While many experts believe that California’s newly permissive marijuana laws will effectively kill the illegal pot trade, Northstate Congressman Doug LaMalfa is making a new plea for a federal crackdown against growing marijuana on public lands. Millions of federal dollars have been spent over the past decade in the fight against huge marijuana growing operations set up deep in the national forests of Northern California. The most damaging and productive of the operations are backed by powerful Mexican drug cartels. A federal, state and local multi-agency effort in 2007 called “Operation Alesia” took in almost 300,000 plants in three weeks. The cartels apparently haven’t yet lost interest in the massive and destructive gardens because just last week more than 30,000 plants were taken from the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers National Forests, along with about 1400 pounds of garbage and hazardous chemicals. LaMalfa has sent a letter to the Secretary of the Interior and the Agriculture Secretary imploring them to make eradication of illegal marijuana cultivation a top priority.