Marijuana Inc. – Inside America's Pot Industry (Full Length Documentary)

marijuana is the most profitable illegal narcotic this is a huge business in California alone it is the number one crop there’s at least 13 gardens within a mile radius start clean gardens right around your house yes Wow thousands of growers millions of users and a market in the billions how much money was coming in to your marijuana smuggling operations every year about 50 million it’s a multi-billion dollar business right with guns gangs and plenty of money i’m trish regan join me for an unprecedented look inside america’s marijuana industry i’m here to eradicate a scum that have infiltrated my county and made it nationally known as a producer county of good marijuana and now the CNBC original documentary marijuana inc inside america’s pot industry welcome to ukiah california the scene a county fair two hours from San Francisco but a world away from the urban bustle here family stroll the fairgrounds Future Farmers examine prized livestock this is Northern California’s Mendocino County at first glance a picture postcard of the Far West but beneath its beauty why the controversial profitable and increasingly violent criminal enterprise five pounds here and four pounds on the baby crib an exploding underground industry the marijuana trade marijuana is being grown in homes backyards even our national parks this is ground zero for for marijuana nobody produces any better marijuana than we do right here this is as natural as growing corn to me ukiah morrison is a Mendocino pot grower in most places that would make him an outlaw but not in this neck of the woods this is the lifeblood of the county and it has been for more than 30 years Morrison walks a fine line growing as much marijuana as he can without triggering a legal crack down he can do that because authorities here are overwhelmed by the sheer number of growers they’re also hampered by conflicting state federal and county laws governing marijuana it is the major cash crop here a County Commission study reports pot accounts for up to two thirds of the local economy I think there is anything more important in this economy so to take this out would would be a major blow though reliable numbers are hard to come by that wave of pot in Mendocino County is estimated to be worth more than a billion dollars a sizable chunk of a national market for marijuana believed to be in the tens of billions of dollars it all begins right here with this marijuana plant this is a typical pot garden there are thousands of these all over Northern California this is just a tiny portion of a huge harvest in this area that’s known as the Emerald triangle so what Iowa is to corn what Kansas is to wheat the Emerald triangle is to marijuana marijuana plants in Mendocino County can I mean sometimes reach 14 or 15 20 feet Wow I mean what is this this has got to be at least 8 feet yeah 19a Mendocino local Eric’s line took us on a tour of one backyard garden what is the the part of the plant that you actually make money off you see these what we call nodes up here alright and those are going to push out what’s called a bud okay and these are going to these are going to create a larger but that could weigh anywhere between three grams 5 10 grams and the bud is what actually is taken off of the plant and chopped up and made them just for everyone how much is the plant like this really worth a plant like this assuming that it’s gonna yield about two pounds be worth about five thousand dollars and how many plants are here there’s 20 plants here okay so we’re talking about a garden worth potentially $100,000 oh my goodness Eric’s expertise in marijuana led him to publish grow a magazine that represents just how far the marijuana business has come for what marijuana is in this region it’s not

very well documented for people who live in these areas marijuana as a topic deserves a larger form his magazine displays photos like this they provide an extraordinary glimpse into a drug based economy the publication that I’ve put together has definitely been referred to as marijuana porn Eric shot this rare video of a huge commercial indoor garden that provides harvest four times a year it takes a team of like 5 to 10 people to run this level of growing if the owner of the land the people who are really running things they might make up to half a million dollars on you on an annual basis there’s a reason California is experiencing such a marijuana boom first of all state law they actually allow you to grow marijuana for medicinal purposes here in this part of the country secondly there’s been an increase in border security as a result of 911 so that’s meant fewer foreign sources of marijuana coming into the country and the results ever increasing demand from Mendocino finest while California state law permits residents to grow a small number of pot plants under federal law pot is flat-out illegal but talked to Eric and marijuana begins sounding more and more like any other legitimate commodity grape sweet coffee there’s a very developed system of brokering marijuana that exists throughout California what is a marijuana broker specifically do it’s just like a brown I’ll commodities broker on Wall Street they’re figuring out where it’s at they’re getting it the lowest price they can get it and they’re bringing in the buyer and trying to get the buyer to pay the highest price they can so the margin in between is where they make their money you could actually kind of have like a clear what’s called a clearinghouse it’s a place where you you take things and you have someone else sell it you know and they take commission the economics of this drug are simple and attractive it cost an estimated four hundred dollars to grow a pound of pot 1 pound sells for twenty-five hundred dollars to a middleman it then yields six thousand dollars on the street because of low startup costs and overhead marijuana is the most profitable drug of all with that kind of profit margin marijuana is increasingly filling the gap left by other failing industries like lumber and fishing if we didn’t have marijuana what would this county be like what would it be like I don’t know I think we’d all be selling Amway what else are people doing up here since the 1960’s the Emerald triangle has increasingly become the haven for people looking to grow marijuana and make a living at it you keep saying that this is just so normal I mean the reality is I mean for me and plenty of viewers out there this is not normal but everyone does it yeah you know I think a lot of it has to do with the culture that migrated to this area from San Francisco and at the end of the sixties but those hippies the liberal hippies really learned how to turn marijuana into a serious business that’s generating a ton of cash up how about this how about their kids learn how to turn into serious cash there you go we first visited this marijuana garden with Eric slide during the height of the summer growing season now we’re back two months later right before the fall harvest when the plants were kind of reached a certain point that’s it’s time to cut them down remember the marijuana bud itself is where the money is within weeks this crop will be dried and ready for sale it’s hard to tell how much the marijuana is actually going to sell for on the open market as well you know is it gonna be is that price gonna be increased because of less less supply is it going to be decreased because there’s more supply you know it’s hard to tell how much marijuana is out there the basic law of supply and demand just a normal part of life in Northern California’s Emerald triangle sometimes I feel like I’m in a bubble because I just really don’t i don’t know what it’s like to not grow marijuana coming up the biggest game and the private community it progressed a story straight out of the hit series weeds a suburban mom goes back to school my husband is a swim me right now with my three boys because i’m here at class for some higher education I can see that perhaps in the future that could be my new calling but first I hate to say but Mendocino County is the true epitome of 2008 wild wild west can-am one runs away pudding please tell me the guy’s got a garnish the dark side of life in pot country that’s next when marijuana inc inside america’s pot industry returns

tucked away amid lush vineyards and gentle hillsides powder valley is one of the most beautiful small towns in all of Northern California for joy Tucker it’s a special place she grew up here and loved it so much she returned with her husband Sam Legend and built a life with their two children but today she’s leaving for good today we’re moving lots of boxes trucks friends and family that will help us out with that move we want man ah take your pick after nine years the Tucker family is leaving because potter valley has gone to pot literally the family is surrounded by neighbors who are growing marijuana there’s at least 13 Gardens within a mile radius 13 gardens right around your house yes Wow joy Tucker worked as the elementary school principal here where she says she had third graders whose backpacks wreaked from the residue of their parents pot plants the final straw came when the house next door used to grow marijuana went up in flames when we looked out the window we saw the whole place was on fire it was not an isolated incident one local fire chief estimates more than fifty percent of all fires in the area are linked to growing pot to have the house next door burned down because they’re in there smoke in it and growing it was a big thing you’re saying then it has gotten so bad here that you’re willing to pack up and leave your whole life here behind to go start over somewhere else that’s true we’re just not gonna take that chance with the kids and there’s more law enforcement officials say local growers often use guns and pit bulls for protection they are the seed sown by Mendocino County law which for years has allowed each of the 88,000 residents here to grow up to 25 marijuana plants for medicinal even recreational use Mendocino County Sheriff Tom almond is on the front line of this community struggle with marijuana people were saying it’s just marijuana what could possibly go wrong and now we’re seeing what could possibly go wrong he told us about an entire neighborhood that wasn’t what it seemed you’re ready for aunt bee to walk out and say hi to Andy Griffith can you walk in the door and it’s nothing but mature marijuana some of the houses looked like beautiful houses and there wasn’t a single chair in any of them what do you mean there wasn’t a single chair in any they were all indoor grows that had been built to make it look like a house with nice wood white shutters so complete facade absolutely almond says that marijuana commerce is now so brazen growers even ship their pot to customers via FedEx and UPS though without the company’s approval if you were a business a sold shoes and somebody wanted to in Florida one to buy your shoes how would you get those shoes to Florida well shoes and marijuana are two different things it’s a commodity and right now the commodities been abused this is an actual illegal industry that reaps huge profits and nothing is really stopping it Jim wantin burger was the chairman of Mendocino County Board of Supervisors does this economy depend on marijuana Trish I’d say that if marijuana was to be one hundred percent eradicated this county would become destitute the small mom-and-pop grocery store the agricultural product supply store they’re making probably ninety percent of their annual budget off of products that they’re selling that help provide this product of marijuana in this county how many people are really engaging in this it’s very unfortunate for me to state but i believe about sixty percent of our populace is involved in one shape or another in the marijuana industry sixty percent yes it’s embarrassing as hell i’m ashamed that we’re known for this i’m telling you these facts in an effort to turn the tide to look for state and federal help we went to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration to see how an industry based on a drug banned by US law could flourish so openly there’s a low risk of getting arrested Javier Pena spent years running federal marijuana enforcement in Northern California if you have parts of Northern California in which economies are completely dependent on marijuana isn’t that on your shoulders as DEA I

will enforce the law I will go after the biggest and the baddest but uh blaming da for a marijuana based economy I would say that’s that is that is not correct what else is going to control this it’s the people who have voted for the legalization of marijuana under federal law illegal just ate it it’s legal but as far as blaming DEA for a narco based economy I think that’s not a correct assumption I hate to say it but mendocino county is the true epitome of 2008 wild wild west just how wild it is can be felt in a new crime wave that’s hit this region mr. Hopkins your next witness sir more and more thieves are targeting homes believed to contain pot this is a Browning arms 9-millimeter semi-automatic pistol this defendant Renato Hughes was convicted of assault and burglary Hughes along with two accomplices invaded a home to steal marijuana one person away pudding please tell me the guys go yard this is the 911 call from a terrified mother next gunshots the homeowner shoots and kills Hughes’s two accomplices the marijuana trade has grown so large that even the environment is paying a price this is industrial pollution from illegal pot production they were pumping out a lot of marijuana bed Jim Harrison the county’s environmental health officer and Sheriff Tom almond toward the damage left by a massive indoor marijuana grow doesn’t have you taken a million bucks a year easy easy I was thinking more like five or six well this is what it looked like months earlier when it was raided authorities discovered two industrial size generators worth half a million dollars were used to power four rooms just like this one all filled with marijuana Harrison says that it will cost as much as fifty thousand dollars to clean up the mess the pollution from the generators and the diesel fuel that they use and the herbicides pesticides fungicides those are all bad almost every grow that I go to there’s a diesel spill or a waste oil spill the people who make their living in the pot trade can be found all over Mendocino County these men who wanted to keep their identity secret may not fit your idea of drug dealers their backgrounds include journalism politics and law enforcement between them they share 75 years of pop growing experience and feel strongly that critics of the marijuana industry are just blowing smoke it’s not considered disruptive to the community it’s actually more of a benefit to the community and people all know this and that’s why it’s not considered a serious crime here this grower says marijuana helped him dig out of a subprime mortgage disaster I knew something of the business previously and I felt that this was the best way for us to survive at this time what would happen if the crop just disappeared overnight what would happen to this economy well there would be a lot of foreclosures the same thing if Apple closed their planting Saturday a lot of businesses close to because you wouldn’t have any customers yeah the economy would crash it would tank as the marijuana boom continues so does the split in this community between those who grow and those who don’t I’m very much a part of my community and I’m as much a law-abiding citizen as anybody just because you get a traffic ticket and a broken a law does that make you a criminal in June of 2008 voters put mendocino marijuana laws back in line with the rest of the state lowering the legal number of plants that can be grown to six but that has by no means settled the fate of the county’s major cash crop i no particular families that have come to this community who have been so successful they now own three or four homes and have brought in other relatives from Washington Oregon Nevada Utah to partake in this gold rush it’s a family business it’s a family business and everybody’s making money while some are rushing into Mendocino others say enough is enough joy Tucker says she simply couldn’t wait any longer we truly believe that it’s different here and so we are willing to move completely uproot our entire family coming up I needed some the business

stand out right now is real good damn in hundreds of storefronts around California marijuana has gone legit and business has never been sweeter we have caramel candies pies brownie peanut butter chocolate chip chocolate truffles that’s next when marijuana inc inside america’s pot industry returns these are actually mother plants that have been cut on to produce little cuttings before a packed classroom Joey araneta is teaching a most unusual course advantage is that you can have something vegging already another space and if the curriculum is unusual so is this job description am on medical marijuana instructor or professor welcome to marijuana 101 parts per million is at 40 that’s very low not just a single class but an entire school oaksterdam university devoted to pot vaporizing is one of the best ways to take cannabis students in oakland california paid 250 dollars for weekend courses showing them how to grow marijuana harvest it and most importantly how to avoid getting arrested in the process that basically gets us through federal law I had never even in my life seen a marijuana plant girls my very first time I’ve ever seen one given her background Laurie strand might seem like the last person you’d expect to find here I have a husband who as a contractor I’m a real estate agent and we are we have down I mean where does it very normal in fact my husband is a swim meet right now with my three boys because i’m here at class it’s thousands of people like lori strands seemingly normal in every way who inspired the showtime hit weeds the central character nancy botwin is a busy suburban mom with two young boys who grows pot to help support her family a page that could be ripped right out of strands life I’m not gonna start growing and selling today I mean that’s not gonna happen but I can see that perhaps in the future that could be my new calling Oakland was the first city to issue permits for cannabis and strands marijuana class is just one small part of a local culture centered on marijuana this particular part of oakland is known as oaksterdam the name barred from amsterdam the most crop friendly city in the world where marijuana is completely legal now that’s not the case here in Oakland but you know what you’d be forgiven for thinking it was this used to be the big shopping district we met up with Richard Lee the founder of Oaksterdam University and an out in the open pot entrepreneur he hopes to revitalize this struggling area of Oakland through an increasingly legitimate marijuana trade you spent a lot of time in Amsterdam is that really your model is that your template for what you would love to see happen here exactly yes when you go to Amsterdam you see that it’s just tourism and jobs and you know it fits in with the rest of the economy your goal is to show that it can be done safely but at the same time you’re making money at all right Jeff we believe in earning an honest living California is leading a growing movement toward an increasing permissiveness when it comes to marijuana 11 states have decriminalized first time position here there are hundreds of places or you can walk into a store and buy pot all it takes is a doctor’s recommendation remarkably easy to come by which entitles you to a medical marijuana card under state law you can then possess up to 8 ounces of pot or about 160 marijuana cigarettes this is the second dispatcher you opened that we’re heading to right now Lee owns the local marijuana dispensary also known as the blue sky cafe our kids allowed in in the front that’s part of our service and come in get a smoothie or some cereal and milk and we’ll look after a while that patient goes in the back walk to the back of the shop and you’ll find a formalized even sophisticated buying process tango mosses trish regan you’re the bartender right Alan tender tender Lee showed us the dispensaries marijuana menu which contains samples of the four varieties of pot that are sold here at any one time this is different than the knees what’s different about ready to white wine you know that in terms of wine yeah these are samples that you can pull out open that up and smell it it’s taina then see if you can see that this smell the difference between that in this oh yeah look no one smells a little better yeah see there’s not only marijuana to smoke that comes from one particular farm and that farm will always package it like that but to eat as well Rachel from 5 to 25 any what you like we have caramels candies pies brownie peanut butter chocolate chip

chocolate truffles and then olive oil and salad dressing over love here wow it’s like a grocery store back here okay what is it this is our plant catalogue Lee also sells marijuana plants these are our starter plants for people to grow their own and this is the nursery where Lee’s pot gardeners tend to the plants these employees receive medical benefits as part of their paychecks even the state of California has its hand in the marijuana till 24 us sending letters to the dispensaries reminding them of their obligation to pay tax on all the pot sold in 2006 the state collected more than 11 million dollars in sales tax revenue how much money do you pay in sales tax in the state of California every year 300,000 300,000 and what do you pay in federal income tax about doubled up about 500 600 thousand so the government’s making money off youtube definitely and yet his entire enterprise comes with considerable risk possessing marijuana may be legal under California state law but it is completely illegal under federal statute half a dick right and the more you sell the edibles are Hastur anything the greater the chances of being busted by the DEA which richard lee knows all too well how often do you get the marijuana in every week every month every week how much do you order on any given week yeah that’s kind of getting into little sensitive areas far as trying to give exact numbers on that watch sure I feel comfortable with that why it just kind of goes into the area of taunting the DEA it’s a matter of having a little respect for your opposition coming up we knew that there was marijuana coming in we knew it was on the street we knew somebody was bringing it in we had no idea who it was or where it was a marijuana mystery he was one of the biggest drug smugglers in American history but for years no one knew its name give you an idea of how much money was coming in to your marijuana smuggling operation every year about 50 million that’s next when marijuana inc inside america’s pot industry returns once upon a time before the marijuana trade became a homegrown enterprise and the American pop business exploded in Northern California’s Emerald triangle huge amounts the drug were smuggled into this country from overseas these well financed sophisticated operations were not only illegal and dangerous they were immensely profitable this is the remarkable story of one of those smugglers Bruce Pearl Owen was a nice Jewish boy from Florida who became nothing less than the West Coast marijuana kingpin at certain point I wanted to be a big marijuana smuggler and I wanted to bring as much marijuana as I could possibly be again pearl win did just that creating and running one of the biggest drug smuggling operations of all time we saw ourselves as modern-day pirates modern-day swashbucklers what about the fact that it’s illegal I’m an outlaw I wasn’t a la that outlaw ran his massive drug conspiracy from right here in the San Francisco Bay Area purlin smuggled more than 300,000 pounds worth of marijuana into the US the street value on those drugs approached 1 billion dollars and most of his pot slipped right underneath one of America’s most famous landmarks the Golden Gate Bridge giving an idea of how much money was coming in to your marijuana smuggling operations every year about 50 million purlins massive operation provides a vivid snapshot of the marijuana business during a bygone era it was the 1970s and 80s raiders of the lost ark was the big movie the San Francisco 49ers were well on their way to establishing a football dynasty and Bruce Pearl Owen was smuggling hundreds of tons of marijuana right under the noses of federal authorities perlain recruited a small Navy hiring boat captains and their fishing vessels from the nearby fleet anchored at the northern californ town of moss landing which had been hit by hard times they were fishermen until I came along him a more lucrative business enterprise they’d much rather fish for marijuana than fish for fish it was way more lucrative and more fun it’s not like you’re out in the middle of nowhere here no in fact when our boats came in they were looking like fishermen coming back from a fishing trip getting

ready to come into port but but we had marijuana cigarette on board we were very sneaky so this boat right here this is obviously not one of the votes that you used but how much marijuana could you put on a boat like that based on the size of the hole you could put between 60 and 80 to 100,000 pounds in a boat like this so how much money are we talking 30 million while / Lewin was raking in the cash FBI agents at the San Francisco field office were startled by a sudden jump in the amount of pot on the street this was the man assigned to the case Special Agent Chuck hladik we knew that there was marijuana coming in we knew it was on the street we knew somebody was bringing it in we had no idea who it was or where it was but lighting did know this person was smuggling in enormous amounts of pot he was making a million dollars a month no question in my mind pearl Owens marijuana supply came mostly from South America one by one he sent his fishing boats to a tiny village near the town of Harada in Columbia the marijuana was flown in by purlins Colombian partners in large bales from the country’s pot growing region hundreds of miles away what they would load it onto planes flight over three mountain ranges and drop it onto the west coast of Colombia where it would be gathered and stored by village once per llewyn’s boats loaded up in Colombia they set sail back to the San Francisco Bay three weeks later they arrived filled with tons of top prepared to pass under the Golden Gate Bridge this is the time if they’re gonna bust you this is when they’re gonna bust you everybody’s on full alert it’s the moment of truth / Llewyn even purchased his own peer to offload his drugs we visited what’s left of it how long did it take you to offload your butt we could offload a boat and fill two truck full of marijuana and get the trucks off the dock and the boat reloaded fueled and gone in 57 minutes less than one hour how did / Llewyn select the crowded maritime harbor of San Francisco Bay to offload his drugs he did what any self-respecting executive would do he hired a research firm I told my was writing a book on smuggling they compiled this entire research project for me and what I found is that where most of the bus the car up in Coos Bay Oregon or down San Diego the two border border of Canada and the border of Mexico so that’s when I knew to look in a place like San Francisco because that’s where there was no heat San Francisco Bay was wide open with pearl Owens operation in full gear Chuck lettings FBI team was starting to zero in he was really big he was at the time the largest that we were aware of in the FBI by far this is almost exactly where the boats came in right here maybe another 200 yards that way the smuggling scheme was run like a fortune 500 company with / Lewin as CEO in 1980 loan I spent a half million dollars every week the entire year on the business I’m paying for the marijuana itself buying houses for stash houses buying speedboats buying new trucks finding new docks always making your business more more more sophisticated and expanding more and more okay so you’ve got 50 million going in and out of this business that I need to deal with something to do you create an entire business on just what to do with the cash so we had lawyers flying money to the Cayman Islands all the time for us you can’t take more than 10,000 and cash out of the country of course Here I am talking to the king of marijuana smuggling I’m sure you figured out a way to get those hundreds out of the country too in those days everybody was going to the Cayman Islands which suitcases full of money they didn’t care pearl Owens West Coast operation would thrive for four years but the beginning of the end came when FBI agent Ladon got a phone call it was another agent in Mendocino County who’d been given a notebook found at a local Denny’s the agent said we got this notebook and it is full of information on marijuana smuggling the notebook that / Lewin left behind at a Denny’s restaurant became his undoing it provided investigators with a breakdown of his entire organization the book was the key to everything we found even if financial reports in it couldn’t imagine that anybody who was somewhat competent running an organization would walk away and leave their most prized possession city in a booth of Denny’s the evidence helped send Pirlo into federal prison for nine years one of 50

convictions in the case I’m really glad that I arrested him I I just wasn’t happy he got out Brillouin smuggling routes have long since dried up chuckling is retired and Bruce Pearl Owen who was released from prison in 1991 says he’s moved on to other more legitimate endeavors knowing what you know now knowing that you went to prison for nine years as a result of this would you do it again my gut reactions yes I would live my life exactly the way I lived it it was a lot of fun coming up I could have never imagined that we would see the trend of marijuana growing operations that we’re seeing today on the front lines of America’s war on pot it turns out there’s a Mexican connection they send people up here that they don’t do what they’re told they and their family will be armed that’s next when marijuana inc inside america’s pot industry returns if there is such a place as ground zero for marijuana production in the US it might just be garberville California this is definitely not normal America this place is its own little entity the lure of profits here has attracted people from all over like Bryan anela who traveled all the way from South Carolina in hope of finding work during the fall pot harvest there’s always been a group of people that head to Humboldt County this time of year for work for weeks they’ve been living out of their van hoping to hit pay dirt trimming marijuana buds if you get lucky and find somebody who’s got two months where the trim work one person could walk away easily with fifteen twenty thousand dollars and two months but right now it looks like they’ve come a long way for nothing due to an extraordinary crackdown by law enforcement there’s just so many cops and federal agents and it’s just so much hassle with it everybody’s pretty much scared this year it seems in a state believed to supply more than half the nation’s marijuana an upsurge of guns and helicopters has come to California’s Emerald triangle on this mission deputy sheriff butch Gupta is the man leading the charge against pot gardens and their growers somebody’s got to keep their head up all the time looking around because you never know if these guys are going to get upset you never know if they’re armed if they’re going to shoot at you Gupta heads one of California’s airborne Search and Destroy squads bent on finding marijuana grows hidden in the rugged wilderness on the day we followed him doctor and his team uncovered a water source possible evidence of a pot garden deep in this Mendocino County forest these guys are uncanny at finding water anywhere it almost seems like they can find it in the desert the sophistication of these remote gardens is remarkable jerry-rigged irrigation systems complete with plastic tubing and fertilizer they’ll run this black poly pipe for miles we chased two miles worth of pipe one time into a garden system to where they can get it into the Sun where they need the light for the plants and it’s hidden right here you can’t even see it but as I clean it up it runs right into the garden area the garden is actually just past these trees the growers even build makeshift living quarters so they contend the plants for weeks at a time they got little dugouts but they’ve taken would cost sticks and stuff and made a little campsite platform for their bed it’s 85 degrees and there are no trails to guide Gupta and his men every day I worry you never know what you’re going to encounter out here last year we seized over a hundred guns weeks earlier a similar law enforcement team shot and killed one suspect at a grow site and then right over in this area the head a little stash cash of items ken of menudo some tortillas and some Valencia hot sauce typically this is indicative of Hispanic growers at another grow a small notebook entirely in spanish but it looked like some of this has to do with a fertilizer things like that the Hispanic growers will come in on these tracts of land that are not heavily used by the public they’re the only people that are willing to get out here go the distance they’ll walk four or five miles to get to this place to set this up because they know

nobody else is going to be here it’s part of what law enforcement has determined to be a Mexican connection with growers traveling north of the border to stake a claim in America’s increasingly profitable pot industry we traveled to central California’s Sequoia National Forest where we met up with the Bush administration’s drugs are Jon Walters he told us about the rapidly growing link between massive pot gardens in this country and Mexico’s infamous and violent drug cartels the guys who do this are worst guys you can think of cutting off heads and killing women and children without a qualm these are the people who are the biggest threat to the governance of Mexico today they are killing people at any level to keep control this grow he says was established by just such a Mexican drug gang he says some of the workers who tend these pop gardens were brought here after being kidnapped from their families in Mexico they sent people up here who some cases have been sent up just grabbed from their families sent up and been told if they don’t do what they’re told they and their family will be harmed even more startling many of these so-called Mexican groves are within US national parks and other public land where an estimated seventy percent of outdoor pot is now grown this is a place that is supposed to be preserved while habitat and it’s being turned into a place that cultivates poison and pays for people who kill as a matter of doing business law enforcement authorities are overwhelmed in 2008 they spent more than 10 billion dollars battling the marijuana trade Special Agent Daniel field is a 20-year veteran of the DEA from his front row seat he’s seen the explosive growth of a whole new industry I could have never imagined that we would see the train to run of marijuana growing operations that we’re seeing today in Northern California in the early 90s we would typically spend an entire day to locate maybe a couple of small garden today it doesn’t make us but a matter of minutes when ok 1 36 out of 40 6 140 cities with every passing year a new record is set in 2008 law enforcement seized more than 5 million plants in California alone we’re growing crossing over this whole brain out here the middle you can see there’s a large attached greenhouse to this house their marijuana plants inside that greenhouse very distinct color that you can see through the class all filled wonders if the fight against marijuana is paying off and questions whether law enforcement is winning this war seen the number plans on the ground the number indore grows that were seeing the number of effective marijuana grows that were saying I would have to say no we’re not winning of the people that are winning of the people up here who are sustaining you know marijuana culture and that’s basically what we have you