Your Premier Source for Cannabis Insights and Trends

Why the FBI is Looking into Narco-Weed Slavery on Illegal Cannabis Grows in Oregon


narco slaves oregon cannabis

Oregon boasts one of the premium cannabis harvests in the United States. However, a deeper look at how the larger percentage of these crops are cultivated and harvested will put most people off. Humans like you and I have been reduced to narco slaves for peanuts. As it stands, there’s no end in sight as the slave masters (illegal operators) are fueling these activities daily.


Narco Slavery in Oregon

Oregon has become a prime location for the illegal cultivation of cannabis. The state has an optimal environment for the production of cannabis plants. Its proximity to California is also an added advantage for illegal operators. Over the years, workers have been found in these busted locations living in squalid conditions.

Local police reports often describe the disturbing cases of workers living in hazardous conditions without proper drinking water, clean clothes, and mattresses. Pictures that circulated in 2021 from the discovered sites in Oregon counties showed the way these workers are exposed to harmful chemicals, with their personal effects being stored in trash bags and other polythene materials. Some were pictured living close to fire-prone outlets that were erected with plywood. To sleep, most of these workers stay in temporary tents, shipping containers, or even in the cold outside with thin clothing and tiny pieces of cardboard to serve as mattresses.

The more narco-slaves working on a plot, the more guns, marijuana, cash, and other prohibited substances are found within the location. The majority of these illegal pot growers lure undocumented and underage residents to work on these sites with the promise of good pay. It is only for these individuals to be trapped and unable to leave of their own free will.

During a raid, the police officers probed the workers if they were being kept against their free will. Many of these workers denied this. It is still unclear why. Because they rarely get paid and are denied good meals, it’s obvious they are not allowed to leave.

The term “narco-slavery” is used to describe this situation. It was coined based on the worker’s exposure to narcotics and illegal activities.


Narco-Slavery’s Impacts in Oregon and Neighboring States

Narco-slavery has had varying adverse effects on the resources and residents of Oregon and California. Human trafficking for labor is on the verge of becoming slaves. The activities of these crops have also depleted the resources in the area. In Jackson and Josephine counties, local law enforcement reported massive, systematic water theft, which has aggravated the area’s drought. Harmful polluting chemicals used in the area have also been damaged due to toxic, polluting chemicals.

The financial aspect of these activities has all but ruined many licensed cannabis growers who are unable to compete with the meager rates these illegal operators sell off their harvests. In a letter addressed to the state government and legislature, the councils of Oregon counties have requested the interference of state law enforcement. They stated that these illegal operations have overburdened local law enforcement agencies and, as a result, cannot be eradicated without outside assistance.


A Huge Problem For The FBI

The FBI has started complex investigations into the conditions of narco-slaves and the cartels running the farms.

They have unearthed shows that many of these workers relocated from Mexico illegally. This makes them easy to exploit because it is impossible to report to the authorities.

Some also crossed the border due to their affiliation with drug cartels in their natural countries. These individuals go through inhumane labor to repay the influential organizations for crossing them over the borders.

According to Dave Daniel, Josephine County Sheriff, the cartels have overwhelmed the local security forces. To conceal and expand their operations, they have taken to leasing properties from residents. Daniel said that his office could record at least 50 busted illegal grows in a year.

In the latest raid organized by a joint task force comprised of the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and local law enforcement agencies, Daniel said that the suspected locations were located on two adjoined properties, one of which was about 1,300 acres. He said that about 200 workers were found working in painful conditions. In discussion with one of the workers, the team learned that they worked six days a week and were fed just twice daily.

Daniel said that the situation, though comparable to camping, is a far cry from it. Victims were scattered in tents arranged in tree lines at about 100 degrees. Some stayed within the greenhouses, using a plastic cover to keep warm. There was no running water or refrigeration. To put it simply, the workers were suffering.


The Hope of Abating Narco-Slavery

Daniel Dave explained that these narco-slaves refused to be helped during this raid. The interviewed workers even denied being trafficked into labor. The dishonesty of these workers about their inhumane working conditions and the circumstances surrounding them has limited the help that these forces could tender.

However, this dishonesty has been linked to a probable fear of the cartel hurting their families as a punishment for talking. Daniel added that the cartels could get them deported or demand immediate payment of the debts owed. In extreme situations, many of these workers could face bodily harm or even death.

A better and more effective strategy to flush out these illegal operations will be the best way to override narco-slavery. The US attorney’s office, DEA, HIS, and all local law enforcement agencies in Southern Oregon held a meeting in November to decide on the best path to take.


Final Note

Legal cannabis growers and workers deserve to have their sunshine and rainbows snatched by illegal cannabis growers. Narco-slaves also deserve to have their lives back without working or suffering in these illegal grow sites. Overall, a level playing field is needed.

Before it is too late, state governments should take immediate emergency steps to relieve the suffering of these laborers, reduce the financial losses accrued by legal operators, and most importantly, send an unforgettable message to cartel lords that Oregon cannot be used for illegal narco activities. Federal legalization or decriminalization of cannabis could turn things around in this region and other states like California plagued with illegal narco-related activities.









Source link

Comments are closed.