California: one dead in shoot-out at Rasta cannabis farm

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CaliforniaA dispute at a cannabis farm run by a local Rastafarian church in California's Yuba County escalated to a shootout Aug. 1, leaving one suspect dead and two sheriff's  deputies wounded. The outburst of violence brought dozens of law enforcement officers from across the region, the Sacramento Bee reports. It apparently began when police responded to reports of a trimmer at the farm uprooting and damaging plants after an argument with his employers.

Sugarleaf Rastafarian Church leader Heidi Grossman-Lepp said she called 911 after a newly arrived worker at the farm in the unincorproated community of Oregon House became erratic, ripping up plants while brandishing a gun. Her attorney, Joseph Tully described the worker as a "trimmigrants"—the unflattering nickname for seasonal workers who trim the buds of newly harvested cannabis. 

According to the Bee, the man was working in exchange for room and board and "nominal wages."  The wounded deputies were airlifted to the hospital., local KCRA reports. It was confirmed that the slain man was the employee. But his identity has apparently still not been determined.

Tully said the Rasta church had built trust with local law enforcement.  "They had no problem calling the authorities, because they were having a problem there," he said. "They have a very open-door relationship."

That's a good sign, but the incident is sure to raise further concerns about working conditions and use of off-the-books labor in California's burgeoning cannabis industry.

Cross-post to High Times

Graphic by Global Ganja Report



Rasta pot farm raided

Global Ganja Report's picture More than 27,000 marijuana plants were seized and 35 people arrested in a series of raids in a California county that is trying to crack down on illegal grows as the state prepares to become the world’s largest marijuana marketplace when recreational pot is legalized next year.

The crackdown on more than a dozen farms occurred over four days in different parts of Calaveras County, southeast of Sacramento in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Sheriff Rick DiBasilio said it was the largest series of raids in county history.

One of the targeted farms, where more than 6,000 plants were seized, is affiliated with the same Rastafarian Church linked to a Yuba County pot farm that on days earlier was the scene of a police shootout. A farmworker there shot two deputies after running into a nearby home and later was found dead inside. (AP, Aug. 4)
Comment by Global Ganja Report on Aug 7th, 2017 at 1:45 am

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