Attorney General Lockyer Announces California's Launch of 2006 Campaign Against Illegal Marijuana Growing Operations
Record-Breaking 2005 Season Netted More Than 1 Million Plants Valued at $4.5 Billion
(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced the kick-off of California’s 2006 Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) eradication program.
“State, local and federal agencies worked together last year to seize more than one million illegal marijuana plants growing on public lands, which set a new CAMP record” Lockyer said. “The nationwide drug trafficking organizations that oversee these large-scale operations use marijuana profits to fund their other ventures to produce and distribute other drugs, such as methamphetamine. The CAMP program is a key component of our state’s anti-drug fight, and we look forward to another record-breaking season.”
Managed by the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, CAMP is comprised of local, state and federal agencies who work together to find and eradicate illegal indoor and outdoor marijuana cultivation and trafficking throughout California.
In addition to BNE, participants in CAMP include: the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the U.S. Bureau of Land Management; the U.S. Forest Service; the Office of National Drug Control Policy; the U.S. National Park Service; the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services; the California National Guard; the California Department of Fish and Game; California State Parks; and dozens of local police and sheriff’s departments from across the state.
In the 23-year history of the CAMP program, agents have eradicated more than 5.2 million plants with an estimated wholesale value of more than $20 billion. In the 2005 season, CAMP seized a record 1,134,692 plants worth $4.5 billion. The average 2005 raid netted 4,800 plants.
Seizures have dramatically increased over the last five years due to a variety of factors, including an increased number of deployment teams, more aggressive techniques such as aerial surveillance and transportation of officers, and larger garden sizes.
“Last year’s success is a direct result of a law enforcement cooperative effort and the hard work of the individuals who work on the CAMP teams and sheriff’s departments,” said CAMP Commander Michael Johnson. “It is CAMP’s mission to effectively impact illegal marijuana production, take back and make safe public lands and do this in the safest manner possible.”
The marijuana growing season starts in mid-April with harvests ending in late September or early October. Pre-season enforcement this year already has resulted in the seizure of more than 50,000 plants, the eradication of nine gardens and the arrest of three individuals.