I am not particularly a fan of Michael Reagan but he recently authored an op-ed published at Townhall that I thought was though provoking and deserved some context. In his essay, Reagan points out soon after the 18th Amendment was repealed legalizing alcohol in the US, the Mafia was run out of producing and distributing alcohol resulting in distilleries taking over, respectfully.
However, Reagan states, when California legalized marijuana what happened with booze didn’t happen with pot since there were no major agribusinesses willing to take up the task Of making marijuana products. Consequently, marijuana cultivators are now legal but continue as if their product is still outlawed. Michael Reagan cites a Fresno Bee editorial that describes: Acres of ancient trees are disappearing and illegal marijuana farms are popping up in their place. Streams and rivers are being sucked dry, diverted sometimes miles away through plastic pipes into tanks. Several species of fish, along with a rare breed of wild rodent, are on the verge of extinction.
The reason for this, as Reagan points out, is that it is cheaper to ravage parkland and steal water rather than buy your own. The Bee then (unfairly in my view) lays blame on consumers for this since the paper attributes the ecological destruction to consumer demand and calls for the regulation of growers. I don’t think the Fresno Bee is fair in this regard since consumers of California’s marijuana are most likely unaware of this and if they did would take measures to stop it.
Michael Reagan then asks if the same environmental laws that apply to homeowners, farmers and businesses should apply to marijuana growers. He also reels against green hypocrisy for turning a blind eye toward the ecological destruction pot growers contribute to. I think in some ways Reagan has a valid point but one thing he misses out on is the obvious reason why environmentalists don’t hound the Golden State’s marijuana industry: money.
Environmentalists would have further hatred directed at them if they even went after marijuana farmers and the industry itself is not large enough of a threat. Presently, California’s pot farmers are low on the green’s radar. Rest assured when California’s marijuana industry takes off then the greens will start hounding and harassing the pot industry like they are doing with the fossil fuel, vaccine, animal testing and other industries environmentalists attack. Environmentalists are not only anti-industry and anti-civilization but only attack industries in order for them to profit from their activities as a mafia protection racket.