According to Sacramento Fire Deputy Chief, Niko King, illegal marijuana home grows are “truly a public nuisance.” In the last year, the area has battled 11 different fires, and illegal home grows were responsible for half of them. King explained, “They tap into the electrical systems, they tap into the ventilation systems. There are chemicals that are not usually found in a home.”
Unlicensed growers are transforming their homes into illegal cannabis grows in Sacramento facilities, endangering the public by creating fire hazards for neighbors and first responders. According to King, these unlawful grows are “becoming a full-time job for a couple of firefighters.” A Sacramento city report claims that nearly 1,000 illegal home grows are operating within the area right now.
The city has plans to crackdown on these illegal home grows. According to its Cannabis Chief, Joe Devlin, “We are going to be taking steps to aggressively root out these illegal cultivators from our neighborhoods.” Sacramento is a hotspot for criminal activity, the ideal place to set up shop illegally. Energy is cheap, land is affordable, and the city is close to all major interstates.
The issue of illegal marijuana grows are angering many in the cannabis community. Devlin said, “They want to be good neighbors, and they recognize that these illegal cultivators are a problem.” The city has a solution, at least for now. It is about to send SWAT teams in to shut down as many illegal grows as it can find.
“A very loud and clear message to those operating illegally is that we are not going to take it here in Sacramento,” Devlin said. The SWAT team approach is a temporary one and will continue for at least a few months, until the city fills more than a dozen staff and police positions in their effort to combat illegal grow operations.
Devlin explained, “The use of our SWAT team should tell the residents of Sacramento, as well as these illegal cultivators, that they are not welcome.” During public commentary on the issue, one man spoke up, “The city is not doing a good job of enforcing the current laws and regulations.” He also expressed concern about whether police have the ability to enforce and prosecute these criminal offenders.
The presentation did not impress Council Member Angelique Ashby either. She had this to say about it, “It falls short of what I was expecting for tonight,” and she hopes for a more detailed plan about what would actually be taking place and when enforcement will begin in Sacramento’s neighborhoods. City officials say that stepped-up enforcement will start within in the next few weeks.