by David Downs
Pretty much all of California is listed as in a state of "severe drought" according to the current US drought report from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
And it's appearing to affect some illegal pot farms.
Billions of dollars of low-grade marijuana is illegally grown on California's public lands each year and sold in Midwest and East Coast markets.
Butte County Sheriff's Sergeant Marty Rolph told the Associated Press that drought may have caused some illegal pot farmers to abandon their $12 million garden in the Plumas National Forest (assuming - conservatively - that 12,000 plants each yield one pound that wholesales for $1,000).
During a recent raid, "Rolph said deputies found nearly 12,000 plants, fertilizer, camping equipment," but the plants hadn't been watered for several days.
"The Northern Sierra Nevada region, which provides much of California's total water supply through snowmelt, experienced the driest January-through-June period in 90 years," Fresno Bee reported.