MEDFORD, Ore. — A video taken via helicopter above Jackson County over the last week, showing dozens of apparent cannabis grow operations, demonstrates "how big the problem" of marijuana and hemp have become in the Rogue Valley, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.
The video covers areas of the Rogue Valley from Ashland stretching up to White City, from Sams Valley northwest to Wimer, and around Rogue River. It highlights grows near Griffin Creek Elementary and Phoenix High School. The Sheriff's Office says that the footage was taken last Friday and early on Monday.
"The video gives you an idea of how pervasive the Marijuana/Hemp grows are in Jackson County," the Sheriff's Office said. "We are doing what we can with the resources we have and the regulations currently in place. There is work being done in Salem to remove some of the loop holes responsible for how large the problem is and there is potentially additional funding coming. Those issues are still being discussed and will hopefully be voted on this session."
But with both marijuana and hemp legal for growing in Oregon with the proper licensing, it isn't at all clear in the video which grow operations are completely legitimate, and which are operating outside of the law.
"Just because a grow or location is shown in this video it does not mean it is illegal or unlicensed with the proper regulatory authority," the Sheriff's Office admits. "This video is to just give the public, our local, state, and federal elected officials of how big the problem is here."
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office asked for people who suspect an illegal or unlicensed operation to file a report by calling 541-618-1847.