In California, some criminals are conducting illegal marijuana grow operations that are killing forest animals. Many of these animals are protected under the California Endangered Species Act.
Rodenticides that are used to protect the marijuana plants are also causing many animals to be poisoned. Some animals are said to be at population levels of just 20% of their historic ranges.
Some of these marijuana farms are known for using poison that is designed to smell like bacon or peanut butter in order to attract pests, and then kill them.
According to environmentalists in California, this problem has been ongoing since 2012, and it is not getting much better. Researchers have shown that up to 85% of certain species of animals in the region have traces of poison in their bodies.
Many bodies of dead animals have been found in the vicinity of the marijuana farms. While predators in the area are also quite common, rodenticides are the leading cause of animal deaths.
Experts have said that these rodenticides cause blood clotting problems which result in the animals dying from massive internal bleeding. These rodenticides are also said to damage the liver.
Most of these deaths occur during spring, which is a common mating season for many animals. These animals come out to mate, only to be poisoned during mate selection.
Additionally, the poison from these grow operations is also likely weakening the animals, making them more vulnerable to predators.
Some animals prey on other animals that have been contaminated by the poison. When these animals consume prey that has been poisoned, they become poisoned in the process. Thus, the problem is affecting the entire food chain.
Poison researcher and doctoral student at UC Davis Mourad Gabriel said, “We’re showing that the situation is not getting better. This is going to get worse unless we do something to rectify this threat.”
Although California might have some very relaxed marijuana laws, damage is still being done. Perhaps legalizing marijuana in the state could allow for more government oversight over these farms in order to prevent animals from being harmed.