Residents Voice Concern Over Illegal Pot Grows in Yuba County

MARYSVILLE -- One by one, more than a dozen people took to the microphone Tuesday morning at the Yuba County Board of Supervisors meeting, voicing their concerns about illegal marijuana farms popping up in their community.

"We're the ones that suffer the consequences. We have areas where they move in and they can hide," said Buck Weckman, who has been living in the area for 30 years.

Weckman and his wife, Colene, presented a draft ordinance that would declare a state of emergency in Yuba County.

"It is very difficult for the sheriff to enforce the laws, particularly with this influx of criminals," Weckman said.

This meeting comes just one week after two Yuba County deputies were shot responding to a call at an illegal marijuana grow in Oregon House. The farm is operated by a Rastafarian church in Sacramento.

In the county, property owners can grow up to six plants inside their homes. Outdoor growing is not allowed.

But you wouldn't know it by looking at the Google images shared at the meeting -- picture after picture showed large marijuana operations throughout the county.

"I feel hopeless. No one is helping us with this. We need help," one resident at the meeting said.

In the end, the board chose not to vote on a state of emergency, but rather agreed to have a discussion on how to find the sheriff's department more money to investigate the illegal grows.

Yuba County Code Enforcement Manager Jeremy Strang says his office is working hard to field every complaint they receive.

"With things going on in Yuba County, certainly code enforcement here in Yuba County, has a lot of responsibilities. Marijuana is only one of many," Strang said.

He said Tuesday's morning vote is a step in the right direction to help his department enforce the county's marijuana ordinance.

"The board is providing direction today, you were in the room. It appears the board is doing everything in their power to stop this from occurring," Strang said.