No this article does not refer to the recent doping allegations against another Tour de France winner. On the same day news broke of Alberto Contador’s positive test the LA Times ran a story chronicling the increasing problem of marijuana farms on public lands.
The Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California comprise tracts of property taht border Los Angeles and her major suburban areas to the Northwest, including the homebase of TandemBicycling.com in THousand Oaks. As the story discovers there have been large finds in these mountains in areas dangerously close to mountain biking and hiking trails frequented by thousands every week.
The problem has become so dangerous that local authorities have stepped up eradication efforts to protect the natural resources and inadvertent mistakes by trail users. The size of these pot farm finds and their proximity to urban areas is of the greatest surprise in this story. There has been a long history of these types of issues in the forests outside of the urban area but never within the natural areas so close to the urban centers.
Just something more to be aware of while enjoying a tandem ride. The story is here.