Victimless Crime File: Pot Growers Destroying National Forests
The interesting part of this story is that even if marijuana was legal the growers would still cause vast environmental damage because the crop is too valuable to lose any and the crop replaces native vegetation. The same thing happens with soybeans, which are a environmental disaster as a crop.
From The New York Daily News:
Pot smokers like to burn one down, but growers of marijuana are getting heat for tearing it down in the country’s national forests.
The outlaw reefer growers seek out national parkland for their hidden weed farms because the forests are incredibly vast, security is incredibly light and conditions are ripe for growing, the website Live Science reported.
But as covert cultivation of pot farms on U.S. National Forest System lands becomes more common, environmental costs are mounting, the website’s report details.
Growers who take advantage of national parkland by establishing pot gardens are doing more than breaking the law with their green thumbs, the report notes. They’re ripping out native vegetation to clear tracts for their own crops, adversely impacting ecosystems and scaring off wildlife.
Some growers even douse their fields with toxic chemicals to fend off weeds, bugs and rodents, Eth said.
“The most disgusting aspect of it is the pollution,” he said. “They just pour chemicals like nobody’s business … and they get washed into streams that flow through national parks.”
Legalizers would also do well to remember how non-food cash crops effect food prices. Once pot is legal and farmers switch to it there will be less food on the market as farmland turns to drug growing. Not that pot smokers care if others starve, but it will cut into there budgets to, just like the ethanol industry has raised food prices.