Sheriff McMahon to Tackle Illegal Marijuana Cultivation at Apple Valley City Council Meeting

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San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon is expected to speak to illegal marijuana cultivation on Tuesday in a presentation to Apple Valley City Council.

Information for the presentation was scarce on the meeting agenda; however, McMahon has discussed the issue with several High Desert organizations in recent months. During these presentations in communities like Lucerne Valley and Helendale, the Sheriff detailed his department’s successes and challenges with regard to illegal cultivation in the county.

In the Lucerne Valley on March 3, for example, McMahon compared the continued efforts of the sheriff’s department to reduce the growth in playing a game of Whack-a-mole, saying new sites are appearing as quickly as they are. are closed.

Because operating an illegal marijuana grow op is a misdemeanor under California law, McMahon said suspected violators are often cited and released on the spot, leaving law enforcement with few options to do so. sustainable progress on a problem that officials say is on the rise.

That said, McMahon described illegal cultivation as a quality of life issue that he vowed to eliminate from the High Desert.

McMahon’s presentation to Apple Valley comes on the same day the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the county’s budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which includes a $ 10.4 million proposal to put in. aside for “community concerns,” according to the Daily Press. reported.

3rd District Supervisor Dawn Rowe called the proposal “an important step towards providing a solution to remote desert and mountain communities that have been overwhelmed by tourism and overrun with illegal marijuana farms.”

“I’ve heard before that illegal cannabis cultivation is a victimless crime, but that’s not the case in my district,” Rowe said in a statement. “This activity has significant impacts on our water supply with illegal wells and hook-ups, in addition to herbicides and pesticides that could most likely seep into our groundwater.”

Rowe is expected to present a resolution to supervisors on Tuesday that, if passed, would “strongly encourage” legislation by the California legislature making the illegal cultivation of cannabis a crime, according to county agenda documents.

High Desert groups – such as the Lucerne Valley Economic Development Association and the Homestead Valley Community Council – noted that California is the only state to legalize adult marijuana use and reduce crimes associated with felonies to misdemeanors.

In Washington, Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona and Montana, crimes remain crimes, according to a letter the HVCC sent to 16th District State Senator Shannon Grove in May.

HVCC represents the communities of Flamingo Heights, Johnson Valley, Landers and Yucca Mesa.

Apple Valley Town Hall.

In addition to hearing McMahon, city council is expected to vote or discuss the following:

  • Award a contract to Five Star Landscape Maintenance for the James Woody Park Retention Basin Landscape Restoration Project.
  • Authorize the posting of tenders for a Stoddard Wells Road widening project.
  • Approve an amendment to the city’s 2014 agreement with Dokken Engineering for engineering and design services related to the Bear Valley Road Bridge rehabilitation and widening project. The amendment relates to an amount not exceeding $ 887,786, according to the documents on the agenda.
  • Adopt the list of SB1 road maintenance and rehabilitation account projects for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, which should identify the transportation projects in Apple Valley that will be funded by SB1.
  • Adopt a resolution approving the 2019 Climate Action Plan.
  • Discuss the design criteria for single-family homes. This is a receive and file item.
  • Board member Scott Nassif is expected to appoint a new member to fill a vacant position on the historic Apple Valley Advisory Board.

Apple Valley City Council is scheduled to meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber at City Hall, 14955 Dale Evans Parkway. Seating will be limited to 50% of the room’s capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting will also be webcast live on the city’s website. Visit www.applevalley.org to view the meeting or read the meeting agenda in full.

Daily Press editor-in-chief Matthew Cabe can be reached at [email protected] or 760-490-0052. Follow him on Twitter @DP_MatthewCabe.

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