Shasta County sees spike in illegal pot grows

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Updated: 3/31/2014 7:29 am

REDDING, Calif. (AP) — Shasta County authorities say an explosion of illegal marijuana growing operations in the area is taxing local law enforcement's ability to keep up.

The Redding Record Searchlight reports that the Shasta County Sheriff's Office expects citizen complaints about illegal pot grows to double from 300 to 600 in 2014.

Previously, authorities focused investigations on large illegal gardens on public lands.

But sheriff's Sgt. Barry Powell says there has been an uptick in recent years of people with medical marijuana cards illegally growing hundreds of plants for sale, often indoors where it's harder to see.

The county passed a new ordinance banning outdoor grows and placing a strict 12-plant limit on indoor grows.

But opponents gathered enough signatures to stop implementation of the ordinance, setting up a vote in November.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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