Tag Archives: Humboldt County

Another Missing Person in Marijuana Country

It’s always sad when a young person is missing but when it involves a mother with two little children, it’s more than tragic.    From all appearances it would seem Sherri Papini had a wonderful life, good husband and two young children.  She went missing in broad daylight while jogging on the Oregon trail on November 2, right before she would have picked her children up from preschool.

Her husband Keith Papini took a lie detector test and has been cleared of any wrongdoing.  Using an iPhone app, he had found her mobile phone, headphones and a few strands of hair before reporting her missing.   The story has been featured on ABC News.

An online report tells of teens and young women who have been abducted in the Redding/Shasta County area.   Papini looked younger than her 34 years.  The long blond hair, pretty face, slight figure, etc. would make her perfect for type of people marijuana growers happen to victimize.

Following news reports from the area, the most logical conclusion is that she was abducted in connection to the marijuana industry and the sex trade that is rampant in Northern California.  Papini lived in was in Mountain Gate, at tiny town outside of Redding, Shasta County, an old logging area that has seen much violence in recent years as a result of the marijuana industry.

Since search crews have combed the Shasta County area, her family believes she is out of the region at this time.   It would not take much to bring her into the Emerald Triangle, of which Trinity County adjoins Shasta County.   Both Humboldt and Mendocino County would be logical places to look for her.

The abuse and sexual trade in the region has been reported by Reveal and Cosmopolitan.  Marijuana grows and sexual abuse hide easily in this heavily forested region.

There are only 177,000 people in Shasta County, but there were 220 missing persons reported last year.   Humboldt County had 352 people reported missing in 2015.  With only 134,000 people in the county, it has the highest rate of missing people in the state.

Although Shasta County is not part of the Emerald Triangle, it has a similar geographic and economic situation.  Shasta was formerly part of the logging industry which has been largely shutdown.  When an industry feeds the economy is no longer viable, residents must look for other ways to earn a living.  Too much of Northern California has been taken over by the marijuana growers who now supply 60% of the US marijuana market.

Let’s hope the Sherri Papini is found, and found alive and well and comes home to her family.   The family has set up a Facebook page and a reward.   (Above photo from Facebook)

My Daughter Was Murdered for Weed

By Anonymous from Maryland     I support your organization and everything that you are doing.  Thank you for your work to protect children from the drugs and drug dealers.

My 17-year-old daughter was murdered, in a murder-for-hire scheme because someone thought she set up a drug robbery.  The killer was paid in marijuana because the killer had a fix.   He needed his weed.   The person robbed testified that the killer was paid in $400 cash and $200 of marijuana.

Testimony indicated that my daughter did not rob anyone.

(The murder took place in 2005; the murderer is up for parole next year.) 

We wonder why marijuana legalization advocates say: “Legalize to free police for more serious crimes.”    Note the following:                                             *Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado, prosecutors have noticed an increase in murders motivated by marijuana.                                                      *Humboldt County, California, principle pot-growing region of the USA, has a murder rate that far exceeds national averages.                                              *On the first day of legalization in Washington state in 2012, two people were murdered when they tried to steal a marijuana grow.                               *More recently, the murder of 8 family members in southern Ohio revealing a marijuana growing business.   

Child Abuse, Exploitation in California’s Marijuana Country

The Emerald Triangle can’t hide behind its secrets after a report of widespread abuse, sexual exploitation and worker exploitation was published last week by Reveal News. There’s both worker and sexual exploitation.  Cosmopolitan Magazine published another version of the story.  Here are some of the most hideous incidents affecting children and teens.

  • A  girl from Humboldt County started  working for a local grower at 12.  He gave her methamphetamine to speed up her work as a trimmer,  and passed her around to pay off debts.   She ran away to a homeless shelter and found that pimps were using it for a hunting ground.
  • Two other teens in that same homeless shelter report having been trafficked for sex.   Both local and out-of-town teens may be involved.
  • They give girls weed, alcohol and food in exchange for trimming. Sex is also expected to go with it.
  • A 15-year-old  runaway from southern California,  was kept inside a box and forced to have sex with the two growers from Lake County, near Humboldt County,  who had found her.

    Federal prosecutors said they directed her to trim marijuana and have sex with them, sometimes while chained to a metal rack.   For several few days, she was kept inside a box.

    The men also shocked the girl with a cattle prod and told her she would be shot by neighbors if she attempted to leave, an employee later told police.  The men were initially charged with human trafficking.  When federal authorities took over, the trafficking charges were dropped. The men are expected to plead guilty to lesser charges of employing a minor and illegal marijuana cultivation.    (The Cosmopolitan article has more information about this incident.)

    Parents Opposed to Pot stands by its belief that preventing drug use is the key to preventing social problems and so much human suffering.   After exploitation, teens and other workers who came to the area to work in the marijuana industry frequently end up homeless.


  • After exploitation, teens and other workers many end up in homeless shelters

A housing and homelessness report of Humboldt County showed that 33% of the homeless said they had a substance abuse problem. (Not everyone with substance abuse disorders knows or admits it.)  The same report said 37% had been victims of domestic violence.  Mental health affects 30% of them.  Parents Opposed stands by its belief that preventing substance use in the first place will diminish all these problems and save so much anguish.   (Read one of our testimonies about marijuana and domestic violence.)

In summer and fall, temporary workers come in town to work the marijuana harvests. These “trimmigrants” sometimes end up homeless and without jobs.   In one article, it’s reported that 100 European “trimmigrants” were stiffed for pay, broke, without a place to go and ended up in homeless shelters.   Mexican and other immigrants also face abuse.

There’s a frequent “missing persons” problem in the area, which shows up through a quick search on the Internet.  Sometimes the lost people are found, but at least 5 women have never been found.

In fact, Cosmopolitan reports that Humboldt County, center of the marijuana cultivation, has the largest number of missing persons in the state on a per capita basis.

Reveal  is based in San Francisco and is a project of the Center for Investigative Reporting, found in 1977.   Journalists Shoshana Walter and Elle Snow (not her real name) did outstanding jobs in their respective publications, Reveal.org and Cosmopolitan.     Elle is a victim of sexual trafficking and she is now working against this problem and has started an organization in Eureka, Game Over.   Listen to Against Their Will.

Legalized Marijuana: A Lesson in Failure

Supporters of pot reform promised legalization would “regulate” it and keep profits away from cartels.  It was “inventive” to think a “weed” could be regulated. In practice, the lure of without much worry about devious marketing practices, kids’ perceptions and the consequences of child abuse. It was national news when 4th graders bought and sold marijuana at a Greeley, CO, school, on two separate occasions  during the week of April 21, 2014.  Both children had taken the marijuana products from grandparents.

The “trickle-down” effect that comes when pot is promoted for its money-making potential, and the increased usage, have been tragic for children in Colorado and in Washington.  A two-year old died Continue reading Legalized Marijuana: A Lesson in Failure