There is growing concern over the powerful stench of marijuana in parts of the Carpinteria Valley.
KEYT NewsChannel 3 received a tip from a resident who said some greenhouse growers are switching from flowers to pot.
One resident who didn’t want to be identified out of fear for his safety said he lives less than a mile away from a marijuana operation and wakes up to a toxic smell every morning.
“The smell of ‘skunk’, which is the marijuana, is pretty strong, very strong. I know my eyes burn,” he said.
One of the areas where the smell appears to be coming from is near Cravens Lane and Foothill Road.
“Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigators responded to the Cravens Lane area recently because we were getting numerous complaints from residents in the area and from the school district about the strong smell of marijuana. It was a nuisance to people in the area. They were concerned,” said public information officer Kelly Hoover. “Deputies conducted a compliance check at a business in the area and determined at this point the business is in compliance.”
A pot odor also appears to be permeating the area around Carpinteria High School. Interim Superintendent Brian Sarvis said he received complaints from staff members. “I don’t know that the smell really poses a problem to us. I just don’t want any operations close to our kids,” Sarvis said.
Residents believe hothouse flower growers are shifting to pot ahead of the election in November, when voters could approve Proposition 64, a law to legalize the drug for recreational use.
“Marijuana has overrun and outstripped the zoning laws, overrun and outstripped the capacity and resources of any county agency to enforce the laws that they pass. They’ve left it to neighbors to turn in neighbors, so that they are creating an atmosphere of hostility that I think will erupt,” said the unidentified resident.