Just ahead of Earth Day 2013, the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR) hosted an Earthday Symposium on Marijuana and Environment. The event, held on the Humboldt State University Campus on April 19 and 20, 2013, attracted policymakers, grassroots environmental organizations, activists, scientists, students, and community members.
According to a description of the symposium on the HIIMR website, "We are at a critical juncture regarding marijuana policy in the United States, where the shifting legal and political landscape requires policymakers, environmental organizations, researchers, and growers to adapt quickly. Panelists will share their expertise and insights around the multitude of environmental issues related to the marijuana industry – whether it be climate harming reliance on indoor growing nationwide, or the local Northern California issues of fish and wildlife protections, land use policy, water quality, forest degradation, and other environmental impacts."
The Symposium was sponsored by:
The HSU Sociology Department, the Environment and Community Program, the Environmental Protection Information Center, the Salmonid Restoration Federation, and the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.
Related KMUD News Post:
HSU Symposium on Marijuana and the Environment-audio posted
Use the players below to hear or download the audio from each of the presentations/panels. The audio was provided by KMUD News Correspondent, Eric Black.
Earthday Symposium on Marijuana and Environment
Friday, April 19,10:30 – 12:30 pm-Stories from the Frontlines:Reporting on the Culture and Practice of Marijuana Agriculture
Mikal Jakubal, Plants for the People
Kym Kemp, Reporter, Lost Coast Outpost
Emily Brady, author of Humboldt Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier
Kerry Reynolds, KMUD
Note: the sound at the start is a bit rough on this clip but clears up quickly.
2:00 – 2:50 pm-Sustainable vs Unsustainable Practices
Craig Benson, Redwood Community Action Agency
2:00 – 2:50 pm-Impacts on Cultural & Natural Resources from Marijuana Cultivation on Tribal Lands
Troy Fletcher, Executive Director, Yurok Tribe
Josh Saxon, Executive Director, Salmon River Restoration Council
Mark Higley, Yurok Tribe
3:00 – 3:50 pm-Ecological Data:What Do We Know? What Do We Need To Know?
Brad Job, Bureau of Land Management
Sarah Schremmer, Sociology Department, HSU
Scott Bauer, Department of Fish and Wildlife
3:00 – 3:50 pm-Timberland Impacts: Trespass, Conversion, and Solutions
Gary Rynearson, Green Diamond Resource Company
Noah Levy, Sanctuary Forest
Tom Shultz, Humboldt Redwood Company
4:00 – 4:50 pm-Legislative Update on Marijuana PolicyPanelists:
Ellen Komp, CalNORML
Mason Tvert, Executive Director, SAFER (Safer Alternative for Enjoyable Recreation)
4:00 – 4:50 pm-The Impacts of Marijuana Agriculture on Public Lands
Larry Glass, S.A.F.E Alternatives for our Forest Environment
Andrew Orahoske, Environmental Protection Information Center
5:00 – 7:00 pm–Keynote Speaker:
Samantha Miller, Pure Analytics
Saturday, April, 20,10:00 – 11:15 am - BSS Native Forum Room 162, HSU-Environmental Impacts of the Marijuana Industry: Worst Case Scenarios
Mourad Gabriel, Wildlife Disease Ecologist, UC Davis
11:30 – 12:30 pm–Symposium Roundup:Confronting the Environmental Problems of Marijuana Agriculture: Strategies and Solutions
Tony Silvaggio, Mow and Sow
Tyce Frasier, Put em in the Sun
Cannabis in California: Ending the 100-Year War
California NORML's (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) conference marking the 100th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California. This two-day event, held January 26 & 27 at Ft. Mason Conference Center in San Francisco, explored the history, causes and costs of the war on cannabis, and strategies for ending it.
Thanks to KMUD volunteers we are able to present audio recordings from most of the sessions from the conference below. Big thanks to Sue Moloney for the initiative! Want to see pictures? Here's a link to photos from the conference, posted on the CAnorml website.
These recordings are presented "as is", some variations in audio levels are included at no extra charge.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
THE 100 YEAR WAR ON CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA
Ellen Komp, CalNORML- Cannabis before prohibition
Author Mike Gray - The US goes Drug Crazy
Dale Gieringer, CalNORML - Prohibition in California
PIONEERS OF CANNABIS LAW REFORM
Michael Aldrich, Amorphia
Michelle Aldrich, CMI
Gordon Brownell, original CalNORML director
Debby Goldsberry, Cannabis Action Network co-founder
Dennis Peron, Prop. 215 author
WHAT'S NEXT FOR MARIJUANA REFORM?
Stephen Gutwillig, Drug Policy Alliance
Rob Kampia, MPP
Paul Armentano, NORML
LUNCH BREAK 12:00-1:00
PROP 215: STATE OBSTACLES (1:15-2:15)
Senator Mark Leno - Legislative solutions
Michael Levinsohn - Child Protective Services issues
Omar Figueroa - Criminal defense strategies
James Anthony - Cultivation rights and local ordinances
RESPONSES TO FEDERAL INTERFERENCE (2:30-3:30)
Moderator: Bill Panzer, California NORML
Supervisor John McCowen -
Federal Sabotage of Mendocino's Ordinance
Henry Wykowski - Taxation and federal law
Betty Aldworth, NCIA - Lobbying strategies from the states
Joe Elford, ASA - Rescheduling lawsuit and federal focus
Khurshid Khoja, Emerald Growers Association - Challenges to regulation of cultivation
THE STATE OF THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY (3:30-4:30)
Moderator: Liana Held, Liana Limited
James Slatic, MedWest - The investor perspective
Troy Dayton, The ArcViewGroup - Funding cannabusinesses
Steve DeAngelo, Harborside Health Center -
Standing our ground
David Lampach, Steep Hill Lab - Setting industry standards
Sunday, January 27, 2013
DAY TWO OF CONFERENCE
Ft. Mason Conference Center, San Francisco
DOORS OPEN 9:00
LESSONS FROM WASHINGTON, COLORADO, & PROP 19 (9:30-10:30)
MODERATOR: Lauren Vazquez, Fired Up Lawyer
Alison Holcomb - Winning in Washington
Mason Tvert - Colorado's Success Story
Graham Boyd - Polling in CO & WA
and what it means for the future
Richard Lee - Language lessons from Prop 19
Tamar Todd, DPA - Likely federal responses to WA and CO
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATION AND REGULATORY REFORM (10:30-11:30)
Rep. Tom Ammiano - Medical marijuana legislation in 2013
Dan Rush, UFCW - Lobbying & legislation
Larry Bedard - The CMA and legalization
Don Duncan, ASA - 2013 opportunities
Kristin Nedeval, Emerald Growers Association -
Regulation of distribution; opportunities after legalization
LUNCH BREAK 12-1
THE NEXT CALIFORNIA INITIATIVE (1:15-2:30)
Beau Kilmer, RAND Corporation
Dale Sky Jones, Oaksterdam University; CCPR - Coalition
for Cannabis Policy Reform
Joe Rogoway - Drafting Issues; A Legal Perspective
Amanda Reiman, DPA - Key components; managing the federal response to WA and CO
John Gilmore - A funder's perspective
GROWING OUR MOVEMENT (2:30-3:30)
Marsha Rosenbaum, DPA - Meetings parents' concerns
Deborah Small, Breaking the Chains - Cannabis
legalization as a path to racial justice
Ann Lee, RAMP - Helping
conservatives to embrace legalization
Kyndra Miller - Women's role in future elections
Nate Bradley, LEAP - Winning over law enforcement
Stacia Cosner, SSDP - Bridging the gap between
movement leadership and grassroots activists
ACTIVIST STRATEGIES FOR REFORM (3:30-4:30)
Lanny Swerdlow - Starting Brownie Mary Democratic Clubs
Robert Jacob - Running for local office
Kandice Hawes - forming NORML and NWA chapters
Mikki Norris & Chris Conrad - Tell Michelle campaign, Legalizing Industrial Hemp, Pot POWs
Ed Rosenthal - Green Aid, The Medical Marijuana Legal Defense and Education Fund
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, dated Nov. 2, 2012:
More than a ton of used marijuana grow soil that had been illegally dumped on the bank of the Eel River near Ferndale was cleaned up and hauled away last week. Approximately 30 bags of soil were taken to Wes Green Landscape Materials in Arcata, one of the local facilities that will accept spent soil like this for a fee. Soil that has been used in marijuana growing operations is often high in added nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, said Melissa Martel, director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Environmental Health (DEH). It becomes detrimental to the environment when it’s allowed to filter into waterways. “It’s bad for the rivers because it starves the river of oxygen, harms river organisms and can cause fish die-off,” Martel said. “It can also stimulate blue-green algae blooms during certain times of the year in creeks or slower-moving bodies of water.”
Blue-green algae looks like green, blue-green, white or brown scum, foam or mats floating on the water, she said. These floating algae masses, or “blooms,” can produce potent natural toxins. Dogs and children are most likely to be affected because of their smaller body size and tendency to stay in the water for longer periods. Human activities can dramatically affect nutrient levels and water flows in rivers, streams and lakes, Martel said. People are advised to be conservative with the use of fertilizers and pesticides on their lawn, garden or agricultural operation and also to recycle spent soil that has been used for intensive growing by tilling it back into gardens or protecting it from rainfall to avoid nutrient runoff.
Staffers with DEH’s Solid Waste Local Enforcement Agency Program perform a variety of services, including investigating illegal dumping. Martel says DEH has seen an increase in the amount of waste in general that is discarded illegally adjacent to rivers, in wooded areas, along roadsides and in other areas throughout the county. Samoa, Loleta and parts of Blue Lake have been particularly hard hit, she said.
There are things people can do to help keep the environment free of excess trash and other waste products. “We encourage people to handle things the right way,” Martel said. “The best management method for spent soil is reuse. Growing vegetable crops in this high-nutrient soil, or mixing it with other soil, may result in high yields. Some gardeners prefer not to use it if they don’t know the strength or type of nutrients it contains. Otherwise, you can pay a fee to use a compost facility like Wes Green Landscape Materials or one of the county’s transfer stations.
“When something is dumped inappropriately, it costs agencies and property owners time, resources and money,” Martel said. “We’d like to make sure waste is properly handled from the beginning. If people see others in the act of illegal dumping, law enforcement should be called immediately.” So, what should people do if they see that illegal dumping has already taken place? “Every situation is different depending on the type of waste we are talking about,” Martel said. “If they found a TV, they could take it to a transfer station or e-waste collection event. If they found a bag from a fast-food restaurant, they could put it in a garbage receptacle. They can always call us at the Division of Environmental Health if they need to talk to someone to find out the correct place to dispose of something.”
For more information, contact the Division of Environmental Health at 707-445-6215 or 1-800-963-9241.
According to a Press Release from the City of Arcata:
In honor of National Pollution Prevention Week, wildlife disease ecologist Mourad Gabriel will give a presentation entitled “Silent Forests: Impacts from Poisons Associated with Illegal Marijuana Cultivation on our Public and Tribal Lands” at the Arcata Marsh Interpretive Center on Thursday, September 27 at 7 p.m. The Interpretive Center is located at 569 South G Street in Arcata.
Gabriel and his colleagues are finding an alarming rate of rat poisoning deaths in fishers, a near-endangered member of the weasel family that live in some of the most remote forests in California. He and his colleagues are concerned about how pesticides and rodenticides used by illegal marijuana growers on remote public, private and tribal lands are affecting both the forest watersheds and the entire forest food chain, from rodents to carnivores like martens, spotted owls and the Sierra Nevada red fox.
Mourad Gabriel completed both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees focusing on wildlife diseases at Humboldt State University. While completing his M.S., he co-founded MGW Biological, an environmental consulting firm, as well as Integral Ecology Research Center, a non-profit scientific research organization where he is the president and senior ecologist. Gabriel is completing his Ph.D. this fall at the University of California Davis in comparative pathology and has authored several scientific manuscripts focusing on infectious and non-infectious diseases affecting wildlife of conservation concern. He lives in Northwestern California where he and his wife, also an ecologist, try to spend as much time as possible enjoying our public lands.
Gabriel’s talk will be videotaped and aired at a later date on Suddenlink/Access Humboldt Channel 10 and will be available for on-demand viewing online at: www.cityofarcata.org.
U.C. Davis wildlife disease ecologist Mourad Gabriel with pesticides found at an illegal marijuana cultivation site in a secluded forest area. Rat poisons are often used to protect young marijuana plants in remote illegal marijuana grow sites. The poisons are killing different animals in the forest food chain, many of which are already nearing endangered status.
U.C. Davis researcher Mourad Gabriel with one of his research subjects, a Pacific fisher. Fishers, a weasel-like forest carnivore, are being found with alarmingly high levels of rat poisons and pesticides in their bodies. These increasingly rare animals live deep in forests and are exposed to pesticides used by illegal marijuana growers.
A Pacific fisher in its natural element. Fishers and other animals in the forest and watershed food chain are unintended casualties of illegal pot farming. (Photo courtesy of Rebecca Green, Hoopa Tribe.)
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Ofice, dated Feb. 29, 2012:
On Feb. 28, 2012, at approximately 9:00 a.m. the Humboldt County Sheriffs Community Response Unit and Humboldt County Drug Task Force acted on a citizen’s information of a possible large commercial indoor marijuana grow approximately 12 miles down Johnson Road, off Bald Hills Road, Northwestern Humboldt County. The deputies and agents drove to the area and located an approximate 40 foot by 80 foot wooden structure powered by a commercial generator. The officers also saw a residence was located nearby. The officers obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant based on their observations. The officers located approximately 3000 growing marijuana plants being grown indoors under forty one thousand watt light bulbs. The plants were approximately four inches to three feet in height. The officers searched the nearby residence and located and arrested three suspects Bradley Jon Hagen, 27 years old and his brother Sean Thomas Hagen, 30 years old both from Chula Vista, California and Steven Robert Columbo, 35 years of age from Marysville, California.
The officers were able to connect the marijuana grow to the residence in a variety of ways, including determining that the generator which powered the marijuana grow also powered the residence. The officers could see the generator powering the marijuana grow was leaking oil and diesel. The area where the marijuana grow was located drains into the Klamath River basin. California Fish and Game, Humboldt County Environmental Health, Humboldt County Code Enforcement was notified and responded to the scene to contain the spill and try to determine the extent of the damage. Yurok Tribal Environmental Health was also notified, but did not respond to the scene.
The officers located 146 one pound bags of sealed marijuana bud packaged for sale estimated to be worth $292,000.00 dollars, along with several pounds of concentrated cannabis (Hash) which is currently estimated to be worth 8,000 a pound, approximately 100 pounds of marijuana leaves, $8,000.00 cash, three pistols, four rifles and a shotgun. All three suspects were booked into the Humboldt County Correctional facility on charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana. Their bail was set at $75,000.00.
Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or criminal related activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line 707-268-2539. If you live in the City Limits of Eureka the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Unit can be reached at 707-441-4373.
The photos below show suspects from right to left: Bradley Jon Hagen, Sean Thomas Hagen and Robert Columbo:
Marijuana Bud and arms seized at the scene: