Sticky Fingers” Schwarzenegger is “under the corporate thumb.”
Schwarzenegger had offered up tickets to join him in a private skybox for $100,000.