Jackson Co. Commissioners declare local state of emergency relating to unlawful cannabis activities

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Jackson County Commissioners are declaring a State of Emergency relating to unlawful cannabis activities. This comes after county officials told NBC5 News there’s been a significant increase in cannabis-related crimes.

“We’re certainly at the tip of the sphere in Southern Oregon,” said Jackson Co. Sheriff Nathan Sickler.

With what they’re calling a rise in illegal cannabis activity in the Rogue Valley Jackson County Commissioners are declaring a local State of Emergency. Commissioners are now asking the state for help, such as additional personnel and money.

“Jackson County needs substantial state assistance immediately to address this ongoing emergency,” said Rick Dyer, Chair of Jackson Co. Commissioners.

Dyer said code enforcement cases and water theft complaints have increased significantly this past year. But when NBC5 News asked county officials how many illegal grows are in the community county officials said they didn’t know.

“There’s so many and the county is very large. It would take a considerable amount of time just to track that information. We just don’t have the resources,” said Sheriff Sickler.

Sheriff Sickler said the number of illegal grows is probably in the thousands, but he admits it’s a rough estimate.

Also a concern to commissioners, the lack of money that could be going into the county’s coffers.

“As far as what’s happening with these illegal grows there is no revenue that’s generated from those,” said Dyer.

The sheriff hopes with this declaration, the state will help provide 18 additional detectives, 4 additional patrol officers, 3 additional supervisors, and 9 additional support staff for his department. NBC5 News asked the sheriff how much that would all cost he didn’t know.

Jackson County Board of Commissioner hopes the state will approve their requests. They are also asking the state to repeal a law that doesn’t’ allow local taxes on legal marijuana production.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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