SCIENCE

How Illegal Marijuana Farms Are Killing Endangered Species

Isolated forests are ideal locations for growing marijuana under the radar—but endangered species live in those same forests. Here's why that matters

Nov 04, 2015 at 3:31 PM ET

Illegal marijuana farms are now cropping up in the deep, isolated forests of California, Oregon and Washington. Growers take to these forests to circumvent law enforcement and cultivate their bootleg weed in peace. But a new study published in PLoS suggests that the fledgling farmers are laying down harmful pesticides to protect their crops, threatening endangered and at-risk species within these fragile ecosystems. Here’s why it matters: