Proposed house bill would increase penalties for illegal marijuana growers

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – A proposed bill in Salem is looking to clamp down on illegal marijuana grows across the state.

The drafted bill would double the maximum prison sentence and fine for unlawful manufacture of more than 100 plants.

Illegal growers could face up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

The bill is part of bigger law enforcement legislation planned in 2023.

Democratic State representative Pam Marsh, who chairs the task force that helped write the bill, and Republican representative Kim Wallan both hope harsher penalties will deter more people.

“We in Southern Oregon have seen what it’s like when it feels illegal operators are doing whatever they want to do within our communities,” Marsh said.

“I believe increased penalties does deter the bad behavior and certainly it puts a burden on the owner to beware of who they’re renting their land to,” Wallan said.

Marsh said the bill also tackles the issue of illegal growers using water for cannabis.

Under the proposed bill, people could be prosecuted for using ground or irrigation water on illegal grows.

NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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