Humboldt radio station's pot raid reports
April 13, 2010, 8:54 pm

Marijuana plants seized in a 1998 raid in Ukiah.

KMUD is a small Humboldt County radio station that offers the usual lineup of music, news and traffic reports. It also gives listeners in California's infamous pot-growing region something else: real-time broadcasts of marijuana busts in Humboldt and Mendocino counties.

California Watch's Michael Montgomery explores the controversial broadcasts that stem from a huge push to eradicate marijuana under the Reagan-era CAMP, or Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, he says. These raids infuriated locals who claim cops performed searches without warrants and damaged property (among other things), reports Montgomery.

[Below, Montgomery's report begins at 1:34. You can hear a clip of KMUD's drug raid broadcast at 2:33.]

To KMUD, the alerts are a public service and act as a watchdog for potential police abuse. Station program director Marianne Knorzer told Montgomery:

"We're not actually broadcasting their whole operations. We're just giving the public an awareness that there are ten trucks heading down a very narrow road with one lane portions of it with tight turns. Again our reports are quite benign."

But to Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, the broadcasts could act as a warning for Mexican drug gangs that have reportedly set up shop in the area and ultimately endanger the safety of officers. Allman, who wants KMUD to stop the announcements, expressed his concerns on a recent KMUD segment:

"I can understand that there has been abuses of law enforcement in the past. And there have been situations that the community wanted to know where and what law enforcement was doing. And the other side, the law enforcement side is, I don't want a situation where someone has a really good idea where law enforcement is and they head in their direction and set up either barrier or set up a confrontation for law enforcement."

What do you think about the broadcasts?

Listen to the Allman interview (iTunes | mp3) and the California Watch report.

[RELATED LINKS: Legalization of pot bad for Humboldt biz? (NYT) | Growers thrive in the Emerald Triangle (MSNBC) | School of pot in SoCal (OC Register) | Marijuana timeline since 1940s and Weed Wars blog (SacBee)]

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