Sterling Heights cracks down on illegal grow operations

- Thursday morning the city of Sterling Heights formally announcing its crackdown on illegal medical marijuana grow operations.

"We don't want to tell people they can't grow," said Police Chief John Berg.

Rather, Sterling Heights is going after growers who are not complying with state and local laws. It even has filed a lawsuit in circuit court against one of those growers.

Many long-time residents say they've had enough.

"It's just frustrating, the smell bothers me, I get a headache from it," said resident Dave Hallison.

Wessel Street may be quiet now but people say there are cars constantly up and down the street, stopping by an alleged illegal grow house

"Totally across the street, from the grow house, there is five young kids," Hallison said. "There is a school at the end of the block these guys don't care."

Registered care givers and users who grow medical marijuana for personal consumption are not being targeted. But the operations that grow hundreds of plants and sell marijuana to local dispensaries is illegal.

"This year we shut down 14 illegal grow houses," Berg said.

And authorities estimate there are hundreds more.

"In many communities, this is going on, Sterling Heights is not immune to the problem," said city attorney Mark Kaszubski.

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