Next time Californians go out hunting on public land they better beware of the gun-toting illegal marijuana growers.
A panel of law enforcement at the 24th International Sportsmen’s Exposition at Cal Expo gave warning to hunters and stated that Mexican drug networks have turned to planting in the Mediterranean and California.
These marijuana operations are a major threat to wildlife enthusiasts who may accidentally stumble upon them.
However, the danger to the outdoorsmen is not the only concern. The chief of the Law Enforcement Division of the Department of Fish and Game, Nancy Foley says the marijuana cultivation is the “No. 1 destroyer of habitat in the United States.”
To help with the growth of the plants, the growers use fertilizers and chemicals that regularly kill animals of all sizes, and the runoff from these “pot fields” pollute nearby water sources and can affect the downstream drinking water.
It is said that 10 acres of habitat are destroyed for every one acre of marijuana cultivated.
Fish and Game warden Patrick Foy says that while much of the fields are used by Mexican-run organizations he’s encountered California residents, claiming to me medicinal marijuana growers, that are just as destructive.
“I’ve investigated some that use copious quantities of pesticides and fertilizers,” Foy said. “They look you in the eye and say they run an organic operation. But you can see the pesticide residues.”