Local environmental groups have sent a letter in support of a proposed bill before the House of Representatives. The bill, “Protecting Lands Against Narcotics Trafficking Act of 2013” or the “PLANT Act,” will put in place new penalties for those convicted of causing environmental damage while growing on public lands or trespassing on private lands. (See here for more information.)

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC) Press Release:

North Coast environmental groups and coalitions representing more than 35,000 supporters have expressed supported for a proposed federal law targeting trespass marijuana grows in a letter to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA).

“It’s important to recognize the severe environmental harms often associated with trespass marijuana grows on public lands, resource lands, and even smaller private parcels,” said Scott Greacen, director of Friends of the Eel River. “It’s not just semantics to describe these as ‘trespass’ grows rather than ‘cartel’ grows. Understanding a problem, using terms that accurately reflect the facts on the ground, is critical to effective policy.”

“This is only a significant step if it leads to deeper reforms,” said Gary Graham Hughes, executive director of EPIC. “We hope bipartisan action leading to rapid passage of the PLANT Act can build broad support for policy changes that will truly abate and eliminate the harms associated with these trespass grows, as the most important thing the federal government can do at this point is to act responsibly and let the state regulate small-scale marijuana cultivation.”

The letter is supported by groups based in Trinity, Humboldt, Mendocino, and Sonoma counties… 

The letter is attached here.