Legalization was supposed to take care of the black market. It hasn’t worked out that way.
CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — The first unlicensed cannabis grow popped up near Gary Longnecker’s remote Southern Oregon home seven years ago. Now there are six farms surrounding the densely-forested property.
“Last night I woke up at 12:30 with gunshots. [Then again] this morning, seven o’clock,” Longnecker said as he and I walked his land in November. “That’s them intimidating all of us neighbors to keep out of their face.”
A Vietnam veteran and former firefighter, Longnecker retired to the woods of southern Oregon almost 30 years ago to get some peace and quiet, but that’s not exactly what he’s found. Historically a logging community, the residents of the Illinois Valley near Cave Junction are still drastically outnumbered by trees — and they prefer it that way. In most places, you could yell at the top of your lungs from your front door without another soul hearing. Many people in the county own a gun, and typically aim them at deer or bears — not their neighbors. But since the cannabis farmers moved in (none of whom appear to be licensed based on state records), Longnecker says he’s had bullets whiz by his head when working outside, and regularly hears gunshots in the middle of the night. [Read More @ Politico]