Claims of “getaway drug” aside, the marijuana grown in California by Mexican drug cartels is actually harming the Sierra National Forest.
Obviously, these hidden ganja plantations are illegal, so it’s not surprising that the way the plants are being grown creates a severe danger for local environments.
The plants, which have tremendous street-value, are painstakingly cared for, which often involves pesticides and fertilizers that are many times stronger than the stuff allowed for commercial use and the runoff ends up in local waterways.
This can ravage wetlands. Harsh pesticides can kill important insects and cause algae and weeds to build up, which blocks water flows and chokes out animals, like frogs and salamanders. This is why legal agriculture has so many rules and regulations.
But federal agencies are busting these plantations in California. In February, agents seized over 300,000 marijuana plants, worth about $1.1 billion. Good news for the environment, bad news for potheads and drug cartels.