The Los Angeles Times has a surprising story about an unanticipated effect of unregulated marijuana cultivation.
It turns out that parts of California, and particularly along the north coast, a proliferation of pot plants is resulting in the diversion of massive amounts of water, which is harming fish and game.
The paper reported that state scientists have paid particular attention to a tributary of the Eel River.
"In the remote, 37-square-mile patch of forest, they counted 281 outdoor pot farms and 286 greenhouses, containing an estimated 20,000 plants—mostly fed by water diverted from creeks or a fork of the Eel," wrote reporter Joe Mozingo. "The scientists determined the farms were siphoning roughly 18 million gallons from the watershed every year, largely at the time when the salmon most need it."
The article mentions numerous other problems, including a proliferation of pesticide use and rat poison to ward off animals that chew on the plants. The toxins eventually end up in streams and rivers, creating algae blooms.
So far, no B.C. environmental groups have raised concerns about rampant marijuana growth in various areas of this province.