Harvest time

Law enforcement, real and fake, pull up pot plants

On Sept. 26 some 140 local, state and federal agents served 11 search warrants in Forest Ranch and Palermo, eradicating 967 marijuana plants. No arrests were made. Max Del Real, a lobbyist representing local medical marijuana growers, called the effort “a waste of taxpayer money,” and asked the Butte County Board of Supervisors to “create reasonable regulations” of medical marijuana. The board’s first effort to do so was rejected by voter referendum; the second by the District Attorney.

On Oct. 1 a man reported the robbery of a marijuana garden on Centerville Road where five suspects claiming to be law enforcement detained a group camped at the garden, held them at gun point and stole the plants and a Toyota truck. Later that day the Sheriff’s Office received the report of an armed robbery in Berry Creek where two armed men portraying themselves as law enforcement pepper-sprayed and robbed three people of their marijuana garden.