Pot Farms Destroying Sequoia Nat’l Park

Famed for the biggest trees in the world, Sequoia National Park is now No. 1 in another flora department: marijuana growing, with more land carved up by pot growers than any other park. Joe Robinson wrote about this in the LA Times.

“Parts of Sequoia, including the Kaweah River drainage and areas off Mineral King Road, are no-go zones for visitors and park rangers during the April-to-October growing season, when drug lords cultivate pot on an agribusiness-scale fit for the Central Valley.

“I’ve had meetings with law enforcement throughout the state, and everybody just sits there with their mouths open. Nobody can believe this has happened on the scale that it has,” says William Ruzzamenti, a 30-year Drug Enforcement Administration official who heads up the Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a program that spearheads drug investigations and has provided support to Sequoia and Kings Canyon.

Pot plantations have surged as Mexican-affiliated drug cartels adapt to increased border security since 9/11 and cash in on the rising price of high-grade weed, now more profitable than methamphetamine, according to investigators.”