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August 31, 2018
Illegal cannabis cultivation operations are often lambasted for their use of toxic pesticides. As per a recent study commissioned by federal authorities, the criticism of illegal cannabis growers is fairly justified. The report indicates that the number of illegal cannabis growers using toxic pesticides is increasing.
As the excerpts from the report by the Associated Press cited, around 90 percent of illegal marijuana cultivation sites are using harmful chemicals in the growing process. This includes toxic fertilizers, insecticides, and fungicides. The use of toxic substances in farming leads to the poisoning of water sources. It also put livestock and wildlife in great danger.
The report also quotes previous data to prove how the use of toxic growing chemicals is increasing over time. In the last six years, the use of harmful chemicals in cannabis cultivation has increased six times. In 2017, nearly 75 percent of illegal cultivators were using harmful chemicals. So, there is a significant rise of 15 percent in cultivation sites using toxic chemicals in just one year. Use of toxins on crops is proven to be harmful to animals. In addition, these dangerous chemicals often seep into water sources and spread the toxins throughout the downstream, putting aquatic life at risk as well.
To increase the effectiveness of chemicals, cultivators often add them directly to irrigation water. This is an extremely dangerous practice because it results in the contamination of the entire agricultural site. It is important to note that state agricultural departments have cleanup projects in place where officials search for such cultivation sites and take out all the harmful chemicals from there. However, cleanup crews have failed to keep up with the drastic increase in the use of toxic chemicals. Adding insult to injury, the respective departments are also short on the workforce. This is the reason why some of the cultivation sites have been waiting for years to get cleaned up.
California: the most affected state
California has put blanket legalization into effect from the start of this year. However, illegal cannabis operations are still thriving in the Golden State. To cater to the state’s black market, illegal cultivation of cannabis is also on the rise and nearly every illegal cultivator uses toxic chemicals in his growing process.
This year, clean up teams in the state have found 95 illegal cultivation sites so far and removed around 10 tons of potentially toxic chemicals from the sites. But the officials believe that a large number of contaminated sites are still operating.
Carbofuran: the deadliest insecticide
Researchers are concerned about the use of a chemical called carbofuran in the making of pesticide products that are mostly used by illegal growers. Carbofuran is basically sprayed to exterminate crop-eating pests. But it has been found out that it’s equally deadly for wildlife. It has been studied that just one milliliter of this chemical can kill a 300-pound beer. And according to the report, this deadly chemical has been found in more than 70 percent of all the cleaned up sites.
Marijuana stays in the news, and Alice is always ready to keep us updated. A world traveler and lover of freedom, Alice knows what is going on, no matter where she roams. She specializes in marijuana legalization stories across the globe, with up to date... [read more]