In rural California, where cannabis growing has supported whole communities, the well-armed CAMP forces go into a thick forest discovering 15-foot tall, lush, hearty eight-month-old plants. These are hacked down, piled up and smothered with gasoline and rubber tires. Uncured, they burn slowly.
Elsewhere, a helicopter pilot circles over a neighborhood, peering into a heat sensitive camera pointed at a house. “We’re looking for the indoor sun,” he explains matter-of-factly.
“We only pursue specific objectives,” houses where grow lights have been bought or some other tangible basis exists to suspect “manufacturing a controlled substance”; a felony.
“Look, there’s the light from the house.” His thermal-sensitive screen shows heat leaking out from under the eaves of the house. Site confirmed.
Next they obtain a search warrant, raid the property, seize the house under civil proceedings, and prosecute its inhabitants under criminal law.
(48 Hrs., CBS television, “Marijuana Growing in California,” October 12, 1989.)