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Migrant Oregon weed workers face threats amid illegal boom | Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of immigrants working on southern Oregon illegal marijuana farms that authorities say are run by foreign cartels are living in squalid conditions and are sometimes being cheated and threatened by their gangland bosses. The situation has gotten so bad in the largely rural region near the state line with California,…
The post Migrant Oregon weed workers face threats amid illegal boom appeared first on Cannabis Business Executive – Cannabis and Marijuana industry news.

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Thousands of immigrants working on southern Oregon illegal marijuana farms that authorities say are run by foreign cartels are living in squalid conditions and are sometimes being cheated and threatened by their gangland bosses.

The situation has gotten so bad in the largely rural region near the state line with California, amid a violent crime surge and water theft for the growing operations during a severe drought, that Jackson and Douglas counties declared a state of emergency last month.

They requested state funding and other resources, including deployment of the National Guard, to properly enforce cannabis laws.

On Thursday, commissioners in neighboring Josephine County said they are preparing their own emergency declaration. A draft document cites “rampant violations of county codes, state water laws and criminal laws.” They previously wrote a letter to Oregon’s senate president saying the county is experiencing “a tragic surge in narco-slavery.”

A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, Elizabeth Merah, has said that there are no immediate plans to deploy the National Guard.

Many of the zone’s illegal marijuana farms operate under the guise of being legal hemp farms, but the crops that they grow have amounts of THC — the component that gives pot its high — far above the legal levels allowed for hemp.

State regulators and local law enforcement officers have been overwhelmed by the amount of industrial-scale growing sites, which they say number in the hundreds and possibly thousands. [Read More @ APNews.com]

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