Diamond Bar, Ca. – Local law enforcement seems to be hell bent on creating an unfounded and often false narrative in the media to connect some marijuana growing operations to “The Mexican Mafia” or “Cartels” when the facts in those particular cases do not support such a claim.
Sheriff’s deputies Wednesday pulled up thousands of marijuana plants growing on a hillside near a residential neighborhood across from Diamond Ranch High School, officials said.
“One of our air units saw this grove that we’re working on right now. They took four people into custody, and what we are doing today is removing the marijuana and the water lines they were using to grow it” Said Los Angeles County Sheriffs Lt. Phil Abner.
The grove, which was located in the hills above Diamond Ranch High School near Scenic Ridge Drive, was estimated by Abner to contain “at least 2,000 plants, maybe more.” Abner went on to estimate the crops value between $8 and $12 million dollars.
Four suspects were taken into custody and are being charged with cultivating marijuana. Deputies have not yet released the suspects, but a local resident who did not want to be named described the individuals as you white males and possibly juveniles. Hardly the type one would associate with the Mexican mafia, which calls into question the reason or perhaps the motive for Sheriffs Lt. Phil Abner referring to such a sinister scenario as a “Mexican cartel” regarding this particular incident.
Abner said that an increase in the use of marijuana explained why the Department has seen a rise in the number of grow operations, blaming this partly on “baloney legislation” allowing the use of medical marijuana, which is an utterly false statement.
According to Abner, “there is no legal delivery system, so they have clinics that provide marijuana, but there’s no legal way for them to obtain it. So it’s illegally grown like this.” He said which is also not exactly a true statement.
Southern California is dotted with hundreds of licensed marijuana clinics that are supplied by licensed growers; the problem comes from unscrupulous clinic owners who grow their own marijuana on public lands to increase profits. The fact that this grow or any other grow is illegal is not in dispute, what is in dispute is an ongoing media campaign by local law enforcement to tie every raid on an illegal grow to California’s medical marijuana act and the Mexican Mafia or Drug-Cartels.
If Lt. Abner is going to be a spokesperson for the State Legislature, perhaps Sheriff Leroy Baca should see to it that he reads the bill and understands it fully before providing commentary to the media. We’re just saying.