According to new reports from federal authorities and researchers, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of illegal marijuana grows in California that are using dangerous pesticides. As a result, researchers said these illegal grows are harming animals and poisoning water sources.
Increase in Dangerous Chemicals
As reported by the Associated Press, new stats show that roughly nine out of 10 illegal cannabis grow sites are using dangerous chemicals in the cultivation process, including toxic pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers.
These new stats represent a dramatic increase in the number of grows using harmful chemicals. For example, today’s rate of chemical use is reportedly six times higher than it was in 2012. And last year, 75 percent of illegal grows were using dangerous chemicals. Clearly, the number of sites using these types of chemicals has been steadily climbing.
According to researchers, when illegal grows use chemicals it can pose a significant risk to the local environment. In particular, pesticides and other similar toxins often end up poisoning local wildlife. Additionally, these chemicals leach into water sources, where they harm fish and spread toxins further downstream.
In some cases, researchers said that pesticides were being added directly to irrigation waters. Obviously,