California law does not allow the growth or sale of marijuana for profit. State law is very specific: California has decriminalized the growth and use of marijuana only for seriously ill individuals with a doctor’s prescription and only in the small amounts reasonably necessary to accommodate an individual’s medical condition. Those who exceed such limits are not exempt from criminal investigation or prosecution, even if they have a doctor’s recommendation for marijuana.
Outdoor Marijuana Grow Operations
The Sheriff’s Department would like to remind landlords, property owners and renters that growing and selling marijuana for profit remains illegal in California. Those who allow marijuana cultivation on their property are subject to arrest and prosecution.
In many cases, those in charge of large swaths of property had rented some or all of that property to marijuana cultivators. Drug traffickers will often approach homeowners or renters on large parcels and offer payment in exchange for allowing them to grow marijuana on the property. The traffickers then hire a third party to maintain the plants and harvest the marijuana.
The Sheriff’s Department remains committed to enforcing the law in Riverside County, and will continue to deploy resources and personnel, as needed, to investigate reports of illegal marijuana cultivation.
Residential Indoor Marijuana Grow Operations
This type of operation usually starts when a rental home is converted in the interior area by covering most or all of the windows. The subjects then make room-by-room conversions throughout the house by bypassing the electrical meter, installing additional electrical wiring, outlets, circuit-breaker panels, commercial grade lighting and air conditioning units. These conversions are extremely hazardous and pose a serious fire risk, not only to the home, but to the surrounding homes as well.
Some of the tell-tale signs are:
- Windows that are covered from the interior
- Lights and televisions on timers
- Subjects moving in commercial grade electrical equipment during the late night or early morning hours
- No signs of normal residential occupation, and the smell of marijuana emitting from the home
What you can do
If you suspect a residence in your neighborhood is being used for illegal marijuana cultivation you can send an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.