Red State Observer posted an article today about the seizure of two tons of marijuana and $1 million in cash from an illegal growing operation in Southern California that was being run by an organization from China. Keep in mind that recreational marijuana use is legal in California, but the state has levied such high taxes on it that illegal growing and distributing operations are flourishing.
The article reports:
Nineteen people were jailed on suspicion of maintaining a drug house, theft of utilities, marijuana cultivation, marijuana sales and conspiracy, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said. Authorities served 23 search warrants that resulted in the arrests of residents of Hemet, San Jacinto, El Monte, Rialto, Rosemead, Arcadia and Calexico.
Search warrants also were served in Corona, Eastvale, South El Monte, West Covina and Lower Azusa.
Some 20,000 plants were eradicated and 100 pounds of processed marijuana was seized, a news release said. Deputies also confiscated equipment that can be used in growing operations, including 338 fans, packaging and 620 lights. Southern California Edison found an illegal electrical bypass underneath the electrical meters at 15 indoor grows, the release said.
Deputies froze 25 bank accounts containing an undisclosed amount of U.S. currency.
The searches culminated a four-month investigation into a drug trafficking organization. The San Jacinto Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team, as it served previous warrants, determined that all the operations were being financed by the same group in the Los Angeles area.
The Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties sheriff’s departments, Hemet Police Department and Riverside County District Attorney’s Office assisted.
Legalizing marijuana may have theoretically brought the tax revenue to the state that they were seeking, but when the state continued to raise those taxes, the illegal marijuana industry began to reemerge. California needs to learn the lessons of the Laffer Curve.