There is nothing much more urban than the sight of a garbage truck making its rounds. But what about a garbage truck full of pot?
“Our narcotics team served search warrants at three locations this morning; ran into three marijuana grows. They’re all separate,” said Sgt. Jamin Martinez of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
More and more regulation of the marijuana trade in California is focusing on farmers, not dispensaries.
That as more and more, from above, police helicopters see fields of pot cropping-up in the patchwork of backyards that make up our urban neighborhoods.
For police, the problem isn’t finding the pot the – problem is figuring out whether that pot is being legally grown or not.
With medical cards and co-ops common, backyard pot grows are often a gray area.
“There’s a lot of them. Determining which ones are legal and which ones are illegal, a good portion of our time is spent doing that,” Martinez said.
But pot laws are only part of the picture. With illegal grow operations come all kinds of other crimes: gang involvement is common, and so are guns and utilities illegally tapped to nourish the crop.
“Typical with marijuana grows we find a lot of weapons. There were nine at the earlier location,” said Martinez. “With that location this morning there was electricity being stolen, which is a huge safety concern”