Category: Environment


Illegal Marijuana Growing Poisons Forests in California

A dozen armed officers with the U.S. Forest Service, local sheriff’s office, and other agencies teamed up with Dr. Mourad Gabriel to seize and dismantle an illegal marijuana grow site near Redding, California. At this site—just off Route 36, east…

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The Environmental Impacts of Marijuana

What are the impacts & hazards of marijuana grown in national forests & public lands? Watch a video here about threats & concerns.

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Dr. Mourad Gabriel – Environmental Impacts Expert

Our colleague, Dr. Mourad Gabriel, is the subject of a recent feature article by bioGraphic, a part of the California Academy of Sciences.  Dr. Gabriel is the executive director of the non-profit Integral Ecology Research Center (IERC), and is affiliated with…

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Illicit Water Use

Marijuana is a water-intensive crop to grow, using approximately six gallons of water per plant per day. Grow sites often illegally divert water from rivers and streams, and lay miles of illegal irrigation tubes. At just one illegal grow in…

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Deforestation and Erosion

Many people illegally growing marijuana place their grow sites in forests, particularly in California. These areas, often public lands, are difficult to reach and hard for law enforcement to monitor, making them good for concealing the growers’ activities. But to…

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High Energy Use

Growing marijuana indoors requires very large energy inputs. A 2012 study estimated that marijuana growth in the United States accounts for one percent of the country’s energy use; that’s $6,000,000,000 worth of energy! In states with particularly high production, marijuana…

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Endangering Animals

Marijuana production can have several adverse effects on animal habitats and populations. Illegal growers often use pesticides, insecticides, and rodenticides, which can kill more than just the intended targets. Rodenticides have been especially harmful, particularly in national forests in California,…

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Dangers of Pesticide Use

More than one recent scientific study has found that chemicals used in the illegal cultivation of marijuana are having harmful consequences on animals in the surrounding areas (see links to these studies below). Many people growing marijuana use pesticides to…

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