U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag says, "Operation full court press is critically important. An operation that will help bring an end to the illegal marijuana growth sites on public land in California." And they have done just that. Over the past two weeks, Operation Full Court Press, has seized over 460-thousand marijuana plants, raided 56 grow sites, and made a total of 102 arrests..
"It's going to be very important that we take back our public land, identify and prosecute those folks who are responsible," Congressman Mike Thompson says.
The task force is made up of various state and federal agencies, in a collaboration to raid marijuana gardens in the Mendocino National Forest. On top of just seizing the illegal grows, Forest Service officials say they are also finding illegal alterations to the natural landscape, like drip irrigation lines, which can have a devastating impact on the environment. "It pollutes our streams, puts our wildlife in danger. Most of all makes it unsafe for us to enjoy the public land that we tax payers pay for," says NCHIDTA Director Ron Brooks.
Weston Mickey, a member of the medical marijuana community, says he completely supports law enforcement efforts to eradicate the marijuana black market. "Nobody in the medical marijuana community endorses or supports anything of these cartels that go into our national forest and poison our land." He also thinks the only way they will be able to stop further illegal grows is to quote 'end prohibition itself and legalize adult recreational use of marijuana..'
But Sheriff Tom Allman says they will continue this operation year after year, working to eradicate illegal marijuana growth on public land. "This is not a one time event. Sheriff's office is going to be working with the other five sheriff's office for 2012 and 2013 to make sure that the progress that was made this year is going to be carried on." The operation is scheduled to conclude August fifth.