The National Forest Service issued a press release today that urges hikers, campers and others to be on the watch for a very dangerous type of forest dweller: Marijuana cultivators.
- Sometimes marijuana smells like a skunk on hot days.
- Hoses or drip lines located in unusual or unexpected places.
- A well-used trail where there shouldn’t be one.
- People standing along roads without vehicles present, or in areas where loitering appears unusual.
- Grow sites are usually found in isolated locations, in rough steep terrain.
- Camps containing cooking and sleeping areas with food, fertilizer, weapons, garbage, rat poison and/or dead animals.
- Small propane bottles, used to avoid the detection of wood smoke.
- Individuals armed with rifles out of hunting season.
The announcement continues:
“As soon as you become aware that you have come upon a cultivation site, back out immediately. Never engage the growers as these are extremely dangerous people. If you can identify a landmark or record a GPS coordinate, that’s very helpful. The growers may be present and may or may not know that you have found their grow site.
“Get to a safe place and report as much detail about the location and incident as you can recall to any uniformed member of the Forest Service or to your local law enforcement agency. Leave the way you came in, and make as little noise as possible.”
If our leaders in Washington would wise up and legalize marijuana we wouldn't have problems like this. We wouldn't have to fear for our lives while going for a hike because some brutal Mexican drug cartel has set up an operation in our favorite patch of forest and decided to defend it with automatic weapons.
Instead of just warning people, why doesn't the government actually do something to fix the root of the problem?
Article from The Chronicle and republished with special permission.