Utah isconsidering a bill
that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to be
treated with edible forms of marijuana. If the bill passes, the state's
wildlife may "cultivate a taste" for the plant, lose their fear of
humans, and basically be high all the time. That's according to testimony presented to a Utah Senate panel (time stamp 58:00) last week by an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
deal in facts. I deal in science," said special agent Matt Fairbanks,
who's been working in the state for a decade. He is member of the "marijuana eradication" team in Utah. Some of his colleagues in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree's garden and seizing a number of okra plants.
spoke of his time eliminating back-country marijuana grows in the Utah
mountains, specifically the environmental costs associated with
large-scale weed cultivation on public land: "Personally, I have seen
entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals,
deforestation and erosion," he said. "The ramifications to the flora,
the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown."
said that at some illegal marijuana grow sites he saw "rabbits that had
cultivated a taste for the marijuana. ..." He continued: "One of them
refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his
natural instincts to run were somehow gone."
It's true that illegal pot farming can have harmful environmental consequences.
Of course, nothing about these consequences is unique to marijuana. If
corn were outlawed and cartels started growing it in national forests,
the per-plant environmental toll would be about the same.
backcountry marijuana grows are a direct result of marijuana's illegal
status. If you're concerned about the environmental impact of these
grows, an alternative is to legalize and regulate the plant so that
people can grow it on farms and in their gardens, rather than on remote