marijuana pollution
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana And The Environment: Regulation Is Needed

marijuana pollutionThe arrest and citation of marijuana growers, providers and consumers across the country is a vast drain on our nation’s limited resources. In Oregon, a state with rather progressive cannabis laws, the state still arrested and cited more than 10,000 adults for marijuana every year, something that will thankfully end as the state’s voters have chosen to legalize cannabis use and its commercial production. Despite prohibitionists’ claims that those 10,000-plus arrests and citations really didn’t take any time, Oregonians wisely saw through the ruse and chose to better prioritize the Beaver State’s law enforcement time and resources.

Across the United States, police arrest someone for marijuana every 42 seconds, taking valuable time away from battling real crime, such as robberies and murders. Additionally, all of these arrests, mainly for victimless “crime” of marijuana possession, takes time away from finding large-scale grow operations that are actually harming people by polluting land and water.

Pollution from marijuana grow sites are causing issues in California especially. From an AP story published by the Weather Channel:

“People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds,” Denise Rushing, a Lake County supervisor, told the Associated Press. “When rains come, it flows downstream into the lake and our water supply.”

Suspicions arose 18 years ago, when water supplies in Humboldt, Mendocino and Lake Counties began running dry shortly after the state passed Proposition 15, which legalized medical marijuana usage in California and sparked demand for homegrown marijuana farms.

“We knew people were diverting water for marijuana operations, but we wanted to know exactly how much,” said Scott Bauer, the department biologist who studied the pot farms’ effects on four watersheds, told the Associated Press.  “We didn’t know they could consume all the water in a stream.”

While many operating both in the illegal and gray marijuana markets may be resistance to rules and regulations, such compromises must be made to prevent serious voter backlash or federal intervention. The cannabis community has a long history of compassion and a passion for sustainability; this goodwill is threatened when our land and water is being polluted. Common sense regulations can protect licensed farmers, our environment and end wasteful and harmful arrests. Without regulations, more lives will be needlessly ruined and the environmental implications could become deadly. Let’s all move forward to sensibly legalize and regulate cannabis for the benefit of all.

Source: MarijuanaPolitics.Com

  • Jean Anne Lewis

    I agree with this article. ;-)

  • James

    “Common sense regulations can protect licensed farmers…” These growers are all illegal and has nothing to do with medical marijuana regulations. These growers don’t care at all about any laws. They grow by the thousand to even ten thousand plant range, they steal water, and divert electricity. Many of them are found with illegal weapons. Most of these growers are not selling that nasty weed to dispensaries, most of it is pushed out of state. Regulating medical marijuana or even legalizing marijuana would do nothing to control this situation. People will still come here to grow and ship out of state. The only way this is going to change is if marijuana is legalized nation wide at the federal level.

  • Mary Miller

    This is why OREGON isn’t the most progressive when it comes to cannabis, don’t let them fool you, even though LEGALIZATION passed in 2014, they don’t plan to implement before 2016 or even 2017…..and following the money is important here, since the mantra of this state is: ” we have no money for_____fill in the blank”….They just opened up two new compounds for prisoner’s here: one for the criminally insane, the other a high tech prison, with all the glorious features. And of course, the 1.3 million that they HAD to spend on an artificial waterfall at the stadium park. We also got 2 new full fledged facilities strictly for ADDICTION here, and AA doesn’t seem to be a fixture here. They treat everything as an addiction problem, but then again, talk to anyone here who is in pain, goes to the ER: yep folks, we’re all addicts, or drug seeking.

    I am only saying this, because time after time I hear that folks are given oral antibiotics for severe infections, not IVs (not filled at the hospital btw), and one guy drove from Eugene, to Chico to get treated (after he was released by the local hospital here, because the ER doctor was “convinced he was drug seeking”, later to find he HAD A RUPTURED APPENDIX. Well, enough said, but my point: oregon is looking to get out of legalization as sure as there are Green Apples.

    • been there

      Time to sue the living sh*t out of the local hospital!!