Marijuana may be legal in your state for medicinal and recreational use, but are toxic pesticides used in its production?
By Steve Elliott
A study released on Wednesday of the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized marijuana either for medical or recreational use finds a patchwork of state laws and evolving policy that define allowed pesticide use and management practices in cannabis production. This variety of state law is occurring in the absence of federal registration of pesticide use for cannabis production because of its classification as a narcotic under federal law.
The investigation, "Pesticide Use in Marijuana Production: Safety Issues and Sustainable Options," evaluates the state laws governing pesticide use in cannabis production where it is legalized.
"The use of pesticides in the cultivation of cannabis has health implications for those growing the crop, and for users who are exposed to toxic residues through inhalation, ingestion, and absorption through the skin," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. "The good news is that five states and DC have adopted rules that require marijuana to be grown with practices that prevent the use of pesticides.
"State officials have an opportunity to restrict all pesticide use at the front end of a growing market, require the adoption of an organic system plan, and set a course to protect health and the environment," Feldman said.