Trespassing California marijuana growers are setting booby traps, resorting to violence and vandalism, and spoiling the land by stealing water and spraying dangerous chemicals that leach into streams, reports California Watch. As the federal government focuses on stopping illegal marijuana crops in public parklands and U.S. forests, sheriff’s and state drug enforcement officials face the persistent and potentially dangerous problem of pot growers commandeering private land.
While some land owners fear violence, others face environmental havoc. Last year, a grand jury in Mendocino County found that trespassing growers had clear-cut trees and destroyed vegetation, diverted streams, and littered the landscape with animal carcasses, garbage, human waste, herbicides, and animal poisons. Lake County Supervisor Rob Brown displays a booby trap he removed from his property. It looks like a giant wooden flyswatter with about 20 to 30 punji sticks – sharpened sticks frequently encountered during the Vietnam War – pressed through it.