SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The city of Sacramento is taking steps to crackdown on the incredible amount of illegal marijuana grow operations at the urging of the city council.
“Here what we have is a clear risk for the health of our community,” said City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby, “that’s why we’re going after it.”
Ashby says the home grow issue must be addressed.
“We have to destroy the black market,” said Ashby.
There are more than 1000 illegal home grows in the city of Sacramento. It’s a problem so big that it’s now considered by some elected leaders and law enforcement as a public safety concern.
“They are a magnet for crime and criminal activity,” said Ashby.
According to figures provided by the Sacramento Police department, in the last year and a half, there have been 76 robberies involving cannabis; and 51 home invasions.
“The police believed that they just hit the wrong house,” explained Michael Fix.
Just this week in South Sacramento, Fix was the victim of a crime. Eight men held him at gun point and demanded drugs and cash. Fix says the men may have been looking for one of his neighbors where he suspects there is a marijuana grow.
“They thought they were going to hit the drug house next door, and they made a mistake,” said Fix.
The city now laying out ways to combat the grows which include the use of SWAT teams and a dedicated police unit.
“So we can double-down in a quick manner and get all of these illegal grows pushed out of the city of Sacramento,” said Ashby.
Ashby says they are also working with different legal offices to streamline the police paper work to deliver harsher penalties to perpetrators and allow law enforcement to confiscate and destroy plants.
“Working with the district attorney’s office to identify better ways to hold people accountable,” said Ashby.
The full report from the city and law enforcement will be presented to the city council at Tuesday’s council meeting.