Oregon County Declares State of Emergency Due to Illegal Grows

High Times

Local leaders of a county in southern Oregon declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, saying that the illegal production of marijuana in the community is a threat to public safety. In a letter to state leaders, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners said that the proliferation of illicit cannabis farms in the area has overwhelmed local law enforcement. “Jackson County strongly requests your assistance to address this emergency,” the commissioners said in the letter to Gov. Kate Brown, state Senate President Peter Courtney, and Oregon House of Representatives Speaker Tina Kotek. The commissioners are calling for funding, manpower, and state National Guard troops to help deal with the problem of illegal marijuana cultivation in the county. Members of the board said that law enforcement, local code compliance officers, and state cannabis regulators have been overburdened by the illicit activity and warned of an “imminent threat to the public health and safety of our citizens from the illegal production of cannabis in our county.” “Since recreational marijuana was legalized by the voters of Oregon in the November 2014 general election, the illegal and unlawful production of marijuana in our county has overwhelmed the ability of our county and state regulators to enforce relevant laws in our community,” Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer said in a video press conference on Wednesday. Law Enforcement Calls for Service Spike with Legalization Advocates for legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon campaigned on assertions that cannabis reform would reduce the burden on law enforcement agencies. In Jackson County, however, local police have seen a spike in crime they say is related to illicit cannabis cultivation. “Law enforcement in Jackson County reports a 59 percent increase in calls for service associated with the marijuana industry, including burglary, theft, assault, robbery, and nuisance crimes,” Dyer said. “And there’s…

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Source : Oregon County Declares State of Emergency Due to Illegal Grows

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