California Officials Look Away as Emboldened Homeless Run 'Pot Farm for Profit'


California was once synonymous with the American Dream. Now, after years of liberal political experimentation, that dream has faded into something out of a dystopian nightmare.

You’ve probably already seen the evidence, either in person or in the media. It’s no secret that homelessness is a major problem in the Golden State, an issue linked to the state’s less-than-glamorous fall into the worst poverty rate in the nation.

You can add “sanctuary city” policies and drugs to California’s problems. There seems to be a perfect storm of bad decisions brewing, and the winds appear to be shifting towards a rampant disregard for the law or the state’s former idealized glory.

Case in point: Authorities are reportedly ignoring a large “pot farm for profit” being run by a group of homeless people. It’s a sign of the times for the west coast state, and one that strongly hints at apathy.

“Several dozen homeless people are camped or living in RVs in and around the privately owned lot, which sits in an industrial area near a highway overpass,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported on Saturday.

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“Their ad hoc operation is equipped with a security camera and protected by a fence built of wood panels they collected from a nearby trash bin,” the newspaper continued.

According to the Chronicle, city officials in West Oakland consider the marijuana grow operation of at least 35 plants to be illegal, both because they suspect the weed is being sold for profit and because the encamped people growing it are squatting on somebody else’s private property.

Yet absolutely nothing has been done about it, a decision that echoes California’s shrugging attitude on other issues like illegal immigration.

For their part, the people who planted the cannabis are using the state’s lax laws on recreational marijuana to claim that they’re in the clear.

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“California state law allows for each person to grow up to six plants for personal use,” the Chronicle explained. “[Cam] McKeel and his friends say they are following state law; There are fewer than six plants for each of them.”

That argument exposes a huge gap in the state’s recreational marijuana laws.

Indeed, it’s hard for authorities to prove who the cannabis is meant for. But setting that aside, the group of homeless growers is still camped out on private property.

“You’ve trespassed on someone’s property and taken over a huge portion of it to create a large cannabis farm for profit,” insisted Joe DeVries, assistant to the city administrator’s office.

“No one can smoke that much pot. He did it without getting permission from the city, without getting permission from the owner,” DeVries continued. “No, that is not OK.”

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Yet it can be argued that this is the California that many leftists voted for. The marijuana laws seem to be an unenforceable mess, both poverty and the cost of living have skyrocketed, and homelessness is a widespread problem.

Call it the Law of Unintended Consequences. The rest of America should pay attention, because many of the same issues could be spreading beyond California soon.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.