Arthur Bright’s story to law enforcement about the cannabis plants he was growing at his home on Carmel Valley Road stretched the limits of credulity. Maybe because when he got caught last year, he told officials that the 500 plants were for his own medicinal use.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office investigators didn't buy it.
On Aug. 30, Bright, 71, received a three-year felony probation sentence and was ordered to serve 90 days in jail by Monterey County Superior Court Judge Andrew G. Liu, according to a press release from District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni.
Besides growing more than the six plants allowed for personal medicinal use without having registered with the county, Bright’s operations were illegally drawing water from a stream via a gas generator. The stream flows into the Arroyo Seco, which in turn feeds the Salinas River, designated as a critical habitat for steelhead.
Bright had no permission from the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Board, which would have included monitoring the use of fertilizers and pesticides. He also didn't have a Lake or Streambed Alteration Agreement with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The 500 plants came to the attention of authorities after they were discovered via air in June 2018. Three different grows were located after a search warrant was executed on the property.