LOS ANGELES (KGTV) — California has destroyed more than 1.1 million illegal marijuana plants across 455 grow sites as part of the state's annual campaign against illegal cannabis.
Over 13 weeks, the state conducted operations in 29 counties to eradicate the plants, arresting 140 individuals and seizing 174 weapons in the process. This year's campaign was also complicated by coronavirus precautions and wildfires throughout the state.
"Illegal marijuana planting risks public safety, endangers public health, and devastates critical habitats and wildlife," said California Attorney General Becerra. "Every year, the California Department of Justice works with federal, state, and local partners to hold illegal growers accountable and reclaim our public lands. I want to thank our CAMP teams for their resilience and commitment during this tumultuous year. Between COVID-19 and wildfires, the 2020 CAMP season was no cakewalk, but as a result of their hard work, more than one million illegal marijuana plants were eradicated."
According to the Associated Press, the largest of this year's busts was in Riverside County where 293,000 plants were seized.
The state says many of these illegal grow sites were loaded with trash and banned pesticides, which can find ways into the state's waterways. Illegal growers also disrupt the natural flow of water by creating irrigation systems, endangering nearby wildlife and plants, the state added.