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California Campaign Against Marijuana Planting Kicks off 2004 Season
66,000 Plants Valued at $264 Million Already Seized
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced the season kick-off for the 2004 Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) eradication program.
"Over the years, CAMP has proven to be a successful program dedicated to eradicating large-scale illegal commercial marijuana grows. Many of these illegal operations are on public lands and guarded by armed thugs who threaten the sanctity of our environment and the safety of citizens who enjoy California's beautiful resources," Lockyer said. "The dedication and the commitment of our partner law enforcement agencies is instrumental to our continued success in preventing these large commercial grows from hitting our streets."
Managed by the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, CAMP is composed of local, state and federal agencies tasked with eradicating illegal indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation and trafficking throughout California. During the season, CAMP will partner with many agencies to remove illegal commercial grows. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, California National Guard and dozens of local police and sheriff departments from across the state participate in the program.
In the 21-year history of the CAMP program, agents have eradicated almost 3.5 million plants with an estimated wholesale value of nearly $14 billion. In the 2003 season, CAMP seized a record 466,054 plants worth $1.9 billion. Seizures have dramatically increased the last five years due to better deployment teams throughout the state; more aggressive techniques, particularly aerial transportation of officers and surveillance; and the size of gardens. The average 2003 raid netted 2,500 plants; in 1994, the average garden yielded 300-500 plants. (Charts showing past seizures are available by clicking here.)
"Through concentrated effort working together, we will finally be able to turn the corner on this ever-growing problem of commercial marijuana grows that plague the environment and the people of the state of California," said CAMP Commander Val Jimenez.
The marijuana growing season starts in mid-April with harvests ending in late September or early October. This season has already resulted in the seizure of more than 66,000 plants and 30 weapons, the eradication of 30 gardens and the arrest of 14 individuals.