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Cannabis farmers are destroying wildlife so you can get stoned

This stock photo of a cannabis farm is just so awful I love it —editor.Dejan Marjanovic/E+/Getty Images


THE EFFECT OF LARGE-SCALE FARMS on flora and fauna in this country is well-documented. What’s less understood is how illegal cannabis farms change wildlife. That’s changing, though, thanks to more study into the area. The findings aren’t great.

As Inverse nature reporter Tara Yarlagadda heard first-hand, these sorts of farms ruin the wildlife and habitat they call home.

“A huge majority of [weed farms] in California are still illegal and non-permitted,” Greta Wengert, a co-author on a new scientific paper into the matter, explained to Yarlagadda. “All trespass-grows on public lands and large tracts of privately owned ranches and timberlands will always be illegal — and deleterious to our environment. There is no immediate sign of slowing down.”

As Wengert keenly observes, the number of weed farms likely isn’t going to go down anytime soon. Given the booming market and increasing pot legalization for medicinal and recreational purposes, the outlook is grim without smarter regulation. The wildlands of America, already under threat from a brain-numbing number of sources, now face another intrusion: Drug cartel farmers who spray pesticides and destroy natural habitats.

(If you’re interested in reading more about illegal grow operations, our own Katie MacBride reported on pesticides used at them, while on assignment for Playboy in 2019. Just read it; a great story.)

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Nick Lucchesi on Inverse

Published: September 07, 2021

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