Image: Discarded fertilizer boxes reflect not only how marijuana cultivation is introducing agro-chemicals into sensitive natural landscapes, but also trash and solid waste pollution. Supply lines shown here are used to deliver illegally diverted stream water to tanks where it is used to water several marijuana gardens. These kinds of diversions can completely dry streams, stranding and killing fish. Photo credit: Jennifer Carah, The Nature Conservancy [Click image to enlarge]
Eel River CZO ecohydrologist Sally Thompson and ecologists Stephanie Carlson and Mary Power worked with The Nature Conservancy to explore the collateral damage caused by illegal marijuana cultivation. A new paper, published in BioScience, discusses the liberalization of marijuana policies across the United States and suggests that the environmental damage caused by wildland grow operations should be part of the public discourse on marijuana legalization.
“The sad fact is that the Eel and coastal rivers like it are on a knife edge. All of these wonderful native fishes are on the brink of coming back, and it is very frustrating that their recovery – which has taken 50 years and is actually a fairly encouraging recovery for the fish and for the older Eel habitat – is being derailed by the marijuana ‘green rush'"-Mary Power
Thirsty marijuana plants cause concern in California - Boston Globe--Brainiac by Kevin Hartnett
The High Environmental Cost Of Illicit Marijuana Cultivation - Yale Environment 360 by Diane Toomey
How Marijuana Farming is Worsening California’s Drought…And What We Can Do to Help - The Nature Conservancy
READ MORE from BioScience >>
High Time for Conservation: Adding the Environment to the Debate on Marijuana Liberalization. Carah, J., Howard, J., Thompson, S.E., Short Gianotti, A.G., Bauer, S., Carlson, S.M., Dralle, D.N., Gabriel, M.W., Hulette, L., Johnson, B., Knight, C., Kupferberg, S., Martin, S., Naylor, R., Power, M.E. (2015): BioScience (Advance Access)