Big Flex: GOP Rep Buldozes Siskiyou Pot Farms

Siskiyou County is overrun by large cannabis grows — all of them illegal. Commercial marijuana is banned in this ruby red county. Still, the sheriff estimates over 2,000 parcels are established as illegal commercial cannabis farms.

A couple of months ago, the sheriff appealed for volunteers to help him mow some of the grows down. A conservative congressman stepped right up. In recently released video, Oroville Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R) can be seen in heavy machinery bulldozing local cultivation sites.

“I love the smell of diesel power in the afternoon. It smells like victory,” LaMalfa says, playing off a quote from Robert Duvall’s character in Apocalypse Now. At the end of the video, LaMalfa flexes his biceps. We haven’t seen anything so cheesy since Ted Cruz’s machine gun bacon ad.

But the matter is actually quite serious. The black market is a growing problem for California. It’s three times larger than the state’s legal market. It’s bringing crime and environmental destruction, and it's undermining the legal industry.

What’s more, the illicit farms LaMalfa bulldozed in Siskiyou are run by Hmong immigrant farmers. There’s real concern that his antics could exacerbate anti-Asian sentiment in the region at a time of heightened racial tensions.

To LaMalfa and Siskiyou County officials, this is purely a matter of law and order.

“Counties around California and the country can learn from the example that Siskiyou County has shown against these criminals,” LaMalfa said. “They know I will be here to help and stand with them either with a bulldozer or in the halls of Congress.”