In drought-hit California, marijuana growers are feeling the heat, accused of using too much water for their thirsty plants and of polluting streams and rivers with their pesticides and fertilizers. …Nevedal and other pot backers said the ultimate solution was for Congress to fully legalize the drug, which she said would eliminate the need for growers to hide in the wilderness and truck in their water.
“When logging was unregulated, we saw horrific environmental consequences,” she said. “And it’s so easy for the media to pick up stories of grow sites that have been raided or busted. It’s really hard to show a contrast of folks who are really doing a good job. What is being put out is the small percentage that are really blowing it.” …
For biologist Bauer, who’s been using Google Earth images to study the scope of the operations, the link is clear. He said 24 tributaries of the Eel River in Mendocino and Humboldt counties went dry last summer _ and all of them had been used to water pot operations. …
Thompson, along with Democratic Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and three other House members from the state, wants the U.S. Sentencing Commission to create new penalties for environmental damage caused by pot cultivation. But he said the popularity of marijuana in some parts of the state had made it difficult to get juries to convict anyone on pot-related charges.
Article by: Rob Hotakainen
Published by: McClatchy DC News
Published on: March 26 2014v