The discovery of 200 marijuana plants growing near the Berenda Slough in Chowchilla gave new meaning to word weed abatement early Wednesday morning. On Tuesday, Water District employees, clearing bamboo from the banks of the slough, discovered two separate plots, and alerted the Sheriff’s Office. Due to the enormity of the crop, deputies turned the case over to MADNET. Already handling another massive marijuana-growing operation that same day, agents tackled the 200 plants Wednesday at sun-up. No sooner had they hacked and hauled away the 200 marijuana plants, than word came in -- three more gardens had been discovered – this time, in Coarsegold. Narcotic and Code Enforcement Agents hit the road and headed north. They found two illegal outdoor growing operations located off Highway 41, and a third, illegal outdoor operation near Hogans Mountain Road. While Agents eradicated nearly 4,000 pounds of plants from the foothills, Code Enforcement tallied fines that totaled more than $65,000 It appears, that despite clear and concise language concerning Madera County’s Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance, growers continue to ignore it. Madera County’s Medical Marijuana Cultivation Ordinance is simple. Marijuana plants can only be grown in a fully enclosed room and/or structure that must not exceed 120 square feet. Penalties for growers refusing to comply include a $250 fine per plant, and immediate abatement.
- Madera County Sheriff's Department