What does the passage of measure 17-105 (Repealing County Code Enforcement Ordnance) mean to the illegal Marijuana grows in Josephine County?
Josephine County voters voted to repeal the tighter county code enforcement rules by a narrow margin, but the message is the same as the last time the voters faced this issue. Citizens do not want tighter control on what they can and cannot do on their private property, especially when it is a direct Federal violation of The U.S. Constitution 4th Amendment, right to privacy which protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. 1789 (rev. 1992)
Punishing everyone in Josephine County for the crimes of a few is not the American way.
This issue was brought before the voters for one main reason, how do we control the illegal marijuana grows in Josephine County? I answer that question by stating that this is NOT a code enforcement issue but rather a law enforcement issue.
It is the responsibility of law enforcement to enforce laws when criminal activity is happening within our county. Our building Safety Department has no business getting involved in the law enforcement issues.
I have heard people comment about the reduction in ground water, the increased traffic in our rural communities and the trafficking of individuals to work these grows. The ordinance did nothing to address any of those concerns.
The fact that the city of Grants Pass sells water to the growers has a great impact on the number of Grows in our county. Stop selling them water and their plants die. The Water Master needs to implement a plan to reduce the 4 plus million gallons of water stolen every year, water used to help the grows.
As Sheriff I will put into place a program of investigating the locations of all the legal and illegal grows within Josephine County. It isn’t hard to find a grow, any citizen can see them from a mile away. State data bases let us know if they are legally registered. If not registered with the state than guess what? They are illegal.
Let’s seize and impound any water truck providing water to an unlicensed grow. Let’s arrest persons working these grows instead of releasing them to move on to anther grow operated by the same illegal enterprise. Participating in an illegal enterprise is a crime, delivering water to an illegal grow is a crime, working at the grow site is a crime regardless of your legal statues. House Bill 4061 now requires those hauling water to keep detailed records of where they haul water to and make those records available to law enforcement upon request.
My plan would be simple, working with the numerous marijuana prevention units including the Josephine Marijuana Enforcement Team, Oregon State Police, Bureau of Land Management, and Illegal Marijuana Enforcement Team just to mention a few. We will map out the illegal grows, and we will shut them down in an all-out blitz.
Citizens will have a phone number that they can call into and provide address which will be checked by my office to confirm whether they are registered with the state or not. We will insist that the state conduct the required site inspections to ensure compliance with the state law and the license issued by the state and we will assist is closing any grow out of compliance.