Tag Archives: Governor Jerry Brown

Environmental Damage Wrought by Pot

Marijuana is Far from Green

Marijuana farms are fouling the ecosystem and draining energy and water resources in states that have liberalized their marijuana laws. Governor Jerry Brown blames California’s wildfires on climate change, but he ignores marijuana, the biggest cause of environmental damage to his state.   The environmental damage in California alone will be in the billions of dollars.  This will be more costly than Exxon Valdez oil spill disaster.

Check out two recent television news reports on the crisis:  CBS News: Marijuana Illegal Grow Mount Shasta Siskiyou County and CBS News: Toxic Chemicals California Wildlife Marijuana Grows.

Dr. Mourad Gabriel is the executive director of the non-profit Integral Ecology Research Center, based in Blue Lake, California. He studies endangered wildlife.  When high levels of toxic rodenticides were first found in dead wildlife, it set off alarm bells, but Dr. Gabriel couldn’t figure out the source of the poison. At a scientific conference, he learned that drug cartels were setting up illegal marijuana farms in wilderness lands.

Illegal Marijuana Grows on Wilderness Lands in Siskiyou County as seen from Google Earth

As he now leads investigations deep into the forest to locate and shut down these dangerous operations, he needs to wear kevlar, a protective body armor.  One of the marijuana gangsters poisoned and killed Gabriel’s dog a few years ago, trying to scare him away.  See the article in The Atlantic, Illegal Pot Farms are Poisoning California’s Forests.

Losing our Water and Natural Resources

These environmental travesties threaten America’s pristine natural wonders near Mount Shasta and Lake Tahoe.  One former California resident warns that wilderness hikers can be in grave danger if they happen upon one of these illegal grow sites. Pot growers and other squatters are armed and will shoot to protect their activities.

The growers use poisons to protect their plants which in turn kill wildlife.    One small mammal, the fisher is an endangered species at risk from these toxic chemicals.

These illicit growers are using a banned pesticide carbofuran, which is so potent that one eight of a teaspoon will kill a 300 pound bear. Forest rangers are finding the poison strewn around the forest floor in Vitamin Water bottles.

These operations have also had the effect of eradicating the salmon population by diverting of billions of gallons of water a year out of California streams. The drought returns , but Californians will blame it on something other than a skunky plant that produces no food.

During California’s worst wildfire season ever surely that water would have been useful to the firefighters.

marijuana-endangers-water

There’s a strong possibility that some of California’s wildfires are started by these marijuana growers.  If they are smoking cigarettes or marijuana, or even starting a fire to cook food, their actions could cause of an out of control wildfire.   Authorities believe that marijuana growers started the Soberanes fire, largest fire of 2016,  at a campsite.  Common sense tells us it is a risk inherent in this kind of activity.

So why did California Legalize  Marijuana?

And, as to energy usage, California is about to legalize recreational marijuana, and greedy entrepreneurs are converting old warehouse space into indoor grows. These indoor marijuana facilities are known to use a tremendous amount of electricity to power the grow lights. See this article in the Guardian: Pot is Power Hungry.

In a society that prides itself on ‘going green,’ we must think carefully about the negative impacts of commercializing the plant that causes more environmental damage than any other.   States like Massachusetts, Vermont and New Jersey should consider these environmental hazards. It is not too late to reverse the damage.

Governor Brown’s Limited Environmental Advocacy Explained

While Gov. Brown did not criticize marijuana for environmental damage, he was clear about the brain damage. Sean Parker donated big to his re-election campaign, and his mind changed.

Governor Jerry Brown poses as an environmentalist on the national stage while enabling his own state’s environmental destruction. Money and pro-pot journalists kept Californians in the dark about the environmental disaster of marijuana, but the governor knew the truth.   Governor Brown could have spoken out against Prop 64, but he honored a favor from his reelection in  2014.

Governor Brown spoke eloquently against marijuana on Meet the Press, on March 2, 2014.  Four days later, Sean Parker and his wife donated $81,600 to Brown’s re-election campaign.  The governor immediately abandoned a safety bill which would have limited the THC allowed in drivers to 2 ng.

Parker donated $9 million to the cause of California’s legalization campaign of 2016, even more than George Soros’ $4 million.  The campaign was full of “dark money” hidden in secret groups, but included at least $12 million of marijuana industry donors.   While Governor Brown didn’t come out for or against Prop 64, he could have used his environmental conscience  to advocate “No.”

(Marijuana was involved crashes that killed in least 3,000 people in California over last 15 years.)   Now California will legalize without a  suitable measure of driving impairment.

BHO Fires, Other Dangers for Older Children of Stoner Parents

(Read Part1 of this series on older children with pot-using parents. Upload our fact sheet about children’s death related to marijuana use.)

Infants and toddlers are vulnerable to negligence and abuse by marijuana-using parents. How are older children vulnerable?  In Gresham, Oregon on September 25, a mother suffering from anxiety who used marijuana several times a day, shot and killed her 17-year-old son.  The recently-divorced mom was losing her home, had quit her job and was suffering from anxiety. The stress of her situation is understandable, but marijuana is the wrong way to cope with stress.  It ultimately increases anxiety and can lead to psychosis, too.

BHO Fires are a Threat to Children

Another big problem is butane hash oil fires. Two years ago in Medford, Oregon, a 12-year old girl jumped out of the second story window and sustained several broken bones Continue reading BHO Fires, Other Dangers for Older Children of Stoner Parents

68 Treated in Northern California for BHO Burns

Since 2011, at least 68 people were treated for burns caused by butane hash oil fires and explosions, at northern California burn centers, including Shriners Hospital for Children, Sacramento, and at the UC Davis Regional Burn Center.

Usually those making BHO suffer the most, but several times it has happened at homes with children. The most recent baby who was badly burned in a hash oil (BHO) explosion was a 19-month old boy at a student housing complex in Montana.  The law has not kept up with the problem, as parents who engage in this deadly practice still have custody and visitation rights.  Children are threatened by neighbors who do it, too.

Butane hash oil (BHO) production is a marijuana extraction process which has exploded in popularity over the past three years. The victim had burns covering 28% of the body, according to Dr. David Greenhalgh, reporting to the Sacramento Bee in August.  A past president of the American Burn Association, he called hash oil burns an “epidemic.”  Greenhalgh’s research in wound care, skin grafts and reconstruction make him a leading national figure in the burn field.

Thanks to quick emergency response and to the quality of emergency medical treatment available in the United States,  it appears that all of the children have survived.  However, we have raised a group of young adults who are so accustomed to hearing “marijuana is safe” that they have no notion of the need to protect children from the dangers pot involves.

armhashoilburn
Photo, originally published in Oregonian, provided by Legacy Emanuel Burn Center. Top photo, Sacramento County Attorney’s office, fire in Arden-Arcade, CA, 2013

Those who make BHO and cause the explosions–31 in Colorado, this year, 20 in San Diego County within a year, 6 in Riverside County, 6 in San Bernardino County, 6 near Portland, OR and 7 in the Puget Sound—have been extraordinarily lucky.  Of those who died from hash oil explosions, at least one was in California, one in Oregon and one in Hawaii.  Two of the deaths were neighbors who were affected by the fires.  In Spokane, WA, a neighbor with respiratory problems died two months after the fire in January, while in Bellevue, WA, it was a former mayor of the city who died from a broken pelvis(see previous articles on this topic)

Downloadable Fact Sheet

Get the Parents Opposed to Pot Hash Oil Facts! Download our new flyer, which describes the hash oil explosions in states which have permissive marijuana laws: POPPOT-Hash Oil Statistics.

Hash oil explosions increase with legal marijuana, as has happened up and down the west coast, including four explosions in late November, one each in California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington.  There is a question as to how much lax enforcement of marijuana laws in parts of Washington, Oregon and California have allowed the practices to continue.

Fires while in the Care of Neglectful Parents

At least 2 children died by fire this year when neglectful parents smoked marijuana.  BHO is not the only way marijuana users threaten children by fire, because pot-smoking parents can be “out of it” and consumed by addiction.   Two-year-old Levi Welton of Sterling, Colorado, was left alone with his four-year-old brother with matches while his parents smoked marijuana with friends in another room.  (The parents and his brother survived.) In Oregon, during the last week of October, a mother was high on marijuana as a fire consumed her four-year old son.   Neighbors reported her too stoned to be aware and to show any emotion when her son died.

It also happened last year in a state without a legal marijuana program. In Pennsylvania woman pled guilty to leaving her 3-year-old twins to die in a fire while she left the house to see whether her marijuana had been stolen by her 15-year-old daughter.  Police say the boys turned on a burner on a grease-covered stove, sparking flames that soon engulfed the house.

The cost of an addiction is putting the substance ahead of the loved ones.   About 1 in 6 who begin using marijuana under age 18 become addicted, although marijuana promoters claim it is not addictive.

Oregon recently enacted a law forbidding daycare employees and operators from using medical marijuana.  Let’s hope other states follow suit, and that, in family courts, states do not give custody and visitation rights to marijuana-using parents, especially those making BHO.

As California Gov Jerry Brown has said, the world is too dangerous a place for Americans not be alert by using pot.  This concept applies to parenthood.  Parenthood is too large a responsibility for us not to protect our children. We need not expose small children to the manufacture of BHO or put them in the care of parents who prioritize marijuana over their children.  However, when neighbors make hash oil, parents may have no warnings.

Our tolerance for marijuana has  taught a new generation of young adults that marijuana is safe.  Making BHO is mainly done in western states, but the explosions have happened in Florida, Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida, Chicago, Michigan, Virginia, Houston.  It will spread east if we don’t watch out.  No longer should anyone say, “safer than alcohol” or “it’s just pot.” We have sent the wrong message, and need to replace it with a message that parenting and pot use do not mix.