facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Alcoholism  Addiction  AA  Cocaine  Heroin

U.S. Bans Federal Irrigation Waters For Legal Pot Growing

Despite weed being legal in Colorado and Washington, growers still have to contend with marijuana's illegal status with the federal government.

Image: 

Shutterstock

By McCarton Ackerman

05/27/14

| Share

Although recreational marijuana use is now legal at the state level in Colorado and Washington, the federal government is making it clear that it won’t become legal nationally any time soon.

After a month of speculation, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation re-clarified a law that has been in place for decades by stating last week that marijuana growers may not use federal irrigation waters for their business. The agency provides irrigation for millions of acres of agriculture in Washington and Colorado, but Dan DuBray, chief of public affairs, said in a statement that “as a federal agency, Reclamation is obligated to adhere to federal law in the conduct of its responsibilities to the American people.”

However, the bureau will not enforce the law themselves and merely inform the justice department when they believe federal irrigation waters are being used for marijuana growing. It’s also unclear what sorts of sanctions anyone violating the law would face, but it would likely be in the form of a fine rather than prison time. “Pretty soon, it’s going to be air,” said Elan Nelson, business consultant for Medicine Man dispensary in Denver. "They're going to say you can't use the air because it belongs to the federal government. It's just ridiculous."

Nineteen states have currently legalized medical marijuana while several other states continue to have discussions about both medicinal and recreational use. However, banks and other institutions subject to federal oversight have refused to work with legal marijuana industries. Federal authorities have also continued to target these businesses.

"The general feeling is that there are ways to get water, if one source closes, another will open,” said Naomi McCulloch with Green Lion Farms in Seattle, and a member of the Association of Cannabis Breeders and Growers. "It takes a lot of fortitude and planning to be a farmer, of any crop. If the government throwing up obstacles to our success stopped us, we wouldn't have made it this far.”

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious, appealing and commendable 4.5 star (our system doesn't yet show the 1/2 star) San Diego rehab has a program for you. 

Reflections
 
 
 
 

This exclusive Northern California rehab is all about client choice—as well as golf outings, Buddhist field trips and keeping up with the office.

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv