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Residents Concerned Pot Grows are Impacting Water Supply

Reported by : Bryan Callahan
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Updated: 7/10/2013 5:54 pm
A test this morning showed the ground water levels in the community of Rancho Tehama have dropped some 30 feet in the last six months and residents of the community are placing the blame on medical marijuana grows they say started popping up this spring.
"They are coming by and filling up 300 gallon tanks and draining our aquifer," Rancho Tehama resident Karis Pierce said.

Karis Pierce is fed up with marijuana grows in the community of Rancho Tehama.
She's lived in the community with her husband for the past decade and says just recently her well has been running dry.

"Basically the water in the little hose will go down and back up and I have to turn it off because I have to let the reservoir fill," Pierce said.

Pierce says the gardens have also created blight on the community as growers constructed large fences that violate the homeowners’ association bylaws.
Along with several other members of the community's advisory committee Pierce has been monitoring the grows this spring and notifying the sheriff's department of locations they believe are violating the marijuana ordinance.

"They will plant their plants and illegally pump water with their generators," Pierce said.

So far the Tehama Interagency Drug Enforcement team has received more than 250 complaints from members of the community.
The commander of the teams tells action news now they have been checking as many of the homes as possible over the last six weeks and have already issued 30 abatement notices and served six search warrants on possible criminal grow sites.
Pierce says she is happy with the response from the sheriff and just hopes it continues.

"We are not against anyone growing medical marijuana, we are only against the massive invasion,” Pierce said.

The homeowners association is also working to change some of its rules in an effort to eliminate their grows, but the manager says it can be hard to punish violators because they have not had a fine system in place for several years due to a court ruling.

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