MEDFORD, Ore. – The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says marijuana harvest season in Southern Oregon is over and it was a very busy year. More than $100 million worth of marijuana was seized in Southern Oregon this year alone.
Jackson County teamed up with six other counties to have what officials are calling a successful year but just because the calendar is about to turn to November, that doesn’t mean their efforts are over. Law enforcement in Southern Oregon and Northern California report a busy year tracking down illegally grown marijuana this harvest season.
“159.5 million dollars worth of marijuana was taken out of Jackson county and our region, our summer task force region,” said Andrea Carlson, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer.
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office says about 50 grows were investigated this year in the seven county region of the summer task force. In it’s third year the Sheriff’s Office says the task force was busier than in 2011.
“This year it’s definitely back so we know as we continue to push on the illegal drug growers that are moving here to grow in our region that we continue to make an impact they come back every year and we continue to take it from them,” said Carlson.
Jackson County officials say number state wide are dropping but there work isn’t done.
“The state as a whole saw a lot less marijuana combined,” Carlson said. “Southern Oregon was definitely a hot spot for the year so it is a problem that we see in our region and we are doing everything we can to help curb it.”
The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office also reported a busy year as the marijuana harvest season winds down. Officials say they will sit down and look at improvements for next year.
“The team sits down and they always concentrate on what they can do to keep themselves safer, keep the forests safer and keep the community safer overall,” said Allison Giannini, with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office.
Officials with the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Department say that just like ranchers and farmers those involved with drug cartels will be making preparations for next year.
“Even though we are now switching over and winter’s coming, that doesn’t mean that cartel members and those types of activities aren’t still going on,” Giannini said.
Siskiyou County said the focus now shifts to indoor marijuana grows which are more difficult to track down.