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Southern Humbolt County--

Southern Humbolt County has a better climate for growing marijuana than the northern part, so more marijuana is cultivated there. Consequently, southern Humbolt County gets more attention from law enforcement during the harvest season.

As a result of this attention, according to the Humbolt County Sheriffs Office, growers in that area have become more sophisticated. "Over the years," said Deputy Mike Thomas of the Humbolt County Sheriffs Office, "we have educated each other, if you will." According to Thomas, southern growers have developed more techniques to avoid detection of the plants.

The trend in the south has been toward smaller plants in smaller gardens concealed under the canapé of trees. In the north, where the enforcement effort is less, large gardens with big plants are still found, according to Thomas.

Forty-five thousand plants have been eradicated this year in Humbolt County by the Sheriffs Office Marijuana Enforcement Team, known as MET, aided by the state's Campaign Against Marijuana Production, known as CAMP. The CAMP program ends next week. MET's efforts in the wild lands will end when the rainy season begins.

While plants will all be removed shortly-- either by growers harvesting them or MET or CAMP pulling them up and destroying them--pots, plastic fertilizer bags, water lines, rat traps, and other trash and equipment associated with growing operations will be left behind.

"It's all left there," said Thomas. The Sheriffs Office does not have the time or resources to clean it up. "That would be a full-time job," said Thomas.


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