No Funding for Green Harvest Till Noise Problem 

No Funding for Green Harvest Till Noise Problem 
Posted by FoM on May 06, 2000 at 08:06:06 PT
By Richard Borreca, Star-Bulletin
Source: Honolulu Star-Bulletin
Worried that continual helicopter flights to check for marijuana cultivation have become an invasion of privacy, Big Island Sen. Andy Levin wants the state to either modify the flights or stop Operation Green Harvest.
The Big Island's marijuana eradication program has been going on since 1976. State and county law enforcement officers fly over rural areas and cane fields looking for marijuana patches, but Big Islanders have complained for years that the flights are noisy, scare livestock and invade privacy.So Levin, Senate Ways and Means Committee co-chairman, canceled money for Operation Green Harvest unless the state meets with Big Island communities affected by the flights."I don't believe there should be a continuing Green Harvest," Levin said. "But I am hoping to start a dialogue where community can voice concerns and officials will be in position to listen."Gary Moniz, chief of enforcement for the Department of Land and Natural Resources, said the state knows about Levin's provision in the budget and says it will comply with the meeting requirement."There is a concern from the community caused by the noise," he said. "We are concerned, so whenever we do fly, we actively try to avoid residences."Levin said if the state can hold meetings and reach agreement with residents in his sprawling district which represents the southern half of the Big Island, he would agree to continuing Operation Green Harvest.The provision included in the budget states that "no state funds shall be expended ... for Operation Green Harvest or other marijuana eradication programs that involve the use of helicopters" until the state holds a public hearing on the Big Island and "adopts procedures for the use of helicopters that address the concerns of those living in the areas over which the helicopters fly.""If it can be modified in a way that the community can accept, I wouldn't mind it continuing," he said.But he added that "there are too many complaints to ignore."There are too many complaints from responsible, middle-class residents to write this off as just marijuana dealers complaining," Levin said.Moniz, however, said the state is accused of all noise violations in the area, including times when the state-leased helicopters are not even on the island."If there is a way we can change our activities, we will, but we are already obeying all the regulations for low-flying aircraft," Moniz said.Published: Friday, May 5, 2000© 2000 Honolulu Star-BulletinRelated Articles & Web Sites:Drug Policy Forum Of Hawaii Medical Marijuana Institute Measure May Lead to More Use Marijuana OK Shows True Compassion Act Creates Enforcement Bramble Marijuana Law Doesn’t Mean Usage Lawmakers Approve Bill on Med. Use of MMJ 
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Comment #1 posted by J. Bills on May 07, 2000 at 05:21:44 PT:
Forget the noise, how about INVASION OF PRIVACY?
Why is the GOVERNMENT allowed to fly so closely over PRIVATE PROPERTY without a warrant in the first place?
Take the test on this site to see where you stand politically.
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