I share the concern about environmental damage, but as far as getting all freaked out about the idea of agricultural land being used for "cultivation," that seems a bit misguided, to say the least. Agricultural land is where "cultivation" should be taking place, rather than in indoor residential grows, or trespass grows on public lands or private timberlands.
What we need to do is to simply legalize cultivation on private land, with reasonable regulation and taxation. Take the resources that are currently being wasted on cutting down plants and prosecuting people for cultivation, and instead use those resources to get people into compliance with regulatory requirements, such as water permits, grading permits, building permits, all the usual agricultural requirements, etc. Take some of the money from new tax receipts and use it to encourage/facilitate best practices like water storage, etc.
Regulate water diversion, require water storage where needed, prevent erosion and runoff, regulate pesticide use. Apply that to the grow shown in the picture, and, well, what's the problem? It's just agriculture.
In Print This Week:
Dec 5, 2013
vol XXIV issue 49
The North Coast Journal Weekly
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