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How Illegal Pot Growers are Destroying California’s Ecosystems, and the One Simple Solution

How-Illegal-Pot-Growers-are-Destroying-California's-Ecosystems,-and-the-One-Simple-Solution

Over the past year, there has been increased attention on an unfortunate side-effect of the growing demand for cannabis.  With demand comes supply, and that supply is threatening already fragile ecosystems in northern California.

Some cannabis grow operations are run by careless individuals who are polluting streams with pesticides and fertilizers, while siphoning huge amounts of water from the same streams for irrigation.  Small waterways are a precious resource in this region, and the historic drought has already lowered stream levels dramatically.

Rat poison, industrial pesticides, and banned chemicals are used to prevent pests from getting at cannabis crops.  These highly toxic pesticides lay waste to insect populations, sicken or kill predators, and are having a significant impact on the Pacific fisher.  The Pacific fisher is a cat-sized mammal that feeds on rats and fish, and is close to becoming endangered.

Streams in Northern California are being sucked dry by cannabis farms, especially in Lake, Humboldt and Mendocino counties.  While reducing valuable aquatic habitat in these areas, it is especially harmful to salmon and steelhead, which depend on these streams in their young stage.  Clear-cutting forests for cultivation, creating sediment runoff from road-building, and fertilizer/pesticide runoff further threaten the aquatic life.

A study released in June sums up the situation:

“The environmental harm caused by marijuana cultivation has largely been ignored, but this is a mistake,” said Carlson. “Marijuana is a thirsty crop that often relies on surface water diversions during California’s summer dry season. While many of our native aquatic organisms are adapted to California’s Mediterranean seasonality, the combination of our current drought and summer water diversions for marijuana could be a one-two punch that drives declines in several sensitive populations.

They estimate that cannabis cultivation in California uses nearly twice as much water as wine grape cultivation, or almost 3 billion liters per kilometer in one season.

What is the answer to this conundrum?  Demand is not going to slow, and people will go to great lengths to cash in on the business.

There is a simple answer.

Legalize It.

Completely legalize cannabis at the federal level and in every state.  Tax it if you must, treat it like alcohol if you must, but end what everyone knows is the farce of prohibition.

California supplies 60% of the cannabis consumed in the U.S.  The strain on its fragile ecosystems would be greatly reduced, or perhaps vanish, if cultivation was allowed in other states.  There are many other areas in the country where cannabis cultivation would be suitable and water is readily available without impacting ecosystems.  Indoor cultivation, which minimizes water use and confines chemicals, would also provide a significant cannabis supply.

Another reason legalization is the answer is that it would encourage responsible, forward-thinking growers to populate the market.  Those who degrade the environment would lose the popularity contest.  Legitimate growers with sound practices would set the standard for cannabis cultivation.

Lastly, although this is not the ideal way to achieve progress, the polluters would be subject to laws governing the use of pesticides and stream water.  With complete legalization would come rules regarding cultivation’s environmental impacts, making it less likely that individuals will risk punishment.

Before this happens, we need to end the era of prohibition.  Even the most die-hard Reefer Madness politician must question his conviction after learning that both the U.S. government and National Cancer Institute have admitted that cannabis kills cancer cells.  This is on top of the myriad other medical benefits it provides, such as preventing epileptic seizures. Not to mention there is an inherent violation of civil rights in denying a person the choice to use a dried plant.

Hurry up and drop your delusions, government, for the sake of morality and California’s aquatic ecosystems.

  • (Y) + Comment + Share if you think the drug war is creating more problems than it is solving.

  • (Y) + Comment + Share if you think the drug war is creating more problems than it is solving.

  • full unregulated legalization

  • full unregulated legalization

  • Legalization will stop this shit over night , this is all because of prohibition !! All of the blame is on the backs of the federal and state governments. ….

  • Legalization will stop this shit over night , this is all because of prohibition !! All of the blame is on the backs of the federal and state governments. ….

  • Legalization and taxation

  • Legalization and taxation

  • it’s illegal because they didn’t purchase your license? EAD lol

  • it’s illegal because they didn’t purchase your license? EAD lol

  • They focus on a sustainable crop like weed but completely gloss over the fact that California has NUMEROUS unsustainable crops that WERE NEVER INTENDED TO BE GROWN THERE!!!! Almond being the biggest violator… Or how about how Nestle corp is literally sucking the land dry of its very life blood just to put water in a bottle for profits and at almost no cost to them and on expired crumbling old permits that were never renewed!!!

  • They focus on a sustainable crop like weed but completely gloss over the fact that California has NUMEROUS unsustainable crops that WERE NEVER INTENDED TO BE GROWN THERE!!!! Almond being the biggest violator… Or how about how Nestle corp is literally sucking the land dry of its very life blood just to put water in a bottle for profits and at almost no cost to them and on expired crumbling old permits that were never renewed!!!

  • EPAAA. LOL

  • EPAAA. LOL

  • Legalize it 100 percent, keep cutting down guerrilla grows… Once it’s legalized nation wide.. Demand will slow.. Right now a lot of stuff that is even legally grown is illegally shipped to other places because profits are higher in places where supply is tight

  • Legalize it 100 percent, keep cutting down guerrilla grows… Once it’s legalized nation wide.. Demand will slow.. Right now a lot of stuff that is even legally grown is illegally shipped to other places because profits are higher in places where supply is tight

  • Legalize it and pick up your fucking trash!

  • Legalize it and pick up your fucking trash!

  • Pack your shit in pack your shit out easy solution …. No laws but. Common Fucken slobs

  • Pack your shit in pack your shit out easy solution …. No laws but. Common Fucken slobs

  • Decriminalize it!

    • decriminalization is horseshit and smokescreens. full legalization is the only way

    • Legalization means taxation. Decrim does not. So which are you for now?

  • Decriminalize it!

    • decriminalization is horseshit and smokescreens. full legalization is the only way

    • Legalization means taxation. Decrim does not. So which are you for now?

  • Prohibition is a failure, always has been, always will be! Free enterprise needs regulation!

  • Prohibition is a failure, always has been, always will be! Free enterprise needs regulation!

  • Legalize it and the supposed destroying of California’s Ecosystem will cease to exist, which is perpetuated by big corporations (especially big pharma) that are opposed to the legalization of marijuana.

  • Legalize it and the supposed destroying of California’s Ecosystem will cease to exist, which is perpetuated by big corporations (especially big pharma) that are opposed to the legalization of marijuana.

  • Hmmmm! Wonder if its possible to graft tomato onto cannabis root???

  • Hmmmm! Wonder if its possible to graft tomato onto cannabis root???

  • since when did government cared about the ecosystem or the mother earth… Pot growers probably the lower form pollution…..

  • since when did government cared about the ecosystem or the mother earth… Pot growers probably the lower form pollution…..

  • End Tricky Dick’s failed war on drugs.

  • End Tricky Dick’s failed war on drugs.

  • Drug war

  • Drug war

  • Isn’t it curious that pesticides and fertiliser can flow back into the rivers but the water for irrigation doesn’t…

  • Isn’t it curious that pesticides and fertiliser can flow back into the rivers but the water for irrigation doesn’t…

  • The picture in this article, is NOT!? even of a grow, or stuff used in a out door grow?? so what else is BULLSHIT about this story?? It is one of the same old lines thsat grows hurt the land, now takes all the water. OTHER THAN ILLEGAL CARTEL GROWS??, most are on privite lands and are pumping water in just enough for the crop. besides cannabis uses alot less water tahn some of the crops grown fro food, and are also not native to this area, and uses a shit load of water? we can get by, with out almonds, but cannabis cures stuff almounds make make believe milk?? which one sould we all do with out?? they send a STUDY JUST CAME OUT in this article, but?? there failed to name which report ,and were it was pulushed?? SO?, most of this story is a rewrite of the same old boggy man stories being send by the haters and lyiers for the last 30 years!! so fuck what said here, and see it has he lie, it is, and how even good people can be played, or payed to sent out a BULLSHIT STORY!!??!!

  • The picture in this article, is NOT!? even of a grow, or stuff used in a out door grow?? so what else is BULLSHIT about this story?? It is one of the same old lines thsat grows hurt the land, now takes all the water. OTHER THAN ILLEGAL CARTEL GROWS??, most are on privite lands and are pumping water in just enough for the crop. besides cannabis uses alot less water tahn some of the crops grown fro food, and are also not native to this area, and uses a shit load of water? we can get by, with out almonds, but cannabis cures stuff almounds make make believe milk?? which one sould we all do with out?? they send a STUDY JUST CAME OUT in this article, but?? there failed to name which report ,and were it was pulushed?? SO?, most of this story is a rewrite of the same old boggy man stories being send by the haters and lyiers for the last 30 years!! so fuck what said here, and see it has he lie, it is, and how even good people can be played, or payed to sent out a BULLSHIT STORY!!??!!

  • this is bullshit, complete bullshit. there is no “thought” out into these posts… lol

  • this is bullshit, complete bullshit. there is no “thought” out into these posts… lol

  • The NSA spy center in Utah is using 1.7 million gallons of water every day ….anyone think that impacts the environment more than a few pot fields?

  • The NSA spy center in Utah is using 1.7 million gallons of water every day ….anyone think that impacts the environment more than a few pot fields?

  • BULLSHIT ITS ALL DUN IN HIDRO GROWING IN YOUR HOME

  • BULLSHIT ITS ALL DUN IN HIDRO GROWING IN YOUR HOME

  • Yeah because animal agriculture isn’t the top producer of methane gas…give me a break

  • Yeah because animal agriculture isn’t the top producer of methane gas…give me a break

  • Legalize it completely. Problem solved!

  • Legalize it completely. Problem solved!

  • Grow it in Connecticut

  • Grow it in Connecticut

  • Legalize it!!

  • Legalize it!!

  • Poisoning of the American fisher.

  • FKG LIES<<<

  • Call yourself Nazi thought project thats what you really are<<<

  • yeah right pull the other one its got bells on it!

  • One simple solution? Put them all in jail! If put every person who is caught with ANY illegal drug in prison for life the problem would go away!

  • Legalize it and farm it like other farms.

  • Should have been legalized a very long time ago, in fact, it never should have been illegal.

  • make it legal to grow as much as you want!