California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Monday that law enforcement officials destroyed more than one million cannabis plants this year in the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting. The annual marijuana cultivation eradication campaign also netted more than 180,000 pounds of harvested and processed marijuana in 491 enforcement operations across the state, which provides much of the cannabis produced for illicit cannabis markets across the country.
Over an unspecified, 13-week period, law enforcement officers and other officials with the state’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) conducted operations in 26 counties, according to a statement from the California Department of Justice. Authorities also seized 165 weapons and 67,000 pounds of cultivation infrastructure including dams, waterlines and containers of toxic chemicals over the course of the operation.
“Illegal and unlicensed marijuana planting is bad for our environment, bad for our economy, and bad for the health and safety of our communities,” Bonta said at an appearance in San Diego on Monday. The attorney general, who as a member of the California State Assembly was a vocal supporter of cannabis policy reform and a regulated marijuana market, added that he had directed his office to review the CAMP program’s effectiveness at addressing “the environmental, labor, and economic impacts of illegal cultivation.”
“From dumping toxic chemicals in our waterways to cheating the state out of millions of tax dollars, illicit marijuana grows have far-reaching impacts and unintended consequences,” he added. “I want to thank all of our federal, state and local partners for their tireless efforts this season. It’s going to take all of us, working together, to make sure California’s cannabis industry is in the legal, regulated marketplace, not in the illicit one.”
The CAMP program is a multi-agency task force