Illegally Grown Pot Is Bad for the Environment. What Should We Do About That?

Illegal outdoor marijuana grows on California's North Coast are sapping 18 million gallons of water a year from an Eel River tributary, according to the L.A. Times. That water consumption is threatening a salmon species that California has spent "millions of dollars to recover." In Humboldt County, growers are using rat poison mixed with human food to kill bears and fishers (a type of weasel), both of which animals threaten clandestine growing operations. Threats to salmon and weasels aren't the only problem: "Farmers have illegally mowed down timber, graded mountaintops flat for sprawling greenhouses, dispersed poisons and pesticides, drained streams and polluted watersheds."