MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) — The Marin County Sheriff’s Office began this year’s outdoor marijuana eradication efforts within the county Thursday morning by destroying nearly 13,000 young plants, a sheriff’s lieutenant said.

The plants were found at five sites on the east slope of Bolinas Ridge that borders Kent Lake, Lt. Barry Heying said.

The Marin Municipal Water District, National Park Service, California Department of Justice and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration also participated in the eradication effort between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The pot garden raiders also found living areas with lean-to tents, garbage and pesticides at the grow sites. No one was present in the camps and there were no arrests, Heying said.

The sheriff’s office has been monitoring two-dozen known grow sites in the area since 2006, Heying said.

This year, rather than wait until the plants were grown, 12,900 immature plants without marijuana buds were cut so they could not be planted again, saving the cost and effort of hauling them out by helicopter, Heying said.

The growers seemed intent to keep the gardens small and spread out as more than one site was tended from one campsite, Heying said. There were also several small grows with only 10 plants, Heying said.

The illicit and clandestine marijuana gardens have typically been found in the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed, Heying said.

Heying said the growers have little regard for public safety or concern for ecological damages they create.

“These types of criminal enterprises result in erosion damage created by the clear-cutting of indigenous plants as well as hazardous trash left behind by the lawless operators,” Heying said.

Dangerous chemicals used by the growers also seep into the watershed and create additional hazards, Heying said.

“Increasingly, citizens and visitors are becoming afraid to use public parks due to these individuals invading public lands,” Heying said.

In 2009, the California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting seized 4.5 million marijuana plants in the state.

Mendocino, Lake and Sonoma counties are typically among the top 10 counties where the seizures occur. Marin County was not among the top 40 counties in 2009.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

Comments (11)
  1. James Greybush says:

    RIP little plants. you will be missed.

  2. mechanic says:

    Find the growers, and “destroy” them too! Many of us are getting sick and tired of all this pot-head support system being allowed to exist at all. I’ve got my flame-proof suit on; so all you adle-brained pot-heads and so-called “medical needs” addicts let’s hear your rants.

    1. ibetthemechanicdrinks says:

      let’s all drunk alcohol instead, cause it’s legal, vomit and drive into tree!

      1. mechanic says:

        I believe that a “clean and sober” life is the only rewarding way to live and enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. Alcohol is just as bad, or worse than many drugs.
        If you were not so “loaded” with either one; maybe you could learn to spell as well.

    2. James Greybush says:

      You are incredible! advocating violence against marijuana growers, then telling people to use the legal form of the drug instead of smoking it.

  3. prohibitionist says:

    Destroy one grove, and another will pop up where there is lax enforcement.

  4. miguel-e says:

    With all the budget deficit and cutting fundings for needed programs why not sell them to the “medical cannabis” dispensaries in SF, SJ or Oakland and repay the billions wasted in the last forty yrs. trying to erradicate it.
    Or legalize it and charge taxes as it’s done with regular cigarrets.

  5. Storm Crow says:

    Mechanic, have you ever heard of WebMD? These are titles from WebMD.

    “Marijuana’s Active Ingredient Targets Deadly Brain Cancer”

    “Marijuana Ingredients Slow Invasion by Cervical and Lung Cancer Cells”

    “Marijuana Unlikely to Cause Head, Neck, or Lung Cancer”

    “Marijuana May Fight Lung Tumors”

    “Marijuana Ingredient May Cut Fibromyalgia Pain”

    “Marijuana Chemical Fights Hardened Arteries”

    “Chemicals in Marijuana May Fight MRSA”

    “Pot-Based Drug Promising for Arthritis”

    “Cannabis Relieves Multiple Sclerosis Pain”

    “Heavy Marijuana Use Doesn’t Damage Brain”

    “Marijuana Smoking Doesn’t Kill”

    “Teen Pot Smoking Won’t Lead to Other Drugs as Adults”

    “Marijuana May Slow Alzheimer’s”

    I am going to quote the first 2 sentences of that last one.

    “THC, the key compound in marijuana, may also be the key to new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease. That’s because the marijuana compound blocks the formation of brain-clogging Alzheimer’s plaques better than current Alzheimer’s drugs.”

    Because the marijuana compound blocks the formation of brain-clogging Alzheimer’s plaques BETTER than current Alzheimer’s drugs. And what cannabis can do for diabetes, breast cancer and many other conditions, is nothing less than amazing!

    I don’t need to rant- I have medical facts on my side! I have a challenge for you, mechanic! Run a single search for “Granny Storm Crow”s MMJ Reference list”, and just read the titles! Will you DARE to face the medical facts? Or will you continue living with a “Flat Earth” mentality? EDUCATE YOURSELF!

    1. mechanic says:

      The “medical” help that THC can provide, can be easily taken in pill form instead of smoking a (highly toxic) piece of grass into your poor lungs! All those so-called facts; are mostly put out there by the proponents who are making a “killing” with their stupid “doper logic”. The earth is not flat, so start “revolving”, and educate yourself on the real harms that this rotten weed can induce.

  6. Kaff says:

    marijuana has made me stupid n slow..
    fuk the so call facts
    and is highly addictive

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