From the field: I lived near a pot farm
I lived near a pot farm. The nearest greenhouse was less than 100 yards from my front door. Due to the dangerous risks this put on our family, we vacated our home in a rural residential area of Penngrove and moved to Richmond for 6 weeks. We returned to our home after the pot was harvested and transported out. Six years ago, cultivation of 300+ plants was illegal and the Sonoma County Sheriff department was at our neighboring property many times. The Deputies all agreed that it was an illegal grow and my family was in danger. However, confiscating the crop during transportation using Federal laws was their best option for an arrest. I am still astonished at the disregard for our safety. Most “back yard” grows include up to a dozen plants for personal use. This might be something a worth ripping off but when you are looking at a cash crop worth $500,000 (using conservative estimates); it is an invitation for gang involvement. Other dangers included: drug deals and random discharges from guns at any time of the day or night. Yes, this farm was patrolled by armed men 24/7.Now, we have another pot farm on our private road in a rural residential area of Penngrove. The use permit lists 10,000 square feet of greenhouses for growing marijuana. It will be a very large operation and has the capacity to have more than 1 grow season per year. Should we all be prepared to vacate our homes 2-3 times a year- waiting for the next harvest to be completed before we can safely return home again? That is not how I want to raise my family! Sonoma County has sent an open invitation for gangs to come from all over the country to access these farms. It is time for Sonoma County to implement some safeguards for its citizens. Commercial marijuana cultivation should not be allowed in neighborhoods, regardless of zoning. It should be restricted to areas where it does not jeopardize the health, general welfare and safety of residents. It needs to be properly monitored, regulated and contained by the County of Sonoma.