Concern over Pot Cultivation Eco-Impacts—But EPA Won’t Regulate

Concern Over Pot Cultivation Eco Impacts—But Epa Won’t Regulate

Photo by Vortex Farmacy. Pollution from outlaw cannabis grows deep in California’s national forests is far worse than previously thought, and has turned thousands of acres into virtual toxic waste dumps. That’s the sobering assessment of an Aug. 6 Reuters report on the mounting ecological impacts of outdoor cultivation in the Golden State, which accounts for upwards of 90 percent of illegal marijuana production nationwide. These impacts have increased along with the expansion of the cannabis economy. Ecologist Mourad Gabriel, who studies the question for the U.S.Forest Service, told Reuters he estimates that California’s forests hold 41 times more solid fertilizers and 80 times more liquid pesticides than investigators found in 2013. Growers are increasingly using fertilizers and pesticides that are restricted or banned in the United States, including carbofuran and zinc phosphide, the account found. Gabriel, who has visited more than 100 sites across the state, calculates that...

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