CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) and DEA Domestic Cannabis Suppression / Eradication Program

10/11/2022 – CA AG Bonta announced CAMP seized nearly one million illegally cultivated cannabis plants and more than 200,000 pounds of illegally processed cannabis. The AG also announced that DOJ will be phasing out CAMP in favor of a year-round multiagency program, EPIC (Eradication and Prevention of Illicit Cannabis), aimed at human trafficking and environmental crimes at illicit cannabis grows.

6/21/22 – DEA announced it seized nearly 5 million plants from California in 2021 as part of its Domestic Cannabis Suppression / Eradication Program. As in past years, the overwhelming percentage of plant seizures (86 percent) and arrests (60 percent) nationwide took place in California.

The number of plants reported taken from California in 2021—4,765,737—is a significant increase from 2020’s figure of 3,740,368 plants, and includes 3,987,073 plants from 2,445 outdoor sites and 778,664 plants from 647 indoor sites. DEA also reported 3,988 arrests and 8,908 weapons seized, estimating the value of its seizures at $39 million for 647,035 pounds of marijuana, plus 348,193 ounces of waxes/oils and 233,104 ounces of edibles.

10/18/2021 – Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the seizure of nearly 1.2 million plants in 2021 by the interagency CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) program and announced a six-month review of the program.

“Illegal and unlicensed marijuana planting is bad for our environment, bad for our economy, and bad for the health and safety of our communities,” said Bonta. “Today, I’m directing my office to review the CAMP program and ensure that we are using our resources to effectively address the environmental, labor, and economic impacts of illegal cultivation. From dumping toxic chemicals in our waterways to cheating the state out of millions of tax dollars, illicit marijuana grows have far-reaching impacts and unintended consequences. I want to thank all of our federal, state, and local partners for their tireless efforts this season. It’s going to take all of us, working together, to make sure California’s cannabis industry is in the legal, regulated marketplace, not in the illicit one.”

5/14/21 – The DEA announced it seized 3,740,368 marijuana plants in California in 2020. Commenting on the national scene, NORML noted, “As in past years, the overwhelming percentage of plant seizures (82 percent) and arrests (40 percent) nationwide took place in California.”

This represents an increase from 2019, when it the agency said it eradicated 3,186,301 plants in California. DEA claims to have seized 3.77 million plants from CA in 2016; 3.98 million in 2011; and 7.5 million in 2009.

In 2018, the same year that California began permitting licensed adult-use sales of cannabis, marijuana plant seizures fell nearly 30 percent from the prior year. In February 2019 however, the Governor announced the deployment of national guard troops to track down on illicit marijuana grow operations, an effort which may have played a role in the sudden uptick in seizures in 2019. (Also see: National Guard Joins Local, Fed & State Agencies in Anza Raids.)

10/9/2020 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the eradication of more than 1.1 million marijuana plants across 455 grow sites as part of the California Department of Justice’s Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) program. Over the course of a 13-week season – and despite unprecedented challenges from COVID-19 and wildfires (which, one could argue, should have been priorities over marijuana enforcement) – the multi-agency campaign conducted operations in 29 counties, arresting 140 individuals and seizing 174 weapons.

This represents a slight increase from 2019’s CAMP total of 953,459 marijuana plants from 345 raided grow sites across the state. CAMP hit its peak in 2009, when nearly 4.5 million plants were reportedly destroyed.

The legal cannabis market has been hampered in California by over regulation and taxation at state and local levels, and by federal prohibition, all things that Cal NORML is seeking to change.

November 4, 2019 – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced today the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) Program eradicated 953,459 marijuana plants from 345 raided grow sites across the state.

This year’s CAMP activities represent an increase from last year’s reported take of some 600K plants.  It’s not as high was 2017’s reported take of 1,260,000 plants or 2016’s over 1.5 million claim. 
CAMP hit its peak in 2009, when nearly 4.5 million plants were reportedly taken out. The program was ended around 2012 under Brown’s administration, but by 2015 it was back, with a reported take of 832,085 plants. 

Meanwhile, the Feds have also been taking plants out of California, both indoor and outdoor, through DEA’s suppression program. In 2018, 1.8 million plants were reported taken, also down from 3.8 million in 2016 and a reported 7.5 million in 2009.

Attorney General Becerra Announces 2018 CAMP Data
October 4, 2018 – 614,267 plants eradicated in over 254 illegal grow sites in 40 counties across the state. Watch the press conference

State task force busts 254 illegal cannabis grows; half as many plants as last year eradicated 10/4/2018

Secret marijuana gardens target of eradication campaign on North Coast Press Democrat, 7/29/16

Cannabis Seizures Plummet in 2015

DEA Domestic Cannabis Eradication Program claims it eradicated 2.7 million plants in California in 2013.

February 15, 2013 – Requiem for CAMP: The life and death of a domestic U.S. drug war institution International Journal of Drug Policy

August 2, 2012 – Last year, it was announced that Gov. Brown was terminating the CAMP program for budgetary reasons.  The CAMP budget was only around a couple of million dollars. According to the report below, however,  the feds are putting far more money into MJ eradication in California:

DEA: Marijuana Plant Seizures Down 35 Percent Nationwide
EXCERPT: According to the GAO, the fund paid out approximately $79 million to California law enforcement agencies, the most in the nation, for their participation in federal raids and seizures….The DEA further reported having seized over $11 million in assets associated with its eradication efforts in California.

California decides to strike CAMP
July 25, 2012

CAMP Eradicates 4.3 Million Plants – More Than State’s Annual Consumption
October 30, 2010 – California’s CAMP (Campaign Against Marijuana Planting) marijuana eradication reported 4,320,314 plant seizures in 2010, slightly less than last year’s all-time record of 4,463,917. Read more.

California’s Top 40 Cannabis Counties (2009)

2008 CAMP Report (with yearly totals)

“Of the 2.9 million pot plants seized during the state’s 2008 Campaign Against Marijuana Production, 70 percent were on public land. … [The culprits] are believed to be mostly Mexican nationals working for drug cartels back home. … BLM [Bureau of Land Management] law enforcement officials estimate it costs $1 to $2 to eradicate each plant and four times that to clean up the mess left behind by growers, [Gary] Sharpe [, associate field manager with the Bureau of Land Management’s Ukiah office] said. … The U.S. Forest Service does not receive money specifically for pot garden cleanups, but the California division set aside $350,000 of its budget to clean up 30 sites in California …”
Source: Press Democrat

State haul this year: 5 million pot plants(included totals from other programs)

U.S. Justice Department’s National Drug Threat Assessment 2008
“Federal, state, and local law enforcement reporting indicates that vigorous outdoor cannabis eradication efforts have caused major marijuana producers, particularly Caucasian groups, to relocate indoors, even in leading outdoor grow states such as California and Tennessee.”

CAMP eradication statistics have soared in recent years; last year saw an all-time record of 2.9 million plants, up from 1.6 million in 2006.

“Southern Sweep” Hits Northern California

NORML Statement to UN NGO Consultation on Narcotic Drugs ­ Vancouver, Feb 4th-5th, 2008

CAMP Posts Record Take: Over 1 Million Plants 2005

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