Budget Cuts Endanger State’s Eradication Program
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Budget Cuts Endanger State’s Eradication Program
Posted by CN Staff on July 29, 2011 at 19:25:50 PT
By Zusha Elinson
Source: New York Times
California -- On Wednesday, a helicopter buzzed over the rugged hills of Mendocino National Forest and lowered five narcotics agents dressed in green fatigues and armed with guns, clippers and machetes. Under the bright blue sky, the crew began to cut down thousands of marijuana plants that were flourishing with the help of an irrigation system in a remote section of the forest in Tehama County. It was, in short, a typical summer day in California.
For the past 28 years, the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting has been a predictable rite of summer. Run by the California attorney general and financed in part by the federal government, it deploys “eradicators” to aide sheriffs and park rangers in trimming the state’s huge marijuana crop. Crews have cut down more than 20 million plants over the years, including 4.3 million last year. But this may be CAMP’s last summer. The state budget signed by Gov. Jerry Brown last month eliminates its financing as part of the widespread cuts to programs in law enforcement, courts and social services. “At this point I don’t think we know what would happen to CAMP next year,” said Lynda Gledhill, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Kamala Harris. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has vowed to keep financing its part of the program, but since CAMP is operated by the state, the state’s money appears crucial for it to continue. CAMP’s 2010 operations cost taxpayers more than $3 million. The state contributed $1 million, and the D.E.A. contributed $1.6 million. The state budget for 2012 cuts $71 million from the Division of Law Enforcement, including the narcotics bureau. In the program’s early years, CAMP agents were known to buzz backyards in their helicopters and all but lay siege to some North Coast communities. Over the years, though, the focus has shifted to state, county and federal parks, which Mexican drug cartels and other large-scale growers have found to be excellent locations for illicit farms, the authorities say. With CAMP now functioning more as a tool for protecting public lands from the depredations of large-scale marijuana farms, its potential disappearance, which a decade ago might have been widely celebrated on the North Coast, is instead raising alarms in many quarters. William Ruzzamenti, the director of the Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, said growers could return to the parks in full force. “We’ve really pounded these folks who are growing on public lands, and CAMP has been our chief hammer in doing that,” said Mr. Ruzzamenti, a former D.E.A. agent. “If they do go away, I can see these folks flooding back into the parks.” The concern is especially acute because the parks are facing the same budget crisis; the state is set to close 70 parks and reduce staffing in many others. “These marijuana gardens produce huge amounts of environmental problems,” said Roy Stearns, a spokesman for the California Department of Parks and Recreation. “They’ve chopped down all kinds of trees and brush, causing erosion. They’ve introduced fertilizers and other chemicals that drain into watersheds.” During Wednesday’s raid, agents found marijuana growing with an irrigation system that used water from a nearby stream. A bluish rodent poison was sprinkled at the base of the five-foot-high plants. As is often the case in CAMP raids, the laborers maintaining the gardens had fled, leaving a campsite. Sleeping bags, a tortilla press, Spanish agriculture magazines and work boots were on the ground. A religious candle with an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe sat in a tree. Next to it was a cross fashioned of twigs — and enlaced with marijuana buds. As of Wednesday, the Medocino National Forest operation, part of larger effort by local, state and federal agencies, had produced 88 arrests and eliminated 373,000 plants. CAMP operates all over the state. Last week, a crew of 16 descended on the 3,688-acre Mount Madonna County Park near Gilroy and cut down 5,000 to 10,000 marijuana plants growing on steep hillsides and remote ridges. Law enforcement officials have deemed CAMP a cost-effective means of destroying marijuana plants. But even cutting down millions of plants in a year is just a trim. Mr. Ruzzamenti said he believed that law enforcement eradicated around 10 percent of the crop every year. “It’s our belief that California is the leading producer of marijuana consumed in the United States — more than any other source, including Mexico,” Mr. Ruzzamenti said. “I can’t believe I’m saying it.” Although marijuana gardens are normally in remote areas of the parks, Mr. Stearns of the parks department said unsuspecting hikers could stumble into dangerous situations. In 4,020-acre Sugarloaf Ridge State Park near Santa Rosa, he said, agents found a “rifle set up with a trip wire” protecting a garden. Sugarloaf is one of the state parks that will be closed. Mr. Stearns said the parks department had not decided whether to lock the gates on the shuttered parks or keep them open so people can use them and report suspicious behavior. “It’ll be tougher,” he said, “but we don’t want to give up this public ground to those who want to abuse it.” The state’s advocates for legalizing marijuana say that the problem confronted by CAMP would not exist if marijuana were taxed and regulated like alcohol. “Today, I assure you that Mexican drug cartels are not planting illegal vineyards in state parks to compete with Robert Mondavi,” said Jim Gray, a retired Orange County Superior Court judge who is supporting the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine initiative that he hopes will be on the 2012 ballot. Dale Gieringer, California coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, said he had been inspired to join Norml because of the CAMP program in the 1980s. “I just thought it was outrageous that they should disrupt the peace of the wilderness with these military helicopters to destroy a plant that has been around since the dawn of mankind,” Mr. Gieringer said. Although he said he supported spending less money on marijuana eradication, Mr. Gieringer also said CAMP had since reformed its “cowboy” image and “invasive” tactics, focusing more on large-scale gardens on public lands. Meanwhile, many North Coast cultivators have shifted to small-scale, high-quality growing operations that serve the quasi-legal medical marijuana market, and therefore are less affected by CAMP eradication efforts. Some will even admit privately that they appreciate CAMP’s elimination of low-cost competition. In the national forest, Brett McAndrews, a state narcotics agent, was leading the CAMP team. Sporting a baseball cap embroidered with a helicopter superimposed over a marijuana leaf, Mr. McAndrews used a pair of green loppers to cut down the marijuana plants. When asked if he thought it was making a difference, he said, “I think it does.” The plants will eventually be shredded or buried, he said. His crew bundled up the plants, which were carried away by a helicopter, leaving stray marijuana leaves blowing in the wind. A version of this article appeared in print on July 29, 2011, on page A17A of the National edition with the headline: Budget Cuts Endanger State’s Marijuana Eradication Program.Source: New York Times (NY)Author: Zusha ElinsonPublished: July 29, 2011Copyright: 2011 The New York Times CompanyContact: letters nytimes.comWebsite:  -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #19 posted by cannamed on August 22, 2011 at 13:04:53 PT:
              Licensing Program                  June 14, 2011It has come to the attention of the California Medical Board that there are a wide variety of Medical Marijuana Evaluation clinics that are operating in an UNLICENSED capacity, which is clear violation of State of California Law, and is an offense punishable by CRIMINAL PROSECUTION, FINES, INCARCERATION and LOSS OF ALL CA MEDICAL LICENSES. The State of California Medical Board is currently investigating all UNLICENSED and ILLEGAL Medical Marijuana Clinics who are issuing Marijuana Recommendations to patients in violation of California Law. The law clearly states that not only is the physician required to have their medical license RENEWED and CURRENT, but the clinic where patients are being seen is also required to have RENEWED and CURRENT Factious Name Permit.As a matter if California Law it is your legal obligation to educate your volunteers and your patients and to ensure that the medical marijuana clinic where they receive their recommendations:	1. Are Operating LEGALLY;
	2. Are LICENSED to practice medicine in the State of California by evidencing a RENEWED and 	  CURRENT Factious Name Permit License Number,
	3. Are in compliance with State of California Medical Board rules and regulations as well as in 	 	  compliance with California Law.ONLY A LICENSED CALIFORNIAPHYSICIAN can own, control and operate a medical clinic (I.e., practice). It is against California Law, for LAY PEOPLE (I.e. unlicensed persons) to operate, own, control, a medical clinic. The law clearly states that the medical clinic must be organized as a Professional California Corporation which can only be obtained from the State of California by a Licensed physician.If a LAY PERSON (I.e., unlicensed person) is known to or represents that they own, control and/or operate a medical practice, they will be CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED to the fullest extent of California Law. It is Your LEGAL OBLIGATION to Verify EVERY Medical Marijuana Clinic:
As required by California Law Proposition 215 & SB 420 it is your legal duty to VERIFY every recommendation for every patient prior to allowing that patient entry into your dispensary. If a patient DOES NOT have a valid recommendation, they CANNOT enter and obtain medication. It is your LEGAL OBLIGATION and LEGAL RESPONSIBLITY to VERIFY every Medical Marijuana Clinic to make sure that they are LICENSED and operating LEGALLY in order to protect patients and to ensure that ILLEGAL Medical Marijuana Clinics STOP OPERATING and stop endangering the lives and health of patients who seek medical help for their medical problems and believe that they are visiting a LEGAL and LICENSED medical marijuana clinic. 
STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY - Department of Consumer Affairs	         EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr., Governor	       MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA                        
Licensing ProgramJune 14, 2011
___________________________________________________________________________HOW TO VERIFY IF A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLINIC IS LICENSED 
TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA1. When does a Medical Marijuana Clinic need a fictitious name permit?	A. If you are a LICENSED PHYSICIAN and SURGEON, practicing under a fictitious, false or assumed name in any public communication, advertisement, sign or announcement. 
Example: ìABC Evaluation Centerî.2. How do I Verify a Medical Marijuana Clinic to Make Sure They Are Legally Licensed to Practice Medicine in the State of California?	A. Please visit:	B. Then please click on the LICENSEES TAB on top or go to:	C. On the left side (Quick Links) please click on Fictitious Name Permit or go to:	D. Click on Name Search for Fictitious Name Permit:	E. Enter the EXACT NAME of the Medical Marijuana Clinic as advertised in the Business Name 	 	   	  field to search for a valid Fictitious Name Permit, meaning that the FNP Permit is (I.e., License 		   	  Renewed & Current); Example: ìABC Evaluation Centerî.		I. If your search reveals the EXACT NAME of ABC Evaluation Center as advertised by 			  	  the Medical Marijuana Clinic and the FNP licensed in RENEWED and CURRENT, 		         	         this constitutes a LEGAL MEDICAL MARIJUANA CLINIC;		Ii. If your search DOES NOT reveal the EXACT NAME as advertised of ABC 		  		  	  Evaluation Center and NO RECORDS RETURNED is the result and ABC 	 		         		  Evaluations Center DOES NOT have a FNP License Renewed & Current, that means 	  		  	  that this medical practice is OPERATING ILLEGALLY and in clear VIOLATION 		         	         of California Law and California Medical Board Rules and Regulations;  		Iii. Such ILLEGAL and UNLICENSED medical clinics marijuana clinics will be 	 	         	          INVESTIGATED and CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED to the fullest extent of the 	  	         	 	   law; 	       Iv. Furthermore, ALL recommendations that are issued by ILLEGAL and 		  	         		   UNLICENSED medical marijuana clinics will be REVOKED without notice.  In closing, recommendations issued by UNLICENSED/ILLEGAL medical marijuana clinics are INVALID and will be REVOKED. It is estimated that over 100,000 patients in the State of California have been issued recommendations by ILLEGAL and UNLICENSED medical marijuana clinics. For further questions, call the State of California Medical Board Licensing Program at (916) 263- 2382 or (800) 633-2322. STATE AND CONSUMER SERVICES AGENCY - Department of Consumer Affairs  EDMUND G. BROWN, Jr., Governor MEDICAL BOARD OF CALIFORNIA                        
 Licensing Program   
June 11, 2011
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on August 08, 2011 at 21:44:49 PT
Heck yeah!
"In the national forest, Brett McAndrews, a state narcotics agent, was leading the CAMP team. Sporting a baseball cap embroidered with a helicopter superimposed over a marijuana leaf, McAndrews used a pair of green loppers to cut down the marijuana plants. When asked if he thought it was making a difference, he said, “I think it does.”
Source: The Bay Citizen (, McAndrews wouldn't have had that "Cool" marijuana/helicopter cap... for "Free"! He wouldn't have the "Coolest" job on earth where he got paid really good money to rappel from helicopters (with other "Cool" guys) into the forest, and have guns, and insurance and do other exciting, cool, fun stuff! Heck yeah it's making a difference! 
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on August 08, 2011 at 20:24:02 PT
Budget Cuts Endanger State’s Eradication Program
Kaptinemo was so right. Years ago... when he predicted this prohibition wouldn't end because it was the right thing to do. It would end because they/we, the government, no longer could afford it.I'm so sad that he was right. I hoped he wouldn't be, but I knew he likely was... as he very often, if not always, is.I hoped better of people.But I'm glad it's drawing to a close, though. Finally. For whatever reason. Because it is the right thing to do. These drastic financial downturns always follow major ... and expensive... very expensive... government prohibitions. Don't they? Someone, maybe Kaptinemo, maybe someone else, explained why on these forums once some time back.
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Comment #16 posted by Hope on August 08, 2011 at 19:58:27 PT
Remember when the media was vicious and completely, totally biased? It never ... ever... ever... told the other side of the story. Montel was pretty vicious himself. Sad to say.Be careful how vicious you feel about stuff. You never know when you're going to be proven wrong.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on August 05, 2011 at 20:07:40 PT
Thank you. I didn't see it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by ekim on August 05, 2011 at 07:03:42 PT
Montel was on Freedom Watch on Fox last nite
Montel showed the famous tin that holds 300 gov't rolled cannabis smokes. Told how the Gov't has been sending out tins like that for over 30 years once a month to a small group of sick people in the USA.
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Comment #13 posted by ekim on August 04, 2011 at 17:23:51 PT
look forward to the music -need job ideas also
We should give close attention to those that are forcasting the need for different crops as change in growing seasons approach.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by FoM on August 04, 2011 at 16:37:34 PT
I always look forward to Farm-Aid. It's such a great event for a very important cause.Neil Young - Ohio (Live at Farm Aid 25)
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Comment #11 posted by ekim on August 04, 2011 at 11:17:59 PT
Farm Aid 2011
Farm Aid 2011 will be in Kansas City, Kansas, at the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park on August 13.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by ekim on August 01, 2011 at 12:18:48 PT
Gov Brown please do research on Hemp jobs
 NREL to see about a study on how many gals of ethanol can be made using hemp as a feedstock.
History Ch has shown NREL using switchgrass and made over 1000 gals of ethanol per acrethe second story shows China growing its hemp cloth industry woth billions back 10 years ago what are we doing here in the USAwe need jobs and fuels to get us off improtsck out the lack of Hemp storys in this year 2011 and only 2 storys listed in all of 2010 on this web site. Laboratory's two R&D 100 Awards for 2004 are for an innovative, lower-cost method for transforming plant material into the sugars that can be used to make fuels and chemicals, and a thin-film solar cell that produces electricity directly from sunlight, which has greater efficiency, and is lighter weight and more flexible than previous devices. This year's announcement brings to 37 the number of R&D 100 Awards garnered by NREL.Golden, Colo. world fashion increasingly moves toward simplicity, comfort and health protection, experts point out that hemp, a major economic crop in China, could have great market prospects after the nation's entry into the World Trade Organization. Xia Jingyuan, a senior official with the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture in charge of the extension of agricultural technology, said that the annual output of Chinese linen is worth over 10 billion yuan (about 1.2 billion US dollars). 
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on August 01, 2011 at 02:44:57 PT
When it comes to eradicating!
The eradication of the eradicating program should not be eradicated but implicated radically and soon!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 30, 2011 at 12:38:03 PT
Northern California Pot Raids
Northern California Pot Raids Net 100 Arrests, 469,000 PlantsJuly 30, 2011URL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on July 30, 2011 at 10:15:16 PT
It's nice to see you. Articles that have a bit too long URL won't work unless they are pasted in a comment like this.
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Comment #6 posted by Graehstone on July 30, 2011 at 08:20:08 PT
Well crud ... thought I had it worked out ... guess not, scroll down a bit there at the link to find the story.  Sorry for the mess, if someone can fix it, please do and many thanks,  Hugs
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Comment #5 posted by Graehstone on July 30, 2011 at 08:17:03 PT
Children of the Cannabis Trade
Thought this was rather interesting and wanted to share.
An investigation into how Vietnamese children trafficked to work in the UK's cannabis trade are prosecuted as criminals.
Children of the Cannabis Trade
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on July 30, 2011 at 06:45:43 PT
Now this is a headline!!
Brown Chops Down Marijuana Eradication ProgramState eliminates money for agents who remove pot plants from parks
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on July 30, 2011 at 05:05:01 PT
endangered? government bloat is like an endangered species to the NY Times isn't it? the headline is absurd, it should say"Drug war spending drives California economy toward bankruptcy"
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on July 30, 2011 at 03:13:53 PT
When asked if CAMP is making a difference,
he didn't say, I have put three kids through college. Provided them each with a new ["RICCO'd] car as well as my wife. With asset-forfeiture bonuses+overtime+trips to exotic places for "drug seminars", CAMP been veddy goot to me!Afterward we all meet for beer and pizza at Pizza Hut. Chopping down millions of plants equal saving millions of dollars in profits for the corporate masters whom I really am working for.Now those bastards want to take all this away from us! My kids had plans to join CAMP and rip off the public like dear old dad! Now what...get a job? California is going to hell in a hemp basket!
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on July 29, 2011 at 21:33:00 PT
"When asked if he thought it was making a differen
ce, he said, “I think it does.”"Yeah, it keeps black market prices and cartel profits high!Way to go Mr. Brett McAndrews, you keep doing the same since the 80's but somehow (like a true idiot) expect different results? I guess it is hard to understand if your JOB depends on it?!The sheer stupidity of it all, and for what? To protect us from ourselves, duh!
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