NEAR ASHLAND, Ore. — Illegal marijuana grows across Jackson County are eradicated every year by the sheriff’s office, but the trash those growers leave behind still remain at the sites.
The pile of trash at one near Ashland site is just the beginning…there’s about half a dozen more grow sites left to clean up. The grow site that crews cleaned up on Wednesday was active in 2010. Over 4,200 marijuana plants were pulled from this site.
The growers left behind everything they ate, used, and set up to produce the illegal plants. For three years, all of that trash has been sitting in the forest, but through a $125,000 grant by the U.S. Forest Service, the Jackson County Sheriff Office’s hired crew members to starting cleaning it up.
“People hunt here, people are going to run into the garbage. It could be dangerous, someone trips. The animals get into it. I said, there’s some cattle that are grazing up behind me, and they’ve gotten into the hose,” explained Jackson County Lt. Matt Thomson.
Investigators arrested 23 people in connection with the grow site where crews cleaned up on Wednesday. The sheriff’s office was able to slow down the number of illegal grows in the next few years because of those arrests.