California Seizes 1.2 Million Dangerously Untaxed Marijuana Plants – Opinion

California’s marijuana prohibition is now over, though you may think otherwise considering the continuing crackdown on cannabis grow operations throughout the state. California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced Monday that 180,000 pounds and 1.2 million marijuana plants were seized as part of its Campaign Against Marijuana Planting program.

CAMP was established in 1980, when “just saying no” was still a popular phrase. The CAMP program was kept going after 2018’s legalization of recreational cannabis sales. The new target of the gang is the illegal marijuana market, which has continued to exist outside of the legal but highly taxed, regulated cannabis industry.

“Illegal and unlicensed marijuana planting is bad for our environment, bad for our economy, and bad for the health and safety of our communities,” said Bonta. “From dumping toxic chemicals in our waterways to cheating the state out of millions of tax dollars, illicit marijuana grows have far-reaching impacts and unintended consequences.”

Bonta’s press release states that the 491 raids by 26 county agencies, federal, state and local, resulted in this year’s seizures. These raids netted untaxed cannabis as well as illegal pesticides, and 165 guns. This is about 1 gun for every 3 raids. It suggests that the state doesn’t have a lot Pablo Escobars.

Even with all the effort that went into CAMP, it doesn’t seem like the black market is any more dangerous. This is because these raids bring in an ever-increasing amount of marijuana that’s not yet taxed.

CAMP operations confiscated 1.1 Million illegal marijuana plants in 2020. This is an increase of just over 1,000,000 plants that were seized in 2019 and an impressive number compared to the 614 267 marijuana plants confiscated in 2018. Sacramento Bee

CAMP would not be able to eliminate the marijuana black market if it was effective.

Just as there was a black market under the state’s blanket, formal ban on cannabis, so will illegal marijuana grow operations. This will continue as long as the illegal growers are able to lower the price of formal marijuana economy with its associated taxes and red tape. California has complicated land use regulations that make it challenging for budding entrepreneurs not to be able to access this legal market.

There is no indication that state officials will rush to liberalize the cannabis sector anytime soon. Bonta indicated that he would be launching a 6-month review of CAMP. This review will help the state refocus its efforts to address “the economic, environmental and labor impacts of illegal cultivation.”


Seattle’s shortage of police officers has led business leaders in the area to turn to private security. Local ABC News Radio station KOMO News reported this weekend that the Downtown Seattle Association has called for the use of federal COVID-19 relief money by the city in order to subsidize its rising private security expenses.

According to business owners, they had to pay more for private security to deal with staff shortages at Seattle Police Department (SPD). This is the Seattle Times According to reports, SPD has dispatched non-patrol officers and detectives to assist with emergency calls due to a shortage of officers.

Federal subsidies are not something that will be accepted by any free marketer. However, the DSA proposal has some accidental libertarianism. The downtown business owners are asking the city for partial privatization to policing.

Seattle’s politicians have been mixed on the proposal. Bruce Harwell, the former president of the Seattle city council, said it was a temporary measure that could help, however, a more permanent solution will require increased funding from police. Lorena Gonzalez, the city council’s current president, said the idea might violate the Washington Constitution’s gift clause—which generally prohibits subsidies to specific businesses.

Ironically enough, Seattle’s other recent experiment in radical policing alternatives—the short-lived Capitol Hill Occupied Protest or CHOP—also ran into gift clause complaints. Nearby residents and businesses sued CHOP, saying that the ceding public roads to this leftist self-governing street commune amounted also to illegal public gifts to private parties.

Instead of wasting federal money subsidizing private security, Seattle might give downtown businesses a tax break for services not delivered.


Food and Drug Administration (FDA), will allow vaccine booster shots to be “mix and matched”. The agency will announce Wednesday that anyone who has received one type vaccine can receive a booster shot. Washington Post

Reports indicate that the federal government won’t cover costs for a mixed booster shot, unless it has been approved by FDA. The New York Times

Tyler Cowen, an economist, notes that this is a good thing. Marginal RevolutionPeople were topping up their t cells without the approval of the agency.


  • Donald Trump, the former President of the United States is refusing to release documents from the White House that were requested by the congressional panel set up to investigate January 6th. The former President Donald Trump sued the congressional committee to block release of documents from White House that were requested by it. He argued that executive privilege protects those documents.
  • Biden is trying to regulate PFAS, which are long-lasting chemicals found in a wide range of consumer products.
  • Reports the Los Angeles Times that President Joe Biden’s pledge to ensure container ships arrive on schedule is being questioned by backed-up ports in the area. Washington Examiner
  • Yesterday, Colin Powell was the Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. The Iraqis were the only ones who made such warm remarks.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell sold stock from his personal account before the market experienced a substantial drop in October 2020. American Prospect
  • Over at American Conservative Samuel D. Samson says that it’s now time for us to stop following COVID-19 mandates.
  • Netflix workers are protesting the handling of the Dave Chappelle comedy special.