The following is an installment in a weekly series of commentary articles by Cameron Arcand, host of the Young Not Stupid interview series and a contributor to The Western Journal.
While most documentaries now are either about serial killers or social justice movements, the Daily Caller’s “Cartelville, USA” brings fresh investigative journalism to the table.
The film, clocking in at a brief but impactful 36 minutes, features reporter Jorge Ventura as he delves into a troubling trend in the high desert of Los Angeles County: illegal cannabis farms.
Ventura was the perfect person to produce and narrate the documentary, as he is one of the few journalists who have covered the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border on location.
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) November 4, 2021
Ventura uses his own experience growing up in Palmdale, California, to explain that many families move to the desert to get out of the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Now, they’re starting to flee what used to be their sanctuary.
Using testimonies from local residents and law enforcement, the documentary reveals how cartels are buying up poor-quality houses with vast amounts of land in order to start pot farms without proper state licensing.
Property prices in the area have skyrocketed, ruining the region’s reputation for being more affordable. The high desert is now overrun by criminal enterprises wasting precious resources, including water, with no regard for the communities around them.
These cartels staff their operations with migrants smuggled across the southern border, many of whom are working as indentured servants.
Ventura does a fantastic job drawing distinctions between the people running the farms and the ones laboring on them.
He tells a far more nuanced story about the average person coming across the border than the hyper-partisan narrative coming from both sides of the aisle.
Furthermore, the documentary clarifies which state laws make these operations possible in a way that is simple enough for laypeople to understand.
The fault lies with poor policies and, of course, with people — namely, Democratic Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascón.
Gascón is currently under the threat of a recall petition, as his progressive law enforcement style has left many in the community feeling unsafe. Realistically, he would be the one necessary for a crackdown on illegal cannabis farms in the county.
LA County DA Gascón under fire as convicted killer set to be released 6 years into 50-year sentence https://t.co/UTJKNH1nCl
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) November 10, 2021
“Cartelville USA” bucks the norm of preachy documentaries to tell a heartbreaking story of real Americans losing their towns to drug kingpins.
For more information about the documentary, go to CartelDoc.com.
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