Tags: Marijuana Legalization | mariuana | growers | california | streams | drought | water

WSJ: Pot Growers Are Draining California's Streams

By    |   Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 11:06 PM

Marijuana growers in California are reportedly stealing water from the state's streams to feed their crop.

According to the Wall Street Journal,
the practice is draining the already-thin water supply that has led to restrictions in the Golden State.

With pot use legal in California for medical purposes, and nearby states Washington and Oregon allowing recreational use of the drug, northern California is a haven for pot growers.

The Journal reports that thousands of mostly illegal pot farms scatter the landscape in the Cascade Mountains, and their growers are using generators, pumps, and hoses to use stream water to feed their crops.

"You can stop them one day, and they'll put in another the next day," Shasta County code enforcement officer Marc Pelote told the Journal. "They don't care. It's all money, money, money."

A single marijuana plant grown outdoors, according to the Journal, requires as many as six gallons of water per day. Licensed medical growers are allowed to have six plants, but illegal growers often have hundreds or thousands of them.

A Washington Post article last month detailed how much water marijuana plants use — which turns out to be far less than legal crops like alfalfa, tree fruit, potatoes, corn, and almonds.

An editorial in The Fresno Bee, on the other hand, claims pot growers are ruining California's ecosystem.

"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 reads.

"All of this is happening now, all across California, but particularly in the North Coast and in our national parks in the San Joaquin Valley. All of this environmental destruction is occurring to grow marijuana and meet consumer demand."

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Marijuana growers in California are reportedly stealing water from the state's streams to feed their crop.
mariuana, growers, california, streams, drought, water
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2015-06-07
Tuesday, 07 Jul 2015 11:06 PM
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