Cannabis Isn’t So Green

Josh Harkinson considers the environmental impact of grow sites in California’s Humboldt County:

In this video [above], made with hi-res satellite images from Google Earth, Anthony Silvaggio, an environmental sociologist with Humboldt State University’s new Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research, exposes the extent of the devastation wrought on private forest land by industrial-scale grows:

Maggie Caldwell reported on the problem last fall:

“This is not about marijuana, good or bad. This is just about the reality that this one industry, due to prohibition, has been essentially granted immunity from regulation,” [Mark Lovelace, a Humboldt County supervisor] says. “That’s the unintended consequence of federal prohibition.” Road building, land grading, filling and diversion of streams, the use of herbicides, pesticides, and rodenticides—things that would normally be regulated in any other legal industry—are going unmonitored because the DOJ says the regulations aren’t allowed, Lovelace explains.