“We are here to provide water to this community, we are not here to provide cheap water to an illegal company that makes millions of dollars.” Stores selling recreational cannabis have been banned by 80 percent of California`s 482 communities.  As of September 2019, 873 cannabis sellers had been licensed by the state, while The United Cannabis Business Assn. conducted an audit that estimated there were approximately 2,835 dispensaries and unauthorized delivery services based on advertising.  Legal retailers claim that the illegal market is larger than the legal market because of the high cost they pay in launch permit costs and ongoing taxes. They complain about the lack of effective enforcement of the law against unauthorized companies.  In 1972, California became the first state to vote on an election measure to legalize cannabis. Proposition 19 – the California Marijuana Initiative – aimed to legalize the use, possession and cultivation of cannabis, but did not allow commercial sale.  The initiative was led by the Amorphia Group, founded in 1969 (by Blair Newman) and funded its activities through the sale of hemp paper.  He was ultimately largely defeated (33-67%), but supporters were encouraged by the results, gave impetus to other reform efforts in California in the following years.  In 1974, Amorphia ran into financial difficulties and became the California chapter of NORML.  This is the densest concentration of illegal cannabis cultivation known in California. With drought hitting most of California, water theft across the state has reached record levels. Bandits in water trucks depend on rivers and lakes and pump free water, which they sell on a burgeoning black market.
Others, under the cover of darkness, reach the city`s fire hydrants and charge them. Thieves also steal water from homes, farms and private wells, and some even created a sophisticated system of dams, reservoirs and pipelines during the last drought. Others include MacGyvering intrusions directly into pressurized water pipes, a dangerous and destructive approach known as hot-tapping. Although Proposition legalized 215 medical cannabis in California, it remained a Banned List I drug at the federal level.  To enforce this prohibition, the Department of Justice conducted numerous raids and prosecutions against medical cannabis suppliers throughout the state in the following years. Who grows marijuana and where it comes from has been easily regulated. Federal authorities have claimed that these medical marijuana companies are fronts for the black market. Instead of growing medical marijuana in small amounts for patients, they claimed that the cannabis came from Mexico or large hidden growing areas in California.  Some state and local officials strongly supported these enforcement efforts, including Attorney General Dan Lungren, who categorically opposed Proposition 215, which led to its passage.
 Other officials, such as San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan, have condemned these actions as blatant interference in the affairs of state.  Raids and prosecutions increased in frequency during the Bush and Obama years, until the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment finally went into effect at the federal level in December 2014. Asked about the Times` findings on the increase in illegal cultivation, Elliott said: “Do I think it`s worse? Honestly, I couldn`t say one way or another. (A) Violation of section 1052 of the Water Act with respect to the illegal diversion of water. Federal and state investigators in Wisconsin ended the trade in late 2020 and charged 26 defendants. Sanchez pleaded guilty to drug and gun charges to a 10-year prison sentence. Sarabia admitted a single charge of drug conspiracy and was sentenced to five years in prison. None of the farms that supplied the drug network were identified. Sarabia had in mind the expanding world of legal cannabis. If Wisconsin approves recreational cannabis, he said in a 2020 wiretaped call, influential political connections guarantee Sarabia a wholesale license. He had already bought the building. “All of this is illegal. No one seems to care,” Persing said, angrily carrying his voice.
Nearly half of the money for producers came from local private investors, who provided high-interest loans to buyers with few obvious financial resources. Court records show the lenders included a Sacramento doctor who told the court he hated cannabis but was unknowingly tricked into drawing illegal grow houses by a real estate agent now charged with conspiracy. And, he said, it was very profitable. At this time and distance, serene hues envelop the rugged enclave of Mount Shasta Vista, a tense collective of seasonal camps guarded by weapons and dogs, where the daily journeys of water trucks are interrupted by police raids, armed robberies and sometimes death. So many tire homes pack this valley near the Oregon border that last year it had the capacity to supply half of the entire legal cannabis market in California.