California’s ill-conceived marijuana program has inflicted irreparable environmental, wildlife, human and economic harm.
Under the guise of medicine, at the end of 2017, California was producing 8 times more pot than is consumed within the state. Chemical poisons in the form of rodenticides, pesticides, insecticides, and fertilizers seeping into the soil from the 50,000 grow sites in the state are contaminating streams that serve millions of people and wildlife while our federal and state governments stand on the sidelines.
Carbofuran, one poison that is extremely toxic and banned in the U.S., has turned up at 60%-70% of these sites. One eighth of a teaspoon will kill a 300-pound black bear.
According to a Calaveras County (California) study, reclamation costs for that county alone could reach $2 billion for its 1,200 grow sites. To undue the harm from the 50,000 California grow sites, the study estimates the cost could amount to over $50 billion.
The budget for clean up? There isn’t one.