Marijuana Bill Punishing Illegal Pesticides Will Protect Medical Marijuana Patients, Congressman Says At Hearing!

Bill Punishing Illegal Pesticides Will Protect Medical Marijuana Patients, Congressman Says At Hearing!

At a hearing on Thursday, the bill’s sponsor argued that the measure will safeguard consumers’ health, particularly that of medicinal cannabis users, by preventing the use of prohibited pesticides at illegal marijuana grow operations.

The bill, which was presented earlier this month by Reps. Scott Peters (D-CA) and Doug LaMalfa (R-CA), were taken up by the House Natural Resources Federal Lands Subcommittee.

Targeting and Offsetting Existing Illegal Contaminants (TOXIC) Act lawmakers have stated that the primary goals of the law are consumer safety and environmental protection, despite the fact that the idea of yet another strengthened federal effort to crack down on illegal cannabis production may initially appear to be an extension of prohibitionist enforcement.

Peters testified at the court on Thursday that cannabis plants treated with illegal pesticides may absorb the toxins, which then wind up in the finished product.

According to the congressman, consuming cannabis that has been treated with unlawful chemicals can result in a variety of adverse health impacts, including immediate sickness and respiratory issues as well as lasting nausea. This is especially troubling for medical marijuana users who rely on the plant to treat symptoms brought on by a variety of medical ailments but may find it difficult to afford safe market-rate cannabis at the going rates.

Activists, industry participants, and regulators are all concerned about the environmental harm caused by illegal grows, where prohibited pesticides are occasionally used and have been shown to hurt wildlife and pollute water supplies.

Tom Tiffany (R-WI), the chairman of the subcommittee, claimed that illegal cannabis cultivation leads to serious environmental damage, harm to wildlife, an increase in criminality, and destructive wildfires.

He claimed that the Mexican drug traffickers running these facilities were doing terrible harm. Cleanup workers wearing hazardous suits remove 3,000 pounds of debris and rubbish as well as more than 1,100 pounds of fertilizer and illegal pesticides from one site alone. They employ such hazardous compounds. A 600-pound black bear might be killed by one teaspoon.

At the hearing, Chris French, deputy chief for national forest systems for the U.S. Forest Service, stated that pesticides used in illegal cannabis growing damage wildlife, soil, and water, which has an impact on public safety. He continued by saying that the act gives his organization much-appreciated resources for remediation.

The federal official stated in written testimony that his organization would like to collaborate on technical modifications with the bill authors and subcommittee in order to more clearly clarify the Forest Service’s enforcement authority and the appropriate repair actions to be carried out.

Advocates have long argued that establishing regulated cannabis marketplaces for adults and patients, where items are subject to inspection and other compliance standards, can lessen the hazards of consuming tainted goods.

ALSO READ: Most Canadian Neighborhoods Are Located Within 5-Minute Drive Of A Marijuana Dispensary, Study Shows!

Bill Punishing Illegal Pesticides Will Protect Medical Marijuana Patients, Congressman Says At Hearing!

California, where illegal production has persisted despite legalization, is represented by Peters and LaMalfa.

A large network of public lands where illegal growers can conceal their operations and the majority of California’s governments forbidding at least certain sorts of marijuana enterprises from operating in their areas contribute to the continued demand for illegal goods.

LaMalfa, the Republican sponsor, is not a fan of marijuana and even shared a memorable video of himself destroying illicit crops in California in 2021 alongside local authorities.

The TOXIC Act takes a two-tiered approach to the problem but was not advanced during the previous session. The bill would raise criminal penalties for anyone who used those illegal chemicals, as well as give the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) up to $250 million in money over five years to clean up regions where prohibited pesticides were used in the illegal cannabis growing.

It also suggests that the use of prohibited pesticides for illegitimate marijuana cultivation be subject to increased criminal penalties, with the maximum penalty being up to $250,000 in fines and up to 20 years in prison.

ALSO READ: After Congressional Review, The D.C. Medical Marijuana Expansion Bill, Which Gets Rid Of Licensing Limits, Becomes Law!

Bill Punishing Illegal Pesticides Will Protect Medical Marijuana Patients, Congressman Says At Hearing!

The risks to our environment and health are great, yet too frequently individuals in charge of illegal grow operations only get a warning when they are found, Peters said during the hearing. The TOXIC Act would promote regulated cannabis businesses that go by the law, protect public health and customers, and help us restore the long-term health of our ecosystems. It will also limit the movement of hazardous substances over international borders.

On Thursday, the panel did not vote on the proposal.

Throughout state legislatures and Congress this year, Media Sources are monitoring more than 1,000 cannabis, psychedelic, and drug policy measures.

To ensure they don’t miss any updates, Patreon backers who pledge at least $25 per month have access to our interactive maps, infographics, and hearing calendar.

Find out more about our marijuana bill tracker and sign up as a Patreon patron to gain access.

Moreover, defense legislation and initiatives to address unauthorized marijuana growth have been funded by congressional members. Senators. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), for instance, sponsored a defense bill amendment last year that called for cooperation between the federal, state, tribal, and local governments to address the restoration of lands destroyed by illegal cannabis production.

In 2021, state government in California made an announcement asking for concept concepts for a program to assist small marijuana growers with environmental cleanup and restoration activities.

The federal Fish and Wildlife Services (FWS) said last month that the high licensing fees for marijuana businesses in California are encouraging the use of illicit chemicals at unlawful grow sites, threatening spotted owl species.

Separately, California officials said last month that the state is introducing a grant program that is a first of its kind to assist cities and counties in building local cannabis business licensing regimes to satisfy unmet customer demand and assist in limiting the black market.

$20 million in financing from the Department of Cannabis Control’s (DCC) Local Jurisdiction Retail Access Award will go to communities all around the state, with a focus on those whose surveys indicate a discrepancy between the number of registered stores and adult cannabis use rates.


Mohit Kumar

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