With California recently legalizing recreational marijuana use in the state, it was questioned how the federal government would tackle marijuana within the confines of state lines. Now we have a better understanding of their policy towards marijuana in California.
At a news conference in Sacramento, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott announced that his concerns don’t lie within the recreational market, but rather the massive marijuana grows in the dense wilderness of federal lands in Northern California. He said that U.S., state and local authorities will target the illegal grows with $2.5 million in federal money, especially the grow operations that use highly toxic pesticides.
Not only do illegal grow operations in the wilderness create safety concerns for outdoor enthusiasts, but they are also finding that 72 percent of illegal grow operations are using the pesticide Carbofuran, which is killing wildlife at an alarming rate.
The pesticide is used to kill off insects and animals that may come in contact with the marijuana site, and it works very well. One teaspoon of Carbofuran could kill a 300-pound bear.
The illegal grow sites in Northern California can have severe effects on the public lands of the vast and nearly untouched wilderness, including wildlife deaths and diversion of natural water flows. In the past, many of these illegal grow sites are the doing of Mexican drug cartel workers, whose operations are backed by organized crime wealth and the marijuana is then trafficked all over the country.
This news comes as a relief to the massive recreational marijuana market in California. Although it seemed a long shot that the federal government would use its resources to battle a taxable entity within the state, the silence from government officials put many on edge.
This new policy from the government is a great path in order to protect our beautiful public lands, eliminate illegal and toxic growing operations, and provide support to a so-far successful recreational market.