LOS ANGELES (AP) — California’s annual campaign against illegal marijuana cultivation eradicated more than 1.1 million plants at 455 grow sites despite difficulties due to coronavirus precautions and massive wildfires, officials said Thursday.
The 13-week effort by state, local and federal agencies in 29 counties led to arrests of 140 people and seizures of 174 weapons, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said.
The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, conducted yearly since 1983, has long been associated with the forests and mountains of the far north, but this year’s biggest haul — 293,000 plants — occurred in Riverside County, which lies east of Los Angeles.
“I bet most people would have ventured a guess that all of the top counties would have been in Northern California but ... Riverside was by far the largest,” Becerra said.
The rest of the top five were in the north, Tulare, with more than 105,000 plants, followed by Trinity, Lake and Siskiyou counties.
Becerra said other sites were located in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.