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Using Google Earth, authorities zoom in on pot farmer

An anonymous tip led cops to seek a bird’s-eye view.


Miles Klee

Internet Culture

Satellite images of a property in southern Oregon, accessed via Google Earth, prompted law enforcement officials to take a closer look at some neatly ordered plants owned by 50-year-old pot farmer Curtis W. Croft, according to Grants Pass Daily Courier.

Croft was in fact licensed to grow enough marijuana “for five people,” which in the DEA’s definition equates to 30 mature plants, but he had been bragging about growing much more, an anonymous tip revealed. When his ganja garden was raided aftera follow-up flyover, police seized 94 plants, more than three times as many allowed.


Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis, and among the first few to legalize its cultivation for medical purposes. But short of growing it inside or getting your house censored on Google Earth (a privilege even Dick Cheney was unable to hold on to), it doesn’t seem like a good idea to maintain a noncompliant farm, especially if you plan to discuss it socially.

Photo by Marijuana Business_Association/Flickr

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