In an ideal world, the poor choices or immoral actions of a single party will not negatively affect an innocent bystander. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case.
One classic example is the Mexican cartel’s presence within U.S. borders. While this alone is bad enough for law enforcement, these operations are also making an environmental impact – and most definitely not in a good way.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mexican drug traffickers set up operations in California’s Sierra Nevada, a mountainous region filled with rugged terrain and dense forests.
It is the perfect location to hid something illegal. However, these particular activities have unintended consequences.
Pesticide to Blame
Thanks to the presence of government oversight, certain pesticides are banned in the United States. Such is not the case for drug traffickers, whose only goal is to push product. Consequently, they often choose fast, cost-effective avenues. In this case, it happens to include a highly toxic, banned pesticide.
The Los Angeles Times explains:
“The pesticide, carbofuran, is toxic to wildlife and humans and can cause permanent reproductive damage. Law enforcement took reporters on a tour of one of the illegal grow sites on Tuesday, where a bottle of carbofuran could be seen.”
Carbofuran is not a weak pesticide by any means. In fact, the Los Angeles Times says that just one teaspoon will kill a bear. This means that even a small amount can spread around and do serious damage – which it most certainly did:
“Partly because of illegal grow sites, traces of carbofuran’s deadly chemical composition have been detected in streams and rivers, and found in animals — living and dead — including threatened species such as the Pacific fisher.”
Of course, pesticides are not the only issue that comes with hidden grow operations. The aforementioned location, recently raided by police, had a large amount of forest area cleared to house its roughly 6,000 marijuana plants.
Another problem is that these establishments also divert fresh water from nearby rivers and streams. The one raided, for instance, took about 5.4 million gallons per year.
A Grim Reminder
We mentioned several times in the past about the lack of quality and care when producing street marijuana. It is not up to par with the admittedly rather stringent health and safety requirements for legal cannabis.
Given carbofuran’s level of toxicity, it should cause illegal users to pause and think what they are putting into their bodies in exchange for a price difference. Legal marijuana may not be the cheapest or even the most convenient, but if a major supplier like the Mexican cartel uses any chemical they want, this means that someone ends up consuming it.
These kinds of practices do not exist in the legal marijuana industry. If they did, governing bodies would be quick to discover it and promptly shut it down.
WeedAdvisor’s Concern for Safe Cannabis Production
It goes without saying that we do not support illegal growers – the reasons above being just a few. The entrenched black market offers a price advantage, but what we see here is a classic example of what happened thanks to prohibition.
Now, operations like these exist everywhere, doing an untold amount of damage to the environment and wasting valuable law enforcement resources.
WeedAdvisor hopes that this serves as a reason to abandon the illegal marijuana market in favour of its much safer counterpart. We do, of course, get what we pay for.