Nearly 1 million illegally grown plants were eradicated and more than 200,000 pounds of processed cannabis was seized under the California Department of Justice’s annual Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program, state Attorney General Rob Bonta announced on Tuesday.
Bonta’s office said in the fall the seasonal eradication program will transition to a year-round task force called the Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis or EPIC. The attorney general’s office indicated the new task force “will allow the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to build out its cannabis enforcement work and investigate and prosecute civil and criminal cases with a focus on environmental, economic, and labor impacts from illegal cultivation.”
“California has the largest safe, legal, and regulated cannabis market in the world, but unfortunately illegal and unlicensed grows continue to proliferate. The California Department of Justice’s CAMP task force works tirelessly each year to eradicate illegal grows and reclaim our public lands, but shutting down these grows is no longer enough. With the transition to EPIC, we’re taking the next step and building out our efforts to address the environmental and economic harms and labor exploitation associated with this underground market.” — Bonta in a press release
Since 1983, the 13-week CAMP program has eradicated more than 33 million cannabis plants, according to Bonta’s office. During the 2022 season, CAMP teams operating in 26 counties throughout the state conducted 449 operations, recovering 184 weapons and removing nearly 67,000 pounds of cultivation infrastructure.
CAMP is a multi-agency collaboration led by the California DOJ in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service; the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service; the California Department of Fish and Wildlife; the U.S. Department of Justice’s Drug Enforcement Administration; the California National Guard, Counter Drug Task Force; the Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program; California State Parks; and other local law enforcement departments.
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