Idaho and Narco Slavery
The recent disclosure from Oregon should encourage those who do not want the legalization of marijuana in the Gem State. KXL News reports a Josephine county official saying they've found disturbing employment evidence surrounding Oregon's legal pot farms. The officials say that 'slave-like conditions' exit on the fields of weed.
What is Narco Slavery? In a letter to Oregon Governor Kate Brown the Josephine county officials define it: Narco Slavery occurs when organized criminal networks intimidate, relocate, exploit and abuse their laborers. Unfortunately, one consequence of legalized cannabis has been a tragic surge in narco-slavery. During recent cannabis enforcement operations, Josephine County officials have witnessed the appalling conditions to which laborers of the unsanctioned cannabis industry are subjected:
No running water or bathing facilities
Unrefrigerated food and unsanitary cooking facilities
Sleeping in containers stacked three high
Living in tents and plywood shanties
You can read the rest of their letter here. Three members of the Oregon Legislature wrote Governor Brown. They are Senator Jeff Golden, Representative Pam Marsh, and Representative Lily Morgan.
After recent conversations with some of your staff this past week, it's clear that you understand the scale of the crisis in Southern Oregon generated by large-scale illegal and unpermitted cannabis cultivation. The damaging impacts, including human trafficking of a labor force in conditions approaching slavery, severe aggravation of the drought through massive and systematic water theft, long-term damage to agricultural lands from various polluting practices, and the financial ruin of licensed growers whose compliance obligations make competition impossible, are hard to overstate. All this is taking place across the Rogue Valley with essential impunity.
We have an indisputable emergency and need a prompt emergency response. Illegal growers are within weeks of leaving the area with their massively profitable harvest, which will most likely motivate them to return to Oregon for another round next year. We need to do everything possible to reduce that incentive by seizing as many of these illegal crops as we can this month, and doing what's possible to hold the responsible parties accountable. Local law enforcement leaders tell us they are doing what they can to prepare these kinds of operations, but simply lack the manpower to implement these raids. They tell us the most valuable assistance possible—really the only support that could make a difference before harvest—is the infusion of well-trained and appropriately armed police officers.
With that in mind, we ask that you temporarily deploy without delay as many Oregon State Troopers as can be spared to assist county law enforcement in their overburdened efforts. We further ask you to ask the federal government to send trained DEA officers to join the effort. It's too late to respond to this crisis in time to relieve the damage Southern Oregon's suffering this year; much work lies ahead if we're to manage these problems effectively next year.
But it's not too late, if prompt emergency steps are taken, to deprive some portion of illegal growers of the massive profits that their crimes will generate, to relieve the suffering of many of their laborers, and to send an unmistakable message that Oregon is no longer open for their kind of business. I would hope we can show Southern Oregonians in the coming days that we are in fact capable of timely action in the face of this invasion. Thanks for your service and consideration.
Pro pot activists tout the amount of legal money the weed brings into the state of Oregon. However, why would Idaho want to encourage criminal activity in its neighboring state by legalizing marijuana?
If legalized marijuana was the answer to the illegal growing and selling of the illegal drug, why is the state of Oregon, where pot is legal, dealing with illegal pot farms? If something is too good to be true, it usually is. That goes the same for any argument to bring the weed legally to Idaho.