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California owls have a really serious problem with cannabis legalization

At the beginning of the new year, the state of California heard voices calling for partial legalization of marijuana. The recreational consumption of cannabis products may have conjured a smile on the face of a nice line of Californians, but the protectors of nature have become worried.

The rapidly growing unregistered cannabis fields are the source of chemical pollution and, above all, poisons that the endangered owls spend. This is reported in more detail by ornithologists from the University of California at Davis.

Now he grows every tenth

Doctor Karen C. Drayer does not really have time to spare: she runs a rescue station for disabled and wounded animals at the University of California, she is involved in the activities of a local branch of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine, and at the same time is still nonprofit of the Integrated Center for Organic Research. Thanks to this, it has first-hand information on the animal health status of the wildlife. And so it probably does not have much reason to celebrate so-called Draft No. 64, which has enforced California's recreational consumption of marijuana. Everyone wants to grow it now, but with the official registration of cannabis farms, they definitely do not overdo it.

"Only in the Humboldt district we now have 4,500 to 15,000 private cultivation areas in the wild,"
says Mourad Gabriel, who focuses on the mapping of cannabis production and its impact on the environment in the field. Illegal cannabis has been cultivated in California's deserts in the past years, but the number of cannabis sites has grown along with the adoption of Proposition 64 by whole orders. There are 140,000 inhabitants in Humboldt County, and one tenth of a hen on a natural heap. "The situation in the neighboring districts of Mendocino and Del Norte is similar."

Modest boxes? No, it's more industrial plant

It is a problem? Sure, because the "domestic production" of cannabis rarely has the character of some small-scale production . On grubbed plots in the immediate vicinity of forests there are "farms" growing up with thousands of plants that are intensively fertilized and protected from pests by spraying and industrial poisons. "Only a minimal percentage of these fields has some official registration," adds Gabriel. "So, there are thousands of overly-established agricultural land that is not subject to control or any kind of economic constraint."

What is the irritation of these novice gardeners who want to get rich in the sale of recreational drugs, the nature protector most? By planting their fields with a rat poison for "yielding and protecting plants" from the rodents. Different rodents like to enjoy on cannabis plants. However, rodent infestation becomes an easy prey to owls who have not learned about the risks of industrial poisons and legalization of light drugs. Result?

Owls of poisoned rodents do not know

Of the ten found pucks of the Caribbean northern, truly iconic endangered species of California owls, seven of them died of rat poison poisoning. And a striped stripe? "Out of the 84 dead birds found in the last month, 40% were positive for the presence of rat poison," adds Gabriel. "Cannabis farms are very likely to be the source of the poison we are looking for and we can expect the situation to get worse over the coming months. Puffers tend to look for food along the edge of the woods, that is, in a zone where illegal cannabis fields are emerging. "

Gabriel and Drayer have been falling on illegal cannabis growers who have bumped into industrial chemicals for a long time. Since 2012, they have been mapping the "penetration" of poisons from this source into water resources, into disorganized fish farming facilities, or possibly linking them to the unprecedented mortality of lasic beasts in the region. "If nobody is investigating how private unregistered growers bring chemicals into nature and how they disturb forest landscapes, the situation may be unsustainable for many animals, not just our endangered owls."

Legalization proposal 64 is not just a delightful form of decriminalization of California marijuana holiday consumers. The flip side is rodents and endangered species of owls who die after ingestion of poison in full awareness of internal bleeding.

The scientific text on the subject was published in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology.

Author: Radomír Dohnal

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