December 29, 2011

Legal Marijuana Growers Should Help Clean Up Illegal Grow Sites

December 29, 2011
michigan marijuana garden federal Edward Schmieding

outdoor marijuanaLegal medical marijuana growers should volunteer to help clean up illegal marijuana grow sites.

Once upon a time, I read an article in my local newspaper that talked about a landlord that was victimized by greedy marijuana growers. Unfortunately, I can’t find the article, so you will just have to take my word for it. Essentially, the landlord rented the house to what he thought was good people, but after a year, he was left with a house completely destroyed by irresponsible marijuana growers.

Mildew had taken over the house, the carpets were ruined, and there were holes all over the walls where ducting had been installed. To make matters worse, there were hundreds of root balls in the backyard, and an endless amount of dried leaves and leaf fragments all over the inside of the house. The landlord wasn’t a medical marijuana patient, grower, or caretaker, so he had no clue what to do and if he was possessing marijuana or not. Naturally, when the cops came over they said it was his mess to clean up and deal with.

I always thought back on that story and wish there was a way I could have linked up with the property owner. Unfortunately, the address wasn’t published to protect the home from looters that might have thought there might be salvageable marijuana still on the property. I wish I could have at the very least helped him get the marijuana remnants out of there in a legal fashion since I am a cardholder. Maybe that way he would realize that not everyone involved in growing marijuana is bad. Sadly, that guy will tell anyone that can hear him about his story, and it will no doubt reflect poorly on every marijuana grower out there that isn’t greedy and isn’t irresponsible.

I think this would be a worthwhile thing to do outdoors too, like some kind of non-profit volunteer service. It’s no secret that outdoor cartel marijuana gardens have proliferated recently, and what they leave behind can be devastating to the local environment. The amount of garbage, equipment, nutrients, etc. can be enormous. If volunteers from the legal marijuana growing community came out and helped clean up illegal grow sites, not only would it show anti-marijuana citizens that the pro-marijuana community is there to help, but I’d imagine legal marijuana growers have a skill set that would help tremendously.

Drum roll please….Luckily for TWB readers, there is an opportunity coming up to do exactly what I’m talking about! Below is an article written by the Konocti Regional Trail Team that gives members of the marijuana growing community in the Mendocino County area a chance to volunteer:

Abandoned illegal marijuana grow-sites on public lands have caused major devastation to the environment. When a grow-site is discovered by law enforcement, they remove the marijuana and any weapons, but the sites are left primarily intact because of a lack of manpower to do a full clean-up.

These sites often include miles of irrigation tubing, pesticides, piles of trash, water diversions, temporary living quarters, erosion, etc.

These illegal grow-sites can be a major impediment in developing safe trails and the public’s unrestricted use of our natural resources and public lands. In order to fill this void and help restore public lands back to their natural state, the Mendocino National Forest Grow-site Reclamation Project (MNFGRP), coordinated by Bruce Hilbach, has been organizing cleanups in Mendocino County.

The MNFGRP recently announced planned operation dates for cleaning up marijuana grow-sites in the Upper Lake District of the Mendocino National Forest. Please note, all volunteer groups are escorted and assisted by at least one law enforcement official at all times. Volunteer safety is of the highest priority. Volunteers will clean-up and bag trash and debris from the grow-sites and leave it onsite.

The Mendocino National Forest Rangers will coordinate pick-up of the bags at a later time, often by helicopter.

Weather permitting, work will begin on Jan. 5 with most of the action taking place from Jan. 6 through 8; if necessary,

mop-up will take place on Jan. 9. They are looking for willing volunteers. Some hiking off of main roads may be required, but volunteers of varied physical strength and ability are encouraged. If you can spend some time, please contact coordinator Bruce Hilbach ASAP to indicate availability for any or all of those dates: call him at 983-6169, or send an email to [email protected], including your phone number so he can contact you with further details.The Mendocino National Forest Grow-site Reclamation Project is supported, in part, by county funding granted at the recommendation of the Lake County Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee and in cooperation with the High Sierra Volunteer Trail Crew.

Konocti Regional Trail Team

[email protected]


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