In California, marijuana is killing endangered salmon – and they’ve never even smoked the stuff. According to The Dodo, marijuana growing isn’t as green as you might think – particularly when it’s done on an industrial scale, as is often the case in California. Some marijuana growers have taken to using unregulated fertilizers and irrigation systems that take large amounts of water from streams, and a new report by biologists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows their actions have put fish in both California and Oregon in danger of extinction.
Farmers in three Northern California counties, known as the Emerald Triangle, grow plants both for legal medical use as well as illegal sale. The Dodo notes that just one of those plants can use up to 900 gallons of water in a single growing season. That, in and of itself is big news when you consider the catastrophic drought the west has been facing this year. But the marijuana farms also take the “coldest, cleanest water at the most stressful time of the year” away from the endangered Coho salmon, according to the NOAA.
Marijuana farming isn’t the only threat facing the Coho – the fish is now on the Endangered Species List due to other kinds of agriculture, fishing and encroaching hydroelectric plants. The Dodo also notes that even if the human activities that are killing them off ceased right away, the Coho would still have a long road to recovery that could take decades due to the fact that the population has been falling steadily for about the past 70 years.
Via The Dodo