OPINION: Illegal marijuana growers pose threat to communities, ecosystems in the North State – Siskiyou Daily News

Drug trafficking. Murder. Millions of acres of illegal marijuana fields. Most Californians assume the best place to look for these stories is their preferred streaming service, but they are taking place in our own backyard.

Thousands of acres of land in Siskiyou County have been overtaken by makeshift greenhouses and ramshackle infrastructure to support this organized crime. In the wake of the Lava Fire, which has burned nearly 30,000 acres in Siskiyou and forced the evacuation of many areas where illegal growers have taken root, law enforcement and residents’ worst fears have been realized.

More:Shooting, arrests: Authorities had rough time keeping people out of evacuated subdivision

As the fire raged, a total of 14 arrests were made by law enforcement, as growers flagrantly disregarded evacuation orders and refused to comply. One man even open-fired on public safety personnel while trying to enter the Mount Shasta Vista evacuation area, and was shot and killed.

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