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Oregon Law Enforcement Seizes Illegal Cannabis Plants, Leaves Four Plants Behind

Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team worked together with Josephine County Code Enforcement in raiding the marijuana grow in Selma on August 4. It is located in the southwest region of Oregon. Along with the confiscation of over 140 cannabis plants, 200 pounds illegal marijuana were also taken and destroyed.

According to the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office, the size of the grow wasn’t a big deal. “Although the size of this grow operation was not large in comparison to others we have seen this year, it was well beyond the legal limit of four plants allowed per Oregon State Law,” the department wrote in a Marijuana Search Warrant document. JMET had just completed four search warrants on the area and located over 12,000 marijuana plants. There were also over 4,535 kilograms processed cannabis.

But the report briefly explained why four of their plants were not taken. “JMET always leaves four legal marijuana plants when we dismantle each grow operation,” the report continued.

A 51-year old man was charged with illegal manufacturing and possessing cannabis. Due to other violations on site, including “multiple electrical and solid waste code violations,” this could also result in “civil forfeiture of the property.” It was not specified who would care for the four remaining cannabis plants while the arrested individual is absent.

According to NORML cultivating more than four or eight plants in Oregon can be considered a misdemeanor. There are six months of possible jail time as well as a maximum $2,500 fine. The cultivation of eight or more plants can be considered a felony and could result in up to five years imprisonment. Fines up to $125,000 may also apply.

The Jackson County Board of Supervisors declared a State of Emergency in October 2021 to address illegal cultivation. They petitioned Governor. Kate Brown provided assistance. “Since recreational marijuana was legalized by the voters of Oregon in the November 2014 general election, the illegal and unlawful production of marijuana in our county has overwhelmed the ability of our county and state regulators to enforce relevant laws in our community,” said Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer.

Gov. Brown’s spokesperson, Charles Boyle, echoed the support of the governor regarding the need for assistance. “The message is clear—Oregon is not open for business to illegal cannabis grows,” said Boyle. “These are criminal enterprises that deplete water resources while our state is in drought, hold their workforce in inhumane conditions and severely harm our legal cannabis marketplace.”

Governor. In December 2021, Gov. The measure was supported by Senator Jeff Golden who explained the harmful effects of illegal cannabis cultivation on the environment and legal growers. “Illegal cannabis operations in southern Oregon have been using our limited water supply, abusing local workers, threatening neighbors and negatively impacting businesses run by legal marijuana growers,” Golden said last year.

Oregon will soon be able to allow legal psilocybin therapies. First set of rules will be in effect January 2023. The rest will go into effect December 31, 2023. Some regions in Oregon have banned or contemplated banning the use of psilocybin treatment facilities, like Linn County. Roger Nyquist, Linn County commissioner expressed concern about potential harm. “My fear is of young people taking mushrooms and going out and doing things that may cost them their life,” Nyquist said. “I just think it’s appropriate to refer this measure to the voters in Linn County and allow them to have a say in this, particularly because they did not vote to support this measure in the first place.”