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California’s Illegal Pot Sites Divert Water, Use Banned Pesticides

Oct. 9, 2018, 10:30 AM

As California works to regulate the legal cannabis industry, illicit marijuana operations are threatening the state’s burgeoning industry and the environment.

The U.S. Forest Service has discovered and cleaned up 160 illegal marijuana growing sites on federal lands in California this year. These illegal pot operations introduce banned pesticides into the environment, make remote areas more susceptible to wildfire, and steal millions of gallons of water each year, the government said.

“These people are trespassing on land that isn’t theirs, using egregious practices,” said Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, which represents hundreds of ...

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