Yuba County Board of Supervisors Argue Pot Grows in the Area are Harmful to the Environment

SACRAMENTO -- Lines were out the door in Sacramento as Californians queued to buy their first legal, recreational pot but just down the street at the Capitol, a crowd forms with an entirely different take on cannabis in California.

"We cannot handle the situation," said Yuba County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Fletcher.

Fletcher is at the Capitol to declare an emergency. He's worried the perception among pot shoppers is now that the industry is legal, it is also thoroughly regulated.

"That is what they're thinking. The problem is, that's not reality. The reality is in rural counties, and we have a problem," Fletcher said.

Marijuana isn't the only controlled substance at a marijuana grow -- there's fertilizers, fuel and water.

At illegal marijuana grows there are no safeguards keeping that stuff from doing environmental damage -- even at indoors grows.

"We had a house next door that was growing, and we had a lot of problems with it," Olihurst resident Jennifer Hansis said.

Fletcher says the illegal grow industry will itself keep growing, despite California's new regulatory structure.

In Yuba County, sheriffs deputies destroyed 29,000 illegal pot plants last year.

In Calaveras County, it was 100,000.

But so far, none of those grow sites have been cleaned up.

Fletcher says the counties can't afford to do it so he's calling on the state and federal governments to help.

Even though the marijuana industry is nervous about the federal government, Fleter says he isnt worried about any backlash.

"Not at all. The backlash the community should be worried about is, are they going to do anything. We can't just bury our heads in the sand and say it'll take care of itself," Fletcher explained.