Yuba County has declared a state of emergency because of all of the illegal pot grows in the area.
On Thursday the supervisors voted unanimously on the issue, saying there are so many illegal grows that it's basically a free for all right now and they just can't keep up.
Randy Fletcher is now the District 5 supervisor in Yuba County, but he used to be a lieutenant with the Yuba City Police Department, so he's very familiar with the marijuana debate.
“Is it legal? Not legal? Should it be enforced? How do you enforce it? The ramifications of marijuana?” he asked.
But, he says that's not really the issue here. It's not about whether you're in favor or against it, it's about the environment and the potential danger these massive, illegal grows bring to the community.
He says many of the growers use illegal chemicals.
“Taking an illegal product and putting it onto an illegal grow, that then leaves us with, once they take their crop, who cleans up the mess? And that mess leaves us in Yuba County with EPA issues, with a toxic dump site.”
He says the byproducts left in the soil often end up in the creeks, which is bad news for both the land and wildlife like fish and frogs.
That's why on Thursday, the board of supervisors voted 5-0 to declare a state of emergency in the county.
“We're inundated, we have too many that we can't enforce. So we need support from either federal, EPA, fish or wildlife, code enforcement,” he said.
He says when prop 64 was passed, legislators were just looking at how they can make money off of this, and did not take in to account these other problems, which is why they're trying to bring this to the public's attention.
“Does it mean we'll never have the door open to grow? No. It means today we have a problem and we need to address that problem.”
The state of emergency declaration lasts for a month, but they can renew it after reassessing when it comes time.
Fletcher also said other counties have these exact problems, and he’s been making calls asking if some of these counties would want to participate in a rally on the steps of the state capitol on January 2nd.
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