cannabisnews.com: Pot Growing Moves To Suburbs





Pot Growing Moves To Suburbs
Posted by CN Staff on February 07, 2007 at 07:01:25 PT
By John Ritter, USA Today
Source: USA Today
Lathrop, Calif. -- Rick Estrada didn't think it particularly odd that he never saw his next-door neighbor or that curtains were always drawn. On his block of new homes, everyone was a recent arrival. In fact, some homes still sit empty, owned by investors hoping to "flip" them at a profit.Never in his darkest dreams did Estrada think the two-story house a few feet from his contained an indoor marijuana-growing operation that authorities believe is the latest wrinkle in drug traffickers' efforts to hide their illegal business.
"We came from San Jose to get away from that stuff," says Estrada, 42, a medical clinic supervisor with a wife and three young children. "Now here we are and it's right next-door."Estrada watched on Jan. 12 as federal drug agents busted into the unoccupied, stucco-clad house, hauling out enough marijuana plants to fill a truck, along with high-intensity lights, fans and other indoor hydroponic growing equipment.Agents that day raided five other houses nearby in Lathrop and one in Tracy, both suburban cities full of commuters to San Francisco Bay Area jobs. In August and September, 41 houses were busted in Elk Grove, Sacramento and Stockton.Gordon Taylor, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) special agent in Sacramento, says investigators believe the houses are linked to an organized crime syndicate based in San Francisco's Chinatown. 'Relative Anonymity'"They're purchasing homes and plunking down marijuana factories smack dab in the middle of our residential neighborhoods," Taylor says. "Our theory is they're picking newer neighborhoods because of the relative anonymity. They know the neighbors don't know each other as well as they would in established neighborhoods."Suburban pot-growing was found elsewhere  Merrillville, Ind.; Westminster, Md.; Kankakee County, Ill.  though on a smaller scale than in Northern California and not necessarily tied to organized crime. Last summer, agents broke up more than 50 "grow houses" and arrested 35 people in St. Lucie County, Fla., an enterprise "with tentacles that stretched" to New York, the DEA says.In December, New Hampshire state police seized more than 10,000 plants in a four-bedroom, neo-Colonial house in the quiet town of Derry. Last month, police in Bellevue, Wash., seized 300 plants in a grow house and arrested three men.The prevalence of illegal marijuana cultivation in California  more plants are seized in the state annually than in any other  is due partly to "medical marijuana laws that have created a permissive attitude," Taylor says."Couple that with the fast profits that can be made and relatively lax penalties a person faces under California marijuana laws, and you're more or less inviting organized crime to enter the industry."California voters legalized medical marijuana in 1996. Snipped:Complete Article: http://tinyurl.com/27yea6Source: USA Today (US)Author: John Ritter, USA TodayPublished: February 7, 2007Copyright: 2007 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite: http://www.usatoday.com/CannabisNews -- Cannabis Archiveshttp://cannabisnews.com/news/list/cannabis.shtml
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Comment #10 posted by ekim on February 07, 2007 at 18:31:08 PT
mai_bong_city 
Mar 3 07 Montana ACLU Annual Meeting 06:00 PM Jim Doherty Helena Montana USA 
 Open to registared guests. 
http://leap.cc/Events/
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Comment #9 posted by mai_bong_city on February 07, 2007 at 12:54:33 PT
Hope 
you know it ;)
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Comment #8 posted by dongenero on February 07, 2007 at 12:30:13 PT
missing something important
The last sentence:"Couple that with the fast profits that can be made and relatively lax penalties a person faces under California marijuana laws, and you're more or less inviting organized crime to enter the industry."Sorry, but prohibition is what invites organized crime to enter the industry. 
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Comment #7 posted by taylor121 on February 07, 2007 at 11:17:19 PT
USA Today..
Hmm this is the second article of hogwash in a short while.
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Comment #6 posted by HempWorld on February 07, 2007 at 10:02:10 PT
Hogwash Article!
If you read the whole thing (see USA today) it suddenly claims that it is 'unsafe' for the children, whereas the author states in the same article in the beginning... "Never in his darkest dreams did Estrada think the two-story house a few feet from his contained an indoor marijuana-growing operation"Whoa, some dark dream, neigbors that are never home, thus never pose any threat or nuisance. I wish I had neighbors like that! As a result he had the house raided and now he has new (noisy) neighbors that get drunk and violent, good switch!
Nobody Can Stop This!
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Comment #5 posted by Truth on February 07, 2007 at 08:37:38 PT
Sam
"Lots of vehicles coming in, guns, bombs, barking dogs, yelling, gunfire & explosions, those are things the GOVERNMENT brings to your neighborhood grow op."Good one Sam. Ain't it the truth!
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on February 07, 2007 at 08:20:49 PT
mai_bong_city
Comment 1Oh my! God help and protect you! Be "Gentle as a dove and wary as a serpent".
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Comment #3 posted by Sam Adams on February 07, 2007 at 08:16:56 PT
Grow house DEMONS!
I love these scary-scary articles. They always start the same way - "we never knew anything was going on over there! Everything looked totally normal!". That's because everything WAS normal! They weren't doing anything to you pal. The cannabis prohibition laws all focus on consensual behavior with no victim.The grow op next store poses no more threat to neighbors than an old man who smokes cigarettes in bed every night.  The last thing the growers want is to disturb the neighbors in any way, or to even be noticed by the neighbors.Lots of vehicles coming in, guns, bombs, barking dogs, yelling, gunfire & explosions, those are things the GOVERNMENT brings to your neighborhood grow op.
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Comment #2 posted by zandor on February 07, 2007 at 07:39:38 PT
Yet even more BS from USA yesterday!
Once again They are pushing the Bush plan for Medical Marijuana. There may be something bigger coming soon....and that may be why these stories are showing up in this RAG only for the most part.Yes gang's can grow pot, yes gang's are a problem....but it's not the pot that is the problem its the gang people not the plant. Let us have our medical marijuana and then you take out the gang profit. No gang profit then no gang problem. They will just move on to harder drugs or something else to sale for profit.LET US GROW OUR OWN.........PROBLEM SOLVED!!2007 is proclaimed to be the year of the grower!!
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Comment #1 posted by mai_bong_city on February 07, 2007 at 07:24:02 PT
speaking of neighbors.
geez, this guy and his 'darkest dreams' - if they'd allow the medical dispensaries and co-op grows, then maybe there wouldn't be a problem. and the dea guy blaming it on the medical marijuana laws, bullcracky. 
so i have a new neighbor, matter of fact. moved in a few months ago, from california. our little apartment complex has four units to each section, and we all get along just fine in our spot. thing is, my new neighbor told me she was up here for a job with the sheriff's department. so promptly i told her that i'm a medical marijuana patient, showed my card, etc. well then, it turns out, her new job? she's with the high-intensity drug task force, DEA. she works close by, but it's a 'secure location' - so nobody can know where she is, or like, pick her up for lunch. 
i have no fear of my neighbor, it's just the fellows she works with. and the fact that on her first day she came across a file with lots of articles about me. and the fact that since she didn't know anyone here in montana, i was the only personal reference she had. so there were several discussions leo's had about whether or not she should leave the room whenever i medicate. my neighbor likened it to having to close your eyes every time someone takes their prozac. so they know quite a lot about me, but still.
i just asked that she not mention me anymore, the neighbor that's a medical marijuana patient. out of sight (or mouth) maybe out of mind. in a way though, i'm showing 'em that this is how it's done right. i welcome scrutiny, it's the only way we'll ever get there, by example. i just don't welcome a federal raid. which is why i don't feel comfortable getting my grow up again, for now. that would be just a little too easy.
in the famous words of rodney king - "can't we all just get along"?
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