Illegal pot farms cost California taxpayers millions to clean-up

Gov. Jerry Brown’s amended budget to be released Thursday includes $1.5 million to pay for cleanup of environmental damage caused by illegal marijuana grows in the Emerald Triangle — the counties of Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino, officials said Wednesday.

Brown’s proposal comes just months before the state is expected to begin issuing licenses for growing pot to be sold for recreational and medical uses.

“These illegal grow sites do untold damage to forests and wildlife along the North Coast,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday, adding that with the help of Assemblyman Jim Wood, “we’re doing something about it.”

Wood, a Democrat from Healdsburg, said illegal pot growing operations often use banned rodenticides that also kill Pacific fishers, deer and other smaller animals. The deadly contamination spreads when the smaller animals are eaten by mountain lions, bobcats, hawks and spotted owls.

Read the whole story in the LA Times

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