The San Bernardino County Supervisory Board unanimously approved an ordinance that imposes high fines on illegal cannabis cultivation. According to a report prepared for the board of directors, over 1,080 illegal cannabis farms operate in San Bernardino County, primarily in the desert. The counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego are also included.
Officials said illegal cannabis cultivation was too beneficial for existing misdemeanor fines to be a meaningful deterrent.
“This is not the end,” said District 1 Supervisor Paul Cook. “This is just the beginning to deal with a big problem.”
Newly appointed San Bernardino County Sheriff Shannon Dicas sees illegal marijuana cultivation as “probably the biggest quality of life issue for us now… especially in rural areas.”
Many illegal farms use the illegal and toxic pesticide carbofuran. “What they are doing in the environment there is just wrong,” said Cook. “Because it’s cannabis, many people don’t help us,”
Strategies aimed at addressing what San Bernardino County District Attorney Jason Anderson called the “gap” in the criminal law created by Proposal 64 failed to crack down on land, or worse. It’s about tracking landowners by blinding them to the illegal activity that’s happening there.
“My office will beat Sacramento lawmakers,” Anderson said. “We were more agile, we had a strategy to overcome the gap created by this law, and we knew it would create … we would be more creative on behalf of the inhabitants of this county.”