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Thirsty Illegal Pot Crops Threaten Forests, Boost Fire Danger (TEXT, PHOTOS, and VIDEO)

Society & Culture  (tags: Illegal marijuana plantations, New Mexico, national forests, public lands, water, fire danger, drug cartels, environment, law, ethics, society, humans )

- 1902 days ago -
As New Mexico heads toward a potentially devastating fire season, there's a threat to to the state's public lands that may come as a surprise. People are illegally growing marijuana, hiding the plants deep within national forests and public lands.


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Terry King (113)
Thursday March 6, 2014, 10:27 pm
When New Mexico closes their hundreds of water wasting golf courses I will take the Marijuana threat a little more seriously. If they decriminalized the growing of Marijuana the problem would disappear along with the Mexican drug gangs.

Carrie B (306)
Thursday March 6, 2014, 10:43 pm
Actually the golf courses have had water restrictions in recent years, ~ and there aren't "hundreds" ~ only 106 in the state. I agree with making marijuana legal, but in the mean time the drug cartels are destroying our national forest land. That land is not meant for growing marijuana because it is too porous. Consequently it takes much more water to keep the plants alive. That is dangerous. Not to mention the danger to people who might accidentally stumble up one of these enterprises.

Terry King (113)
Thursday March 6, 2014, 11:17 pm
Only 106? I stand corrected... I'm sure they use far less water than all of those giant pot grows that all the law enforcement in New Mexico can't find.

Carrie B (306)
Thursday March 6, 2014, 11:55 pm
The problem is where it's growing ~ each plant needs about five gallons of water a day, ~ an who's growing it, ~ really bad guys.

Alexandra Rodda (180)
Friday March 7, 2014, 2:33 am
Increasing fire danger is a very serious danger. Possibly legalizing Marijuana would stop this. However, it is a sad thing that legalizing a drug that has subtle destructive effects on people's personalities is likely to prevent even greater damage.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 5:01 am
Illegal is illegal and they are stealing precious water. If they made it legal to grow in certain areas it might help but who knows if they still wouldn't try to grow it secretly in the forests. Some want it legal and that would make money for the country in taxes but others would rather it stay illegal because they are used to making all the money for them selves. It is a dilemma but the real issue here is the fire danger which trumps all. Fire danger could threaten not only the forest but spread and devastate so much other land as well as human life, I would say that is much more important than a weed crop. Besides stealing water is still stealing.

Terry King (113)
Friday March 7, 2014, 6:11 am
Thus... The second half of my first post.

Pamylle G (458)
Friday March 7, 2014, 6:16 am
There are plenty of water-hogging targets for conservation at this point - and while I don't doubt the assessment here, it smacks of the same old, same old prejudicial rhetoric. Where's the hysteria over almonds ?

Why the assumption these are "bad people" growing the crops ? This old Flower Child doesn't agree with this judgment. LEGALIZE MARIJUANA. It's NOT "a drug', and obsessive, destructive behavior can arise from almost any habit, even seemingly benign ones. Honestly, it's STUPID to declare a plant "illegal." If you want people to cooperate, you must bring them into the circle. Legalize it, and regulate toward the common good.

And if you want to talk about the concept of "stealing water" across the world, look farther up the ladder - Nestle's, Poland Spring. Oil companies, frackers.

Giana P (398)
Friday March 7, 2014, 7:02 am
Thanks Carrie.

Farah Hage Ali (154)
Friday March 7, 2014, 7:05 am
noted, thank you for sharing

Past Member (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 8:35 am
Thank you for sharing!

Vivian B (169)
Friday March 7, 2014, 9:36 am
Pamylle, you have some excellent points! That just about says it for me, too. If they would get off their high horse and legalize it, there would be no need for "secret" farms in national forests. The cartels don't want it legal cause it cuts into their profits. That may need some looking into! Maybe they are some of the ones that are donating to the people who are trying to keep it illegal!
Just a thought. Wouldn't be the first time that crime has gotten in bed with the legal system to keep something illegal.
And this Old Hippie is hoping that I love to see it legalized!

Sheila D (194)
Friday March 7, 2014, 10:04 am
Can't say anything better than the comments already here...agree with all. Legalizing pot won't stop the cartels, but it will certainly slow them down. Of course, the US had s been in bed with drug dealers before - remember Noriega (sp?), and think there's a few in Africa our wonderful government has backed, is still backing?

Birgit W (160)
Friday March 7, 2014, 10:52 am
Thanks for sharing.

DORIS L (61)
Friday March 7, 2014, 11:25 am
New definition of High Light: Fire caused by lack of water that was stolen to nourish pot plants.

Vallee R (280)
Friday March 7, 2014, 12:30 pm
Noted - thanks-

Mitchell D (82)
Friday March 7, 2014, 1:17 pm
So, are we going to see a lot of stoned firefighters this summer?

Terry King (113)
Friday March 7, 2014, 1:42 pm
Mitchell... Probably no more than usual! BTW I live in the middle of the emerald triangle on the Mendocino Coast and legally grow a few plants a year for my own use. I use very little water that doesn't fall from the sky and use no chemicals whatsoever. I would never, however, grow on public land and neither would the other growers I know.

Terry King (113)
Friday March 7, 2014, 1:44 pm
I would far prefer to live next door to a pot grow than a golf course!

Past Member (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 2:17 pm
If it will save forests, legalize it .Forests are more important.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 2:52 pm
What if pot was legal and everybody just had a couple plants on their porch or in the garden??

Terry King (113)
Friday March 7, 2014, 3:55 pm
Barbara... The world would be a better place! Pot requires less water than Tomatoes.

Past Member (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 4:14 pm
Terry, I know!! LOL!!

Carrie B (306)
Friday March 7, 2014, 4:16 pm
My neighbors are way to close for me to get away with growing any for my own use.

. (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 4:16 pm

Carrie B (306)
Friday March 7, 2014, 4:20 pm
Oops ~ too close. I really do know the difference between to, too, and two. LOL

Jabi Yeonnmin (164)
Friday March 7, 2014, 4:39 pm

Evelyn Z (300)
Friday March 7, 2014, 5:16 pm
Thanks for the post Carrie.
Also some really great comments here. Yes, legalize it = too bad I'm actually allergic to it !

Past Member (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 5:55 pm
Carrie, I'm really lucky ~ my neighbors are cows. LOL!!

Lyn, Poor dear. I'm so sorry to hear it!

S J (124)
Friday March 7, 2014, 6:17 pm
as same as opium did once not long ago.

thanks Carrie

Carrie B (306)
Friday March 7, 2014, 7:00 pm
OK, most of us agree that pot should be legalized, but in the mean time...

Angela J (61)
Friday March 7, 2014, 7:20 pm
Thank you.

. (0)
Friday March 7, 2014, 9:16 pm
The people growing the pot can be very dangerous. It's not only stealing the water and misusing the land, but putting the public in danger. I have no problem with throwing them in the clink ( at the very least) for the rest of their worthless lives.

Diane K (134)
Saturday March 8, 2014, 7:32 am

. (0)
Saturday March 8, 2014, 9:55 am
even i the states that have leagleized it for recreational use they are putting a high tax on it. people will still go to the street to get it. i don't know what the solution to the water is. there are states like calif i a terrible drout. even with the rain they got the other day

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Saturday March 8, 2014, 6:59 pm
Thank you for the news.

Panchali Yapa (26)
Sunday March 9, 2014, 4:31 am
Thank you

Gene Jacobson (287)
Sunday March 9, 2014, 6:52 am
That we have a growing number of states that permit it for medicinal purposes is good, but it only goes half way. The product itself was outlawed for selfish, business reasons; it is so versatile it can be made into virtually anything much more cheaply than can be said for the paper industry, the textile industry and of course the medical industry. Studies all over are showing that it is not a gateway drug any more than alcohol is, far less in the last one I read, 2% of users go on to try something stronger. It is far less dangerous than alcohol, users don't become enraged and start fights or commit domestic abuse, or even go out driving and kill some poor innocent on the roads. You might get the munchies but that is about it. No hangover, no lost productivity. And a majority of Americans favor legalizing it everywhere. Do that, tax it like liquor, regulate the quality and sell it to those 21 and above, same penalties as for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. There are so many benefits to this plant, this naturally occurring plant, unlike alcohol which must be created by humans, that far outweigh the bible belt objections. And it is a new revenue source and has the side benefit, an important one, of taking the cartels out of this business, in the same way the end of prohibition took organized crime out of alcohol production and distribution. There are a thousand good reasons to legalize and no coherent reasons not to. So get it done, while I am still young enough to enjoy the occasional use - there's no better sleep aid on the market anywhere and us old timers need all the help sleeping we can get! :^)

Frances Darcy (92)
Monday March 10, 2014, 8:18 am

Elizabeth M (65)
Saturday March 15, 2014, 7:53 pm
I think it should be legalized everywhere, with people only allowed to grow a few plants for personal use. To have this happening in a National Forest, with however much water it takes (those hoses ran for miles and are pretty big), also the fact that some innocent hiker could come across a grow op and get killed shows how dumb it is to have all this destruction going on. Also it mentioned it takes years for the forest to grow back.
Where do most of our pharmaceutical drugs come from - Plants! And this plant has many medicinal properties. Thanks Carrie.
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