This week, KRCR News Channel 7 flew over Shasta County's mushrooming marijuana gardens with drug agents. In looking at the gardens one question arose - what is being done to keep the growers in line with the county ordinance?
Shasta County drug agents said that in the last couple of years, growers have gone from planting crops on public land, which is illegal, to buying or renting private property and growing there under the guise of Proposition 215 recommendations.
Sgt. Barry Powell is captain of the Shasta County Marijuana Investigative Team. He said he gets 20 to 30 complaints a day.
Drug agents are frustrated by what they see as illegal grows, but if there are violations of the county ordinance, they are handled not by law enforcement but by code enforcement in the planning department and it can be a lengthy process.
The first administrative hearings of the year were held on Thursday where a hearing officer has the power to levy fines and order plants to be pulled up before harvest.
Resource Director Rick Simon said that with marijuana, time is of the essence. He said they are having more success with voluntary compliance at two to three times what it was last year.
Several sources have also said that Shasta County Supervisors will take another look at the marijuana ordinance later this month.