California’s top prosecutor announced on Tuesday that he will adopt a new broader approach to destroying criminal pot farms that undercut the legitimate economy and sow significant environmental harm, as the state’s four-year-old legal marijuana market is in disarray.
In an effort to determine who is responsible for the illegal grows, the state will expand its multi-agency seasonal eradication program, which has been running for over four decades and is the largest of its kind in the United States, into a year-round initiative. Attorney General Rob Bonta has stated that the new initiative will make an effort to prosecute underlying labor offenses, environmental crimes, and the underground economy focused around the illegal cultivations.
In addition to helping California’s struggling legal market, this “essential adjustment in thinking and in objective” also aims to eliminate harmful competition.
According to Bonta, “the illegal marketplace far exceeds the legitimate marketplace.” We aim to completely wipe out the black market.
In line with the new strategy, Bonta said that the yearly Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) initiative, which began under Republican Gov. George Deukmejian in 1983, will be transformed into the permanent Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis (EPIC) task force.