Marijuana growers are decimating California’s ecosystem, killing fish, destroying forests and draining streams

(NaturalNews) As California continues to bake in the throes of a historic, multi-year drought, concerns over the state’s remaining water supplies have risen dramatically.

State and local officials have been working in tandem to create conservative programs that, thus far, are having a mostly positive effect. Overall, the programs have seen water use throughout California generally decreasing – in some places by more than 30 percent.

But despite these efforts, a great deal of water is still being wasted or, as others point out, utilized for unproductive purposes, such as growing marijuana.

As an editorial in the Fresno Bee noted, marijuana production has skyrocketed despite the drought, even to the point of causing irreversible environmental damage:

Acres of ancient trees are disappearing and illegal marijuana farms are popping up in their place. Streams and rivers are being sucked dry, diverted sometimes miles away through plastic pipes into tanks. Several species of fish, along with a rare breed of wild rodent, are on the verge of extinction.

The editorial notes that this is occurring all across the state but in particular it is taking place disproportionately in the North Coast region, as well as the state’s National Parks in the San Joaquin Valley. “All of this environmental destruction is occurring to grow marijuana and meet consumer demand,” it noted.

‘Where’s the outrage?’

The editorial board for the Fresno Bee acknowledged that there is “plenty of blame to go around” for the way things have turned out in the two decades ever since the state legalized medical marijuana. But, they wrote, “much of it must land at the feet of consumers, and of lawmakers.”

Pot or food?

The director of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Charlton Bonham, discussed an “existential crisis” as he watches species of salmon dwindle to dangerously low numbers, the editorial noted.

And Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman, they added, has spoken of how, during a recent arrest near Island Mountain, he noticed that illegal pot growers have depleted the Eel River to a point where it is now full of moss. Allman estimated that growers needed about 500,000 gallons of receding water daily to support about 87,000 plants cops discovered.

Sources:

http://www.fresnobee.com

http://www.nytimes.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

Full article: Marijuana growers are decimating California’s ecosystem, killing fish, destroying forests and draining streams (Natural News)

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