With approximately 1,000 homes having been converted for illegal residential cultivation, illegal Sacramento marijuana grows have become a public safety concern for California’s capital city.
According to a city council report prepared by Joseph Devlin, Chief of Office of Cannabis Policy and Enforcement, “These homes have been structurally and electrically modified without the appropriate permits and contain substandard modifications that do not meet residential or commercial electrical requirements, creating a fire hazard.”
Beyond the report’s structural and electrical concerns, “The presence of these illegal grow houses in Sacramento’s neighborhoods also raise the potential for robberies and contribute to an increase in violent crime in the city.”
On Aug. 22, 2017, the Sacramento City Council heard from Devlin, Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn and Assistant City Manager Arturo Sanchez regarding the enforcement plan to eradicate illegal Sacramento marijuana grows.
“We have staffing issues within the police department,” Hahn said. “Our recommendation is that we utilize SWAT … that’s the best resource that we think to handle this right now, not because of their SWAT training, but because they are police officers and they are our best option in terms of resources right now.”
Councilwoman Angelique Ashby was adamant that intense enforcement efforts be launched as soon as possible. “I am not willing to allow the crime that happens around those homes to continue without taking extreme measures,” Ashby said.
Sanchez assured Ashby and the council that the necessary local agencies are ready to move forward with enforcement in less than a month.
“We will be taking SWAT personnel and breaking it up to assist our code enforcement inspectors and fire department and coordinate inspection and service of warrants essentially on illegal grows using a series of criteria that were developed through [Justice for Neighbors] … and we’ll be aggressively pursuing that within the next two weeks,” Sanchez explained.