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  • Writer's pictureBreathe Free Oregon

How Foreign Drug Operations Are Taking Over California’s Desert Towns: Jorge Ventura

Jorge Ventura reports on illegal marijuana grows in southern California. When Prop 64 passed in 2016, California reduced the penalty on illegal marijuana grows from a felony to a misdemeanor with a $500 fine and no jail time. This has opened the gates to drug cartels and a black market. The investigation focuses on the Antelope Valley, which has gone from a family-friendly community to one where residents are scared and threatened with violence. Criminal organizations buy properties or squat and set up grows. Some purchase homes well above asking price and gut them for indoor grows. These organizations smuggle migrants across the border and force them to work on marijuana grows. LA County does not have enough resources to fight the grows. In some cases, law enforcement can raid a grow and take away plants, and the grow is back in business in 2 weeks. Mr. Ventura describes enforcement efforts as "a game of whac-a-mole".

Full documentary title: Cartelville, USA

Reporter: Jorge Ventura


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