Illegal marijuana farms leave behind blight throughout the High Desert |

San Bernardino County supervisors have voted unanimously to give Code Enforcement the power to issue citations related to illegal cannabis grows and make it easier to abate or clean up those sites.

Over the past several months the sheriff’s Operation Hammer Strike has shut down more than 2,300 illegal pot greenhouses mostly in the High Desert.

Illegal grows negatively impact the wellbeing and safety of area residents and have devastating impacts on the environment. When the sites are abandoned or shut down, they leave behind blight on the community.

The vote taken by the board will help mitigate the impacts of illegal cannabis sites.

The ordinance:

• Creates streamlined and expedited procedures for abatement of grow sites.

• Passes the cost of cleanup on to the property owners, not the taxpayers.

• Authorizes issuance of immediate administrative citations where there are proven violations related to the illegal cultivation of cannabis.

• It allows for the items used in the cultivation of illegal cannabis to be declared a public nuisance and therefore subject to abatement and discarding. Items include things such as trailers, hoop houses, electrical equipment, fencing, greenhouses, sheds, and irrigation systems.

Rowe, vice chair of the Board of Supervisors, called the vote is a big step forward in our fight against illegal cannabis and the dangers associated with it.

“While we continue to make significant progress in shutting down these sites, we need to do more to ensure that we clean up the mess that these criminals leave behind,” she said. “All of our residents deserve to live in a safe and clean environment.”

Sheriff Shannon D. Dicus said the abatement ordinance passed puts much-needed teeth into San Bernardino County‘s efforts to eradicate illegal marijuana cultivation.

“This will go a long way to addressing quality of life concerns caused by Proposition 64 and the reclassifying illegal cultivation of marijuana from a felony to a misdemeanor,” he sad.

“I appreciate the Board of Supervisors strong commitment to providing the necessary resources to tackle this monumental criminal, environmental, and blight ridden issue for the residents of our county.”

San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Chief Ignacio Nuñez said, “The Code Enforcement team has had great success working with our law enforcement partners eradicating illegal cannabis grows in our desert communities.”

The action taken will lead to greater success by making it easier to hold violators accountable and take away their tools,” Nuñez said.

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