With the legalization of marijuana an ever growing debate in California, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California has made a surprising announcement that it will begin to prosecute marijuana growers under federal environmental statutes. This is a new and extremely controversial move by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
In a recent article in The Reporter, U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag was quoted as saying “If there are appropriate environmental charges in connection with marijuana grow operations, we’ll bring them.” Haag said some pot farmers are wreaking havoc on wildlife, forest land and in waterways. She described autopsy pictures of poisoned animals, and thousands of pounds of trash pulled out of the Mendocino National Forest as part of a recent investigation. She also claims growers are damming streams and mixing fertilizers into waterways.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Geis, the environmental crime fighter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, is the point person who will try to prosecute these cases. Geis has seen her past eight cases end with convictions and prison time.
Whether or not Geis will be successful with her prosecution of marijuana growers is questionable. Having an attorney that is experienced and knowledgeable in both environmental law and drug crimes will be extremely important to anyone who is facing prosecution under these statutes.
If you find yourself charged under these federal environmental statutes call attorney Christopher Morales immediately to have an experienced San Francisco Environmental Attorney on your side.