Riverside County Code Enforcement reminds citizens that marijuana cultivation is still illegal

Illegal cannabis cultivation investigations make up 4 percent of the total Code Enforcement investigations of the 2016- 2017 fiscal year. Diane Sieker photo

Riverside County Code Enforcement officers cover a lot of ground in the unincorporated parts of the county. Despite reductions in staffing levels and budget, they have investigated everything from nonpermitted construction, junk vehicle and rubbish abatement to roadside vending violations and illegal grading. They also enforce Riverside County Ordinance 925, which deals with marijuana cultivation in Riverside County’s unincorporated areas. These cases make up 4 percent of the total investigations for the fourth quarter of the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

The cultivation of marijuana is still illegal in unincorporated Riverside County, with some exemptions for qualified medical marijuana patients as allowed under Proposition 215 and Proposition 420, as well as now permitted under Proposition 64.

In 2015, in response to citizen complaints of huge cannabis “grows” or farms, the Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved Riverside County Ordinance 925. The ordinance prohibits marijuana cultivation in the unincorporated areas of the county, but includes a limited exemption from enforcement for qualified medical marijuana patients and their primary caregivers, who may grow up to 12 plants on a parcel where the patient or caregiver resides, for medical purposes only. A maximum of two “cards” giving medical permission to grow are allowed per parcel, bringing the total plants allowed to 24.

California voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana Nov. 8, 2016, by approving Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. According to this proposition, each county and city in the state may place reasonable restrictions on cannabis cultivation for personal and recreational use, but may not completely ban the growing of up to six plants per person 21 years of age or older. No more than six marijuana plants may be cultivated per private residence, no matter how many people live there.

Code Enforcement enforces Ordinance 925, with assistance from the sheriff’s department if needed. These officers have been busy in the Anza area of unincorporated Riverside County this summer.

Riverside County Code Enforcement officers joined with the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigators and deputies from the Hemet Station Monday, June 5, for the service of several search warrants related to outdoor marijuana cultivation in Anza. At each of the properties served that day, code officers observed several violations of the Uniform Building Code, violations of the local ordinance and substandard electrical conditions which posed significant threat to life and safety. Notices were posted at each of the properties regarding these violations. Over 10,000 plants were seized by sheriff’s personnel.

Riverside County Code Enforcement officers accompanied Riverside County Sheriff’s Department investigators and deputies from the Hemet Station Monday, Aug. 21, during the service of several search warrants in Anza regarding illegal outdoor marijuana cultivation. At each of the two properties, code officers observed multiple violations of the Uniform Building Code, violations of the local ordinance and substandard electrical conditions which posed significant threat to life and safety. At the second location, officers discovered an underground bunker that had been dug out and was being used to house several of the farmworkers at the 40-acre cultivation site. The bunker had significant substandard structural defects, posing an imminent threat to the life and safety of the people housed there. Notices were posted at each of the properties for the violations observed. Over 200 cannabis plants were seized at the first location, and well over 12,000 plants were seized at the second property.

According to the Code Enforcement website, “By building relationships within the community, and continuing to partner with the sheriff’s department, Riverside County Code Enforcement is committed to protecting the public’s safety and preserving the quality of life within each community we serve.”

If illegal cannabis cultivation is suspected, community members can lodge complaints with Code Enforcement either online, email or by phone.

For more information, visit www.rctlma.org/ce, call (951) 955-2004 or email code@rctlma.org.

6 Responses to "Riverside County Code Enforcement reminds citizens that marijuana cultivation is still illegal"

  1. Lash LaRue   September 16, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I wish the DEA would come into the Anza Valley with the Code Enforcement and arrest the growers on Federal Charges which are 5 years for 1 to 49 plants.

    It is time to take back Anza from the CRINMINAL DOPE GANGS.

    Sherriff 951.955.2400

    Code Enforcement 951) 791-3900

    DEA Phone # 951) 328-6000

    Call and let them know where the grows are and tell the to get out here and arrest the criminals.

    Take back Anza.

  2. Lisa R Romero   September 18, 2017 at 4:50 am

    It’s legal to grow 6 plants. Get over yourself, you uptight freak. You need to smoke a joint.

  3. KLB   September 18, 2017 at 8:08 am

    I have emailed code enforcement a few months ago with no response. I have a home behind me that has about 24 9 foot plants. We can see them, smell them etc. I will not even let my kids or granddaughter outside to play in my own backyard! The plants are so close to my fence line and we have a school district and church very close to us!

  4. elle420michelle   September 18, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Whoa- whoa-whoa, Lash LaRue, you are so wrong here. These are not cartel grows these are good people (most are, not all) and if you remove them you are going to have the cartel taking their place. Cannabis is not “DOPE”. If you are worried about drugs in your community worry about the 42% of your community’s population that are addicted to opiates and their synthetics. Just because a Dr. prescribed it does not mean it is safe. The opioid addiction in the US is an epidemic and killing thousands a day, it is turning people into addicts and when they can’t get those pills anymore they learn heroin is cheaper and BAM now they are a heroin addict. Oh and BTW there is medical evidence that Cannabis is extremely effective in the detox process and in the success rate for staying clean from opioids. Cannabis is also effective in treating seizures, children having 300 seizures a day when treated with cannabis products their seizures stop within minutes if not seconds and with regular treatment they can be and most are seizure free. Oh and cancer? well it doesn’t just help a patient feel better it actually stops and kills cancer cells. So eradicating cannabis you will be sentencing children to years of constant seizures and pain with no quality of life, you are sentencing many to death that would live longer and better with cannabis, you are blindly and stubbornly promoting lies and propaganda created by the government as a racist tool and the greed of the pharmacies and textile businesses. Control with fear and force the will of the few. This is so much bigger than just a cannabis grow you don’t happen to like. EDUCATE yourself and speak from knowledge or shut up.

  5. Anthony   September 19, 2017 at 9:07 am

    DEA will laugh at you if it under 99 plants. Lash LaRue sounds like a hooker name. How come you are not complaining about tweak mountain over there. Lol Oh yeah Im sure thats your drug of choice. Anza is full of tweakers growing pot to support their meth habit anyways. People are paranoid as hell out there. So I agree all the fake ass green rushers need to get legit or go. A Dr. Rec. wont save you after the 1st of the new year. Get ready to pay to play.

  6. Anthony   September 19, 2017 at 9:13 am

    And a plant wont hurt your kids neither will smelling it. Try it go eat a huge wet bud of a plant. It wont do s*** to you even if your able you manage to chew it and get it down. Theres nothing toxic about it! As much as I can say for the meth dumps out there…..Ive walked around out there and seen some shit. Everyone knows Anza and Augangas reputation in the past. Weed is a step up is all Im saying. Lmao


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