Humboldt County is seeking more aid from CAMP as the policy shift announced by the board of supervisors. The county has been struggling to balance its budget, with officials looking for new ways to generate revenue.
The 4h online record book is a new policy in Humboldt County that seeks to eliminate the need for paper records.
In 2021, a state-led initiative removed 76,500 plants in the area.
After collecting roughly 1.2 million illegally produced cannabis plants in 2021, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a change in the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting’s future activities. Bonta ordered the Justice Department to undertake a six-month evaluation of CAMP “in light of developments in the law since the program’s inception,” with the purpose of concentrating efforts on environmental degradation, labor exploitation, and economic repercussions connected with illicit cannabis growing. (Screenshot)
In 2021, the California Department of Justice’s annual Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program, often known as CAMP, wiped out about 1.2 million illegally produced cannabis plants and collected more than 180,000 pounds of unlawfully processed cannabis.
The multi-agency initiative performed 491 operations on both private and public properties in 26 California counties over the course of the 13-week eradication season. CAMP crews seized 165 firearms and removed nearly 67,000 pounds of agricultural infrastructure, which included dams, water lines, and poisonous chemical canisters.
Authorities in Humboldt County destroyed 74,669 cannabis plants from 26 unlawful locations, making it one of the state’s top five greatest outputs. Mendocino, Trinity, Humboldt, and Lake counties came in second and third, respectively, with 509,453 plants eliminated from 135 locations.
CAMP only supplied extra resources to Humboldt County over a period of 2-3 weeks, according to Sheriff William Honsal. Honsal said the Sheriff’s Marijuana Enforcement Team “eradicated over 442,000 cannabis plants, seized and destroyed over 38,000 pounds of processed cannabis, served search warrants at 97 illegal cultivation sites, and identified over 500 environmental violations” between January and mid-August this year.
A law enforcement officer puts newly cut cannabis plants onto a trailer to be burned. (Contributed by the Department of Justice)
“Although California’s legal cannabis industry is expanding, there is still a booming illicit sector in our county that is responsible for environmental harm, water theft, labor trafficking, and organized crime,” Honsal said in an interview with the Times-Standard on Wednesday. “Humboldt County appreciates the increased personnel and resources that CAMP provides.”
At a press conference on Monday, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced a change in CAMP’s future operations and directed the Department of Justice to conduct a six-month review of the program “in light of changes in the law since the program was first initiated,” with the goal of focusing efforts on environmental degradation, labor exploitation, and economic impacts associated with illegal cannabis cultivation.
“Since the CAMP program began in 1983, a lot has happened. Growing marijuana might have landed you in prison for decades back then. It will be legal in California in 2021 if you follow the requirements. “The CAMP program has developed over time, just as our laws have,” Bonta said. “… CAMP is doing fantastic work, and it must and will continue into the 2022 season and beyond. If we want to progress toward a safe and regulated market in California, we’ll have to attack it from every angle.”
Karen Mouritsen, the Bureau of Land Management’s state director, highlighted her support for CAMP, saying that “protecting public lands and maintaining public safety” is her first concern.
“CAMP’s joint law enforcement efforts provide the BLM with an opportunity to build a stronger and more effective relationship with all of the state and local partners who participate in this effort, both against illegal marijuana cultivation and for all of our management efforts on public lands,” she said during the announcement on Monday. “As the Attorney General said, illegal marijuana production on public property causes significant harm to plant and animal habitats, presents a threat to tourists, and pollutes sensitive regions with toxic chemicals.”
Honsal emphasized the need of enhanced coordination between municipal and state officials in the future.
“I would urge the state to extend the program to embed state resources with our local teams,” he added, “since our local teams are able to identify and direct state resources to attack the county’s worst offenders.” “We also recommend the state to keep using the CAMP program to help counties clear up trespass grows on state, federal, private, and tribal properties,” says the group.
The Attorney General’s declaration comes less than a month after state Senator Mike McGuire announced a $1.5 million financing scheme to tackle violent crime and environmental degradation linked to “the worst of the worst” illegal cannabis grow facilities in the Emerald Triangle. Over the next 12 months, the state-allocated grant funding will be utilized to assist and strengthen law enforcement in distant Humboldt, Mendocino, and Trinity counties.
During the Sept. 29 announcement, McGuire said, “Our aim is simple but critical: keep our community safe, preserve our environment, and protect our watersheds.” “This is going to be a team effort.”