GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A county sheriff in southwest Oregon is asking for money from the state to investigate illegal marijuana operations, saying his department lacks the resources to do so.
Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel says he needs $648,000 to help fund a team of detectives, The Daily Courier newspaper of Grants Pass reports .
The county would pitch in $350,000 to help form the team, the newspaper reported.
A bill passed by the Legislature this year assists cities and counties with costs incurred by law enforcement agencies in addressing unlawful marijuana cultivation or distribution operations.
Recreational and medical marijuana production and sales are legal in Oregon, subject to licensing and regulation. Overproduction of legal marijuana has caused prices to plummet, creating a greater incentive for illegal marijuana operations to proliferate, and for smuggling of product to other states for bigger profits.
“Josephine County has been unable to investigate or prosecute illegal marijuana operations due to lack of resources,” the sheriff told the state’s Criminal Justice Commission in a 12-page grant application submitted last week.