This article is dated (there's a Tom Ammiano reference, but he's still tryin'!), but it brings up a great debating point in the marijuana industry. Back in the day, people were much more earth friendly. However, these days people are hell bent on making money and buying gold teeth instead of remembering that mother earth is the provider, and therefore deserves the respect that comes with it:
Illegal marijuana farms in Mendocino County and other remote regions of the state have been diverting millions of gallons of water and causing major environmental havoc according to a recent Christian Science Monitor article. As much as 3.6 million gallons of water is being siphoned from creeks and riverbeds, reducing trout and salmon habitats and spawning invasive algae growth.
Pot growers use fertilizers and poisons on the crops in remote forest locations, tainting the soil and water and potentially creating irreparable damage to ecosystems. In addition, the chemicals used on the sites can contaminate the headwaters that eventually flow into the subsurface water table.
To date, no major studies have been conducted, but scientists and ecologists believe some of the damage may be irreversible.
But backers of legalized marijuana say the state could see some green from sales of the herb. Lawmakers held a hearing today on a bill authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, on whether the state should legalize, tax and regulate the sale of marijuana. Proponents of the bill and of three ballot measures that would legalize the use and possession of marijuana argue that the state could generate as much as $1.4 billion dollars in tax revenue annually from the legal sale of the crop.
This article is courtesy of the fine people at sfpublicpress.org