Thanks to the drug’s illegal status, marijuana farms are not regulated – with serious costs to water and wildlife.
A tax on excessive electricity use may seem like an indirect way of curbing household cannabis cultivation, but the city had to back away from its more direct approach—a zoning ordinance—when the federal government threatened to prosecute local officials throughout the state if they sanctioned an activity that is categorically forbidden under US law. Attempts in neighboring Mendocino County to issue permits to outdoor growers meeting environmental and public-safety standards were foiled when federal attorneys slapped county officials with similar warning—illustrating, yet again, the way prohibition sabotages efforts to reduce the industry’s environmental damage.
Article By: Seth Zuckerman
Photo By: Mario Anzuoni
Published: October 31, 2013