Tehama County using air surveillance to spot illegal pot grows

Sep 9, 2015 7:51 PM by News Staff

It has been a busy marijuana growing season for Tehama County Code Enforcement Officers, and in the second year of operations, they’ve added aerial patrols to the mix.

The county is the first in the North State to use aerial surveillance to enforce its marijuana ordinance, and officials say the program is off to a strong start. With more than three months left in 2015, code enforcement has already posted 360 pot grows for being out of compliance.

Last year, they tagged 270 sites and officials say the increase is due in large part to the aerial patrols.

Two code enforcement officers and two sheriff’s deputies are assigned to the program, which started in June.

Under the ordinance, growers can have up to 12 plants in an enclosed outbuilding, but can’t be within 1,000 feet of a school or place of worship.

Those that fail to comply are given a chance to get their grow within compliance, and if they continue noncompliance they can be fined up to $1,000 a day. If the fines aren’t paid within 90 days, code enforcement can place the fines on a tax roll as a lien on the property.

Code Enforcement officers say that just because growing season is over, another unseasonably warm and dry winter would give growers the chance to replant.


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