Santa Cruz, Calif -- Santa Cruz county has been under attack this past weekend by the Santa Cruz County Sheriffs. Dozens of raids were conducted with a 'blanket warrant' seizing 1000's of plants and medicine from outdoor grows. This comes just weeks after a local iniative was defeated which wold have made commercial or large grows illegal once again within the county. Since 2006, Santa Cruz has made cannabis related offenses the lowest priority for officers to pursue creating a safe zone for commercial growers and processors.
Measure K, passed in November 2006, made marijuana offenses the lowest possible crime, and goes so far and to prohibit the city from accepting federal funds to investigate, seize or prosecute marijuana offenses. Less than 10 years later, the effects have been seen and the Sheriffs department has taken it upon themselves to do something about it. Unfortunately it has made little difference as to the legality of the grows, with officers seizing and destroying all but the California minimum 6 plants for every size lot found. If the alleged offenders agree to cooperate and help eradicate the own property, they are allowed to keep a few more, technically putting them once again in harms way of the same department. The blanket warrant used to gain access to the grows is questionable as well. According to definitions.uslegal.com, a blanket warrant "is a single search warrant that authorizes the search of more than one area. It also can refer to an unconstitutionally broad authorization from a judge that allows the police to search multiple areas for evidence without specifying what they will seize."
Santa Cruz CIty officials have responded to inquiries stating they have nothing to do with the raids, nor can they do anything about the raids. Inner turmoil has obviously been brewing for some time and we will have to wait and see if the backlash continues in Santa Cruz County. More as the this story develops.