Part Three: Inside Marijuana

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Arcata business owners said they are seeing a decrease in sales as a result of more illegal marijuana busts in Arcata by police.

 

"The growers are gone. The cash flow is gone. The economy is gone," said Shari Martinsen, an Arcata business owners.

 

Martin said customers would come in and drop large amounts of cash daily.

 

"These guys were dropping 11 $100 bills on the table, and it was a multiple day occurrence. It happened every day," said Martinsen.

 

Arcata Police said they have increased the number of busts they have done in the city since 2012 as a result of more complaints from residents.

 

"There has been a more significant push than in the past," said Det. Sgt. Todd Dokweiler of the Arcata Police Department.

 

"College students are not going to support us." said Martinsen.

 

Mark Wheetley, an Arcata City Council member said he believes Arcata's economy is supported by more than just growers.

 

"Our economic strategy is bigger in Arcata than just marijuana by an means." said Wheetley.

 

Wheetley said the money in the community from grows does not support the economy enough to fund the amount of issues it brings into the city.

 

"There's a cost to [grows]," said Wheetley.

 

Martinsen said it is a difficult decision for her, because she sees both sides.

 

"Some of these growers come into my store and buy," said Martinsen. "But, if you're outside those guidelines then, unfortunately, you run the risk of being busted."

 

Martinsen said she worries that Measure I, Arcata's high energy use tax will force growers out even more. She said her business may have to move out of the city if it does.

 

"Maybe, I should be searching out other places to put my business that might be able to save me money."