Horrible story coming out of California.
Pot farms ravaging park land / Big raid in Marin County only hints at the extent of erosive techniques by growers
The discovery of 22,740 marijuana plants growing in and around Point Reyes National Seashore last week wasn’t only the biggest pot seizure ever made in Marin County. It was an environmental mess that will take several months and tens of thousands of dollars to clean up. The crops seized on the steep hillsides overlooking Highway 1 were planted by sophisticated growers who cleared vegetation, terraced land, drew water from streams through miles of irrigation hoses and doused acres of land with hundreds of pounds of fertilizer and pesticides.
To avoid the obvious “Pot Legalization” questions and flip it, consider a world where cigarettes have been banned/regulated to the extent that black market growing became viable, would this happen with tobacco? Obviously, the nature of the growing (Tobacco – plains, easy plant to spot, Cannabis – Hill sides, easy to hide), make it an operation question in addition to an economics question. But as the above report states, the operation was obviously not hard to spot, nor was it low impact.
Something to consider as actions widely prevalent in populations are made illegal, how well does prohibition ever work?