Deputies destroy 31,000 marijuana plants

July 4, 2010

Californians may be getting ready to debate Proposition 19, the proposed legalization of marijuana this fall, but closer to home, law enforcement isn’t debating what to do about pot growers.

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Deputies seized and destroyed approximately 31,000 mature marijuana plants Thursday after the large growing operation was discovered near the Rinconada Trail area, east of Santa Margarita, in Los Padres National Forest.

An AK-47 assault rifle was found on the site during the day-long operation. Irrigation pipe and trash littered the area.

Authorities believe that the heavy rains from last winter and spring helped to fuel such a large crop.



  1. Bert says:

    as mentioned, there is no way there were 31,000 MATURE plants. this is the beginning of July.

    (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. bobfromsanluis says:

    What is the possibility that the Sheriff’s Department made this sound really impressive by inflating some numbers, that they (the Sheriff’s Dept.) was attempting to justify their existence as a law enforcement agency, that there really wasn’t anything of substance to their “big bust”? Did they use any aircraft to discover this “farm”? How many officers were involved at what costs? Personally, I think this whole story sounds like some fantasy concocted to focus attention away from the sad case of Steve Bolts and his DUI arrest and the participation of Sheriff Hedges in having Bolts released to his “custody”. Pretty sad.

    (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
  3. Cindy says:

    31,000 mature plants! Wouldn’t you think they would have staked the site out and made some arrests?

    First there is no way these plants were mature during the last week in June. They wouldn’t be mature until the end of October or early November. Second, they claim all the winter rains probably were instrumental in such a large crop but marijuana plants aren’t planted until spring after the last frost.

    I really have to wonder if this was a crop that had been harvested last year and has regenerated itself. Not that the plants would be mature but they would have thick stalks and lots of leaf, particularly if the growers simply removed all the buds rather than hacked the plants down to the base last fall.
    I’d be curious to know what shape the AK47 was in, could it have been abandoned along with the crop that had been harvested last season?

    It doesn’t make any sense that they didn’t try to identify the gang that was growing 31,000 plants on gov lands. That would have been one heck of a hugh bust. How’d they pass that up?

    (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
  4. Clark_Culver says:

    31,000 down . . . 12,483,539 to go. Way to go, guys! You’re winning!

    Oh, wait, now its 12,529,382 to go. Man, they grow fast. Well, maybe you’ll find another . .

    Oh, man, now its 13,194,315 to go . . .

    Well, I guess you don’t need to find them all to keep making money off jailing people, eh?

    (9) 13 Total Votes - 11 up - 2 down
  5. TaxAndControl2010 says:

    Learn more about the campaign to legalize, control, and tax cannabis in California at And become a fan of the campaign on Facebook at Thanks!

    (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
    • vortex says:

      Hey, I think I saw a giant of a sign with Parkinson at the Cheech and Chong concert at Avila saying he would go light on pot growers or Medical Marijuana shops or something like that. Thought that was sort of strange. Any body get a picture of it?

      (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
      • vortex says:

        Hit post before I proof read this. The sign was of Parkinson, a big sign, at the Cheech and Chong concert making a statement of going light on pot issues. Weird place to campaign, didn’t think that was a crowd that you want to be associated with if you were in law enforcement.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • standup says:

          The sign was actually a statement by Parkinson that said basically anything to do with legal medical cannabis was not on his priority to bust, investigate, etc. He made the statement to an Americans for Safe Access member.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  6. mkaney says:

    Of course law enforcement isn’t debating what to do about pot growers, because it isn’t really interested in solving problems. Law enforcement is like a greedy abusive alcoholic father. It wants what it wants, it will beat you to get what it wants, it constantly screams about how hard it works and how much it has to put with and how ungrateful you are, it is totally unreasonable and unlikely to compromise, and in the end it will rationalize everything it did because it was trying to teach you a lesson, because it “cares” about you

    Too bad law enforcement now has ZERO credibility as far as how they describe and interpret pretty much anything they see. I would bet good money that the AK47 was a PIECE of an AK47. Nobody leaves a $1200 assault rifle lying around. As far as the litter, perhaps they should have signed up for garbage service. The law is like a dog chasing its tail. If the common good were REALLY the goal of government, then it would find ways to mitigate problems created by laws. For example, you could report illegal income on a tax return without the risk that that particular admission would be used to initiate an investigation. Or you could sign up for trash service as a grow site or toxic waste removal at a meth lab with the same conditions. What about providing a ‘daycare’-like opportunity for parents who chose to participate in high risk activities. What do you think would cost more, the service, or the the cost of the judges, social services people, long-term care of state-seized children, and eventual costs resulting from a child who grew up with NO parents at ALL.

    That wouldn’t make for good drama though. And you have to have drama to sell those law enforcement serives. Unfortunately people’s desire to do things for the common good has simply been used to manipulate them and feed the ever-growing beast. Then it uses the problems it creates to show what a scourage the original activity has become.

    (6) 18 Total Votes - 12 up - 6 down
    • asthecrowphlies says:

      your first paragraph deserves a pulitzer thank you .

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
    • RUserious says:

      This comment does not even make sense. Alright genius first clue an AK 47 does not cost $1200 dollars on the street. that would be retail in a state smart enough to let their citizens arm themselves. black market try $400.00 genius.

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
      • mkaney says:

        I wouldn’t know. I buy my firearms legally, through a properly licensed dealer, submitting to the required waiting period. And when writing publicly I always try to inflate my points into melodromatic scenes by exagerating details out of context, oh and of course I always use the highest street/retail price for the smallest possible unit of measure, even if I’m talking about a massive quantity. Isn’t that the way you’re supposed to do it? I’m just following my role models in state, local and federal government.

        And hey, sarcasm aside… Just because something does not make sense to you does not mean that the writer is an idiot. It oculd be that I articulated it poorly. Or maybe it just doesn’t make sense to *you*. So contrary to your initial instinct, is there ever a possibility that there might be something new to learn or different to understand in such a situation? Because I would be happy to explain the concepts of paradox, unintended consequences, and moral hazard to you or anyone else at any time so that I might communicate more clearly. Which is, after all, my goal. ;)

        (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  7. Arniearsekicker says:

    Geez……and twinkies are Gods gift to humanity, unfortunatly they make some go ape shit and kill people, get over it dope head.

    (-14) 18 Total Votes - 2 up - 16 down
    • hotdog says:

      Overly simplistic miming of the neo con agenda. Ganga is a pure, natural substance. Twinkies are a corporate drug for mindless consumers. Of course many smoke dope to just get high, without any spiritual intent or result. But many others, including countless indigenous peoples, have used natural plant substances for age old rituals to connect with themselves and the earth they inhabit.
      Unfortunately our society responds to this issue with knee jerk reactions that defy any real common sense or compassion. Like religion, abortion, gun control and nationalism we tend to flip out when opposing views are presented, no matter how rationally or intelligently formed. Hypocrisy, ignorance and greed pervade all these issues with a passion that defies any relation to the real world.
      We now have a chance to almost legalize this natural and (when used reasonably) harmless substance. I hope the debate over the next few months is not buried in voodoo talk and scare mongering.

      (13) 25 Total Votes - 19 up - 6 down
      • BeenThereDoneThat says:

        Dog. I love the REAL hypocrisy of some of these same anti-pot people that will imbibe in alcohol but demonize pot. Give me a break.

        Pot/alcohol about the same in my book. Health wise to. Pot my hurt your lungs but booze hurts your liver. So throw that arguement out. So what is left? Two substances that chill you out in simiular ways.

        (5) 13 Total Votes - 9 up - 4 down
        • hotdog says:

          When was the last time anyone heard of someone reeling down the street, stoned on pot? When did we hear of fights, killings, spouse abuse due to pot?
          Never, on both counts. I have run into plenty of people who smoked too much, and it affected their behavior a bit, but nothing like drinking too much.
          You made the point of the irrational acceptance of booze but not pot. I wonder if we will ever get real and look at things for what they are instead of the the dysfunctional knee jerk reactions to the lies we have been fed, and the efforts of the (in this case the booze industry) lobbyists. Could be we are destined to limit our lives by our limited ability to reason.

          (11) 15 Total Votes - 13 up - 2 down
  8. Bill Harris says:

    One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to the ongoing open season on hippies, commies, and non-whites in the war on drugs. Cops get good performance reviews for shooting Phish-fans in a barrel. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

    The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. Behold, it’s all good. When Eve ate the apple, she knew a good apple, and an evil prohibition. Canadian Marc Emery was extradited to prison for helping American farmers reduce U. S. demand for Mexican pot.

    The CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) reincarnates Al Capone, endangers homeland security, and throws good money after bad. Fiscal policy burns tax dollars to root out the number-one cash crop in the land, instead of taxing sales. Society rejected the plague of prohibition, but it mutated. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment.

    Nixon passed the CSA on the false assurance that the Schafer Commission would later justify criminalizing his enemies, but he underestimated Schafer’s integrity. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA shut down research, and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use.

    The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership or an act of Congress to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. God’s children’s free exercise of religious liberty may include entheogen sacraments to mediate communion with Him.

    Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

    Common-law holds that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers undersigned that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration. Liberty is prerequisite for tracking drug-use intentions and outcomes.

    (1) 25 Total Votes - 13 up - 12 down

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