The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday, July 13, to collaborate with federal, state and local officials to shut down illegal cannabis grow operations in the Antelope Valley, while agreeing to reconsider a longstanding county ban on commercial cannabis.
Supervisor Kathryn Barger warned three weeks ago that commercial cannabis and hemp grow operations in her district are using dangerous pesticides, stealing water from fire hydrants and frightening neighbors into silence. However, she failed to get support from her colleagues on a plan of action that included tougher criminal penalties and required four votes to pass.
Tuesday, Barger asked for support of a substitute motion co-authored by Supervisor Sheila Kuehl that did not include any mention of stricter penalties. It passed unanimously.
“Make no mistake, illegal cannabis grows are something that impacts the entire county of Los Angeles. Illegal growers are using unregulated chemicals to process cannabis (and) selling products to legal and illegal dispensaries in and outside the L.A. Basin, endangering cannabis users,” Barger said. She said two bears had been found poisoned by pesticides near one valley grow operation, and added that the problem is not limited to outdoor crops.
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