Authorities Play Whack-a-Mole With High Desert Weed Farms

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies raided over a dozen illicit marijuana grow operations last week. The targets included seven sites in Landers, four in Twentynine Palms, and another in Morongo Valley.

The May 17-18 raids involved ten deputies and detectives. They eradicated over 5,300 marijuana plants and 38 pounds of processed weed. An illegal electrical bypass was discovered and two individuals were arrested.

On Thursday, May 20, came a much larger bust — again in Twentynine Palms.

“The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department seized 3,901 marijuana plants and 652 pounds of processed marijuana after serving five search warrants and arresting six suspects,” CBS Los Angeles reports.

Illegal marijuana cultivation remains a problem for the High Desert.

“We’re inundated. We know that.” Capt. Lucas Niles, commander of the Morongo Basin sheriff’s station, said last month, as quoted by the Hi-Desert Star.

In a letter to state lawmakers, the Homestead Valley Council recently wrote: “No matter has been more devastating to our communities than the ongoing proliferation of illegal marijuana grow farms, now reaching a magnitude of indescribable epic proportion.”

But San Bernardino County has no outlet for regulating cannabis at all. The county has not embraced commercial marijuana in any form and growing more than six plants for personal use is prohibited countywide.