Study Finds Medical Pot Farms Draining Streams Dry

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some drought-stricken rivers and streams in Northern California’s coastal forests are being polluted and sucked dry by water-guzzling medical marijuana farms, wildlife officials say – an issue that has spurred at least one county to try to outlaw personal grows. State fish and wildlife officials say much of the marijuana being grown in northern counties under the state’s medical pot law is not being used for legal, personal use, but for sale both in California and states where pot is still illegal. This demand is fueling backyard and larger-scale pot farming, especially in remote Lake, Humboldt and Mendocino counties on the densely forested North Coast, officials said. “People are coming in, denuding the hillsides, damming the creeks and mixing in fertilizers that are not allowed in the U.S. into our watersheds,” said Denise Rushing, a Lake County supervisor who supports an ordinance essentially banning outdoor grows in populated areas. “When rains come, it flows downstream into the lake and our water supply,” she said. Many affected waterways also contain endangered salmon, … Continued

Step Away From That Toilet Bowl Cleaner!

Cleaning the toilet is nobody’s idea of fun. You may disagree with me, but I think it’s absolutely the worst household chore. Maybe it’s from being assigned the task of cleaning all three on Saturday mornings growing up or maybe it’s just because the toilet is gross. Honestly. We all know what we do in there. Plus, the chemicals typically used to clean toilets are more harmful than the germs we’re trying to kill there anyway. Between the fumes and the corrosive chemicals, it’s a wonder we aren’t slowly poisoning ourselves every time we clean the toilet. Typical toilet bowl cleaners contain sulfates which can trigger asthma attacks and chlorine which, when combined with other chemicals, can form chlorine gas. You do know what the Germans used when they first started using chemical weapons during World War I, right? If you guessed chlorine gas, you’re a winner. (Accept my congratulations and a warm smile, which you can’t see. Trust me, I’m smiling.) Think about it: this stuff goes into our water system, which means that … Continued

Vermont Law Requires Labeling of GMO Foods

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — As hundreds cheered, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law Thursday that puts Vermont on the path to be the first state to require labeling of genetically modified foods and promptly announced an online fundraiser to battle expected legal challenges from the food industry. The Vermont law takes effect in mid-2016, but opponents said shortly after the bill signing that they would file a lawsuit. The Grocery Manufacturers’ Association said government has no compelling interest in warning consumers about GMO foods. And another obstacle to the state law looms in Congress as Republicans work on a bill that would forbid states from passing and enforcing laws requiring GMO labeling. Critics of GMO foods consider them environmentally suspect and a possible health threat. But many in the food industry say the food is safe, the technology boosts food production, and its use is less environmentally harmful than traditional farming methods. In signing the legislation, Shumlin asked for support Internet-wide, announcing the launch of a new website to help the state raise funds toward … Continued