Cultivating Disaster:

The Effect of Cannabis Cultivation on the Environment of Calaveras County

For Immediate Release

October 18, 2017

(October 18, 2017 - San Andreas, California)  Calaveras County Supervisor Dennis Mills released a report at the County Board of Supervisors on the impact of marijuana cultivation on the county’s environment. The report, Cultivating Disaster: The Effect of Cannabis Cultivation on the Environment of Calaveras Countyfinds that cannabis cultivation has created incredible damage to the environment effectively dumping poisonous chemicals into the streams, rivers, and ground water. The report concludes with a recommendation that the

Supervisors  pass an immediate ban on any cannabis/pot cultivation in the county.

               “The decision by the previous county Board of Supervisors to temporarily allow marijuana cultivation in our county was a huge mistake.” Supervisor Mills continued “The environmental damaged caused by the crazy experiment has caused hundred of millions of dollars in clean up and polluted rivers and streams. The impact will be with us for decades.” Mills concluded “The only answer to this ecological disaster is the ban it and end the pollution.”

Cultivating Disaster, prepared with The Communications Institute (TCI), was based upon extensive research and/or interdictions by law enforcement, academic experts, and officials from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Game, and many others. TCI is a public policy research and educational center that produced numerous studies and educational programs on land use and environmental issues.

               The report points out that there are now as many as 1,200 marijuana growing sites in the county which must be cleaned up at an estimated cost of $250 million to more than a billion dollars.  The report makes the following conclusions:

Marijuana Cultivation has damaged the environment
The scope and depth of the problem is not understood by policy makers, the public or the media.
Dangerous chemicals have been used by growers that illegal and/or not approved for use for marijuana cultivation
Numerous growers have been cited for violations
The cost of mitigation of the estimated 1,200 plus sites could be as high as $250 million to $2 billion dollars in just this one county.
The US Clean Water Act and other laws have not been enforced and/or abided by.

The research report makes the following recommendations:

  • Calaveras County Ordinance – The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors should pass an ordinance banning the cultivation of marijuana or cannabis in both the open and in-door facilities.

  • Calaveras Ecological Task Force (CETF) – The report proposes the creation of task force involving all agencies federal, state, regional and local agencies to work together to eradicate illegal growing, clean up the environment, and deal with law enforcement/public safety issues.

  • Water Quality Analysis – Recommends that the United States Environmental Protection Agency undertake a study of the impact of the ecological damage to the water quality in the county and propose steps that should be taken to protect the watersheds and provide a plan for Mitigation.

  • Law Enforcement – Recommend that the United States Drug Enforcement Administration and other appropriate agencies take action to evaluate grant money and manpower support to eradicate illegal marijuana production and insure the shutting down of legal operations includes their complete clean up.

  • Prosecution – Proposes that the District Attorney of Calaveras County work with the United States and California Attorney Generals to prosecute those that have broken federal and state laws and county ordinances and seek full prosecution criminally and/or civilly and explore seek funding to pay for the cleanup of the land in the county. There needs to be a true cost recovery with a Nexus study.

Mills pointed out that a new draft study by the California Water Control Board, to be released this week, totally exempts indoor growing from water quality testing. “This is just another example of the indifference of Brown Administration to significant environmental problems.” Mills noted “There are no chemicals that have been approved by the either the EPA or the FDA for use in the growing of marijuana.”

The sixty-page report is based upon research and analysis provided by federal, state, and local agencies and includes an extensive bibliography of articles from leading academic and media organizations including Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Scientific American and the University of California. The report points to a silent poison that been entering into the environment of California and hence the study website:, (209) 559-3627, 

The people of Calaveras County recognize that the County needs to ban commercial cultivation of marijuana.  

This commercial industry has moved into our communities, neighborhoods and County turning residential property zones into commercial marijuana cultivation zones.  Many of these commercial grows are being protected with firearms, guard dogs and thugs.  Commercial marijuana cultivation is presently causing environmental damage in Calaveras County.   Violations at some purportedly organic grows include unlawful chemical releases, illegal use, storage, and disposal of hazardous materials and hazardous waste including  fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, rodenticides, and use of some chemicals so toxic, they've been banned for years in the U.S.   Growers are diverting our streams  to  support their marijuana irrigation systems, against the Clean Water Act.  This type of activity is putting children and families health, safety and welfare at unnecessary risk.  Regulation will not prohibit this commercial activity from taking place in your neighborhoods or keep it away from your families and your homes. 

The Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation continues to be dedicated and working hard to get a ban on commercial cultivation of marijuana and commercial marijuana activities that are taking place in our neighborhoods and communities.

Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation, P.O. Box 1138, Murphys, California 95247
Phone (209) 728-3325,  Email:

Ban Commercial cultivation activities in Calaveras County

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Researchers, law enforcement and others are raising alarms about toxic chemicals used on illegal grow sites in mountain forests and foothill areas of California where people grow and process marijuana, including Calaveras County and the Stanislaus National Forest. There's concern for more damage to watersheds, wildlife and water supplies, more

We are the

​Committee to Ban Commercial Cultivation

​in Calaveras County