Cover art for podcast The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

271 EpisodesProduced by Los Angeles TimesWebsite

“The Times” is a podcast from the Los Angeles Times hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano along with reporters from our diverse newsroom. Every weekday, our podcast takes listeners beyond the headlines, with our West Coast outlook on the world. News, entertainment, the environment, immigration, polit… read more

21:42

Illegal marijuana floods California's deserts

Shootouts. Armed guards. Stolen water. Killings. It’s not the dramatic climax of a Wild West movie. It’s what’s happening in California’s southern desert right now — thanks to illegal marijuana farms.

Although marijuana is legal in California, it still isn’t in most of the United States. So drug cartels and out-of-state growers have set up scores of illegal farms among Joshua trees and tortoise reserves. And locals are begging law enforcement to do something about it.

Today, we speak with L.A. Times reporter Jaclyn Cosgrove, who co-wrote a story with Louis Sahagún about how the Mojave Desert is suddenly awash in illegal marijuana. And we talk to a local politician who wants legal cannabis in his community — and the illegal stuff out.

More reading:

Illegal pot invades California’s deserts, bringing violence, fear, ecological destruction 

California offers $100 million to rescue its struggling legal marijuana industry

California weighs steep new fines to combat illegal cannabis sellers

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