Awash in illegal pot farms, Oregon plans millions for relief

Posted at 12:55 PM, Dec 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-16 14:55:35-05

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon Legislature has dedicated $25 million to combat the proliferation of illegal marijuana farms in Oregon.

They made the move after hearing testimony this week about the harm these sites are inflicting on the community. The farms have been accused of stealing water during a drought, exploiting migrant workers and intimidating residents, who say the assistance is welcome but not enough.

The state is grappling with a brazen explosion of illegal marijuana farms, primarily in southern Oregon, seven years after voting to legalize recreational marijuana and its regulated cultivation and sale. Police say thousands of illegal, industrial-scale marijuana farms are generating billions of dollars in profits and are financed by foreign criminal gangs.