Jan 1, 2013
The new California law punishes offenders who pollute the environment and endanger the public by growing or manufacturing illegal drugs, including pot, on forest lands in the state.
Assembly Bill 2284 allows law enforcement to stop vehicles with visible irrigation supplies on forest roads and ask the driver if the load was legally purchased. The new marijuana grow crackdown law will apply in counties after a county board of supervisors authorizes it with a resolution.
"This bill is about pollution and illegal diversion of waterways, and the increasing violence that is occurring in our forests," said Assemblyman Wesley Chesbro, the bill's author. "This legislation gives law enforcement new tools to protect our public resource lands and private industrial timberland."
The law applies to all unpaved roads within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, California Department of Forestry, Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
AB 2284 applies to unpaved roads through private timberland of 50,000 acres or more. It can also apply to unpaved forest roads through timber properties between 2,500 and 50,000 acres if the county has written consent from the property owners.
If the driver of the vehicle with the irrigation supplies cannot convince law enforcement that he/she is in lawful possession of them, the vehicle and supplies will be impounded.
The new law, however, prevents cops from impounding the vehicle simply because the driver is unlicensed.
On top of any criminal penalties, additional civil fines will apply for violations of Fish and Game regulations on public land and on private timberland of 50,000 acres or more while cultivating a controlled substance.
Proceeds from fines will be split between the county general fund, the investigating agency, and the agency cleaning up the site.
- Up to $10,000 for each stream diversion.
- $40,000 for polluting waters of the state.
- $40,000 for littering within 150 feet of a high water mark.
Assembly Bill 2284 was enthusiastically signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The new illegal marijuana grow crackdown law is now in effect.