Another year, another fleet of helicopters hovering overhead and federal agents tramping through publicly owned woods in search of illegal marijuana plots and the (Mexican) people who grow them.
In 2011, there was Operation Full Court Press; in 2012, we had Operation Mountain Sweep. This year, beginning July 1, federal law enforcement officers from six different agencies seized 486,000 marijuana plants in California, and arrested “numerous” persons, according to the Justice Department. Fourteen of those people have since been indicted on charges.
This year was a big one, with White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske on hand to personally witness the haul of trash, pot plants, and firearms from National Forest lands. But it didn't happen in Mendocino, Humboldt, or anywhere else in Northern California's “Emerald Triangle” of cannabis production. Instead, Kerlikowske visited El Dorado County, in Gold Country — and thus far, no illegal marijuana growers in coastal NorCal have been prosecuted.