LaMalfa Introduces Bill to Help Law Enforcement Eradicate Illegal Marijuana Grows
Oct 5, 2018
(Richvale, CA) – Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) issued the following statement after introducing H.R. 7018, the Protecting Lands Against Narcotics Trafficking (PLANT) Act. This legislation provides resources to help local, state, and federal law enforcement eradicate illegal marijuana grows on public lands, increases fines and penalties for illegally producing marijuana on public lands, and establishes a fund to restore land that has been damaged by illegal cultivation activities paid for through fines imposed on illegal growers.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, roughly 90% of all illegal marijuana grow sites are located on National Forest System land in California. Local, state, and federal officials recently completed a year-long illegal marijuana eradication effort known as Operation Forest Watch. The effort resulted in the seizure of 82 firearms, 638,370 plants, and over 103,603 pounds of trash, pesticides, and chemicals.
LaMalfa said: “Illegal marijuana cultivation has become a huge problem on our federal lands – to the point where it’s a clear danger to the public and harmful to the environment. Law enforcement doesn't have the resources to keep pace with organized, large-scale grow operations often run by international cartel organizations. The PLANT Act helps support efforts to combat these illegal grow sites while creating a fund to restore land damaged by illegal pesticides and other chemicals. This is a bipartisan issue that I’ve been working on since I’ve been in Congress. Our public land is being abused and held hostage by armed drug traffickers, and we need to be able to enjoy our federal public lands without fear of stumbling across one of these very dangerous grow sites. The environmental damage done by illegal pesticides, illegal water diversions, and killing of wildlife at these sites is immense. My bill equips law enforcement with the tools they need to eradicate this threat and begin the cleanup.”
Congressman Doug LaMalfa is a lifelong farmer representing California’s First Congressional District, including Butte, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and Tehama Counties.