Oregon county officials seek National Guard help versus illicit cannabis grows

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Commissioners from a county in Southern Oregon are asking for help from the state’s National Guard in their fight against illegal cannabis grow sites.

According to the Associated Press, Jackson County commissioners requested that Oregon Gov. Kate Brown send in the National Guard to help enforce the law in a situation that is worsening.

Jackson County recently declared a state of emergency last week to deal with the flood of illegal marijuana grows in the state.

On the same day, the Associated Press reported, police raided an illegal cultivation site that had about 2 tons of processed cannabis and 17,500 plants.

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney said he agrees the National Guard should be sent in.

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“You can’t solve it just at the local level, and you cannot solve it, I’m afraid, just at the usual state level and have some more state troopers down there,” Courtney told the AP.

“The National Guard, they’re going to have to get deployed down there some way or other.”

Brown is holding off on deploying the National Guard but could reconsider next year, her office said.

There is precedent for such a move.

In 2019, for example, 150 National Guard troops were deployed in Northern California to go after illegal cannabis farms.