Poisoned Pot

What most buyers don’t know is how often the pot they smoke is contaminated with pesticides–pesticides that have never been tested for the uses some desperate growers put them to.

A new publication the Bay Citizen has an excellent article about this problem. According to the story

Pesticides not meant for use on consumable crops are available in “grow” shops throughout the Bay Area – a bustling market in which toxic substances are sold over the counter in unmarked vials.

A Bay Citizen reporter was able to purchase substances identified by vendors as the pesticides Avid and Floramite at hydroponic gardening centers in San Francisco and Berkeley. The reporter was offered a quart container of Avid at another Berkeley store for $400….

The insecticides are considered powerful tools for killing pests that can destroy indoor marijuana gardens and ruin the lucrative crop..t. Growers said use is common when dealing with serious infestation problems….

Floramite in particular is not designed for food crops, according to toxicologists, so it has not undergone studies to detect carcinogenic properties. Such studies are standard for pesticides used on edible plants. Also, because the pesticides are not intended for marijuana, there have been no studies about how pesticide residues might react if smoked. Read more here.

I found out about this piece because the reporter is Kate Mclean who interviewed me recently for a video about the environmental effects of marijuana growing.  The amount of research that went into this pesticide story is impressive and growers and smokers both need to read it.  I’d like to point out that this piece focuses on indoor weed (appropriate because the Bay Area is not strong on places for outdoor growing) but outdoor cannabis can also be sprayed with poisons.

Medical marijuana particularly but recreational pot also, needs testing to ensure the safety of consumers.  Yet another reason marijuana should be legalized.

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15 comments

  • It makes me so sad/mad/frustrated/really sad… Points to growing one’s own food and medicine as being the only sane way to go. Unfortunate that so much petroleum based poison is poured on our crops, continually, as if ignorance clears the way. I have been reading Micheal Pollen’s Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I might add, is an excellent way to go on a diet, as quickly one realizes how contiminated every single thing “purchased” really is. The grape industry is completely poisoned as well, and I live smack-dab in the middle of sprayed and mechanically-harvested vineyards. Oh, and then there is the legal/illegal aspect: too stupid (if one thinks that “legal” would protect the innocent…).

  • Halleluiah! Thanks for this one Kym. Watching indoor clippers get rashes for years disgusted me. We have seen the proliferation of growers without conscience take over the indoor market, often using Avid early in the grow cycle and then trying to sell their product as organic.
    Smokers beware.

  • Halleluiah! Thanks for this one Kym. Watching indoor clippers get rashes for years disgusted me. We have seen the proliferation of growers without conscience take over the indoor market, often using Avid early in the grow cycle and then trying to sell their product as organic.
    Smokers beware.

  • Floramite has been tested on food crops. The directions clearly say not to apply it for several weeks before harvest… which is of course when all these idiots apply it.

    The store trying to sell Avid could be shut down and face huge fines. Illegal as hell to sell in California.

    First press neem oil and a good surfactant is enough to kill mites. Oils like rosemary and clove kill off fungus too. Don’t be all oh shit, I have mites. If you spray oils as if you are about to get mites, you’ll never get mites. Fuck.

    I have talked to folks before who thought that every mite they ever got came from a “bad clone” or some shit as if mites don’t exist ubiquitously and do billions of dollars of crop damage every year across the world. People who use this super poison stuff are lazy dumbbells as far as I can tell. I can see the justification for using a poison on 500 acres of genetically identical fruit trees… but on fifty plants? Pathetic.

  • Floramite has been tested on food crops. The directions clearly say not to apply it for several weeks before harvest… which is of course when all these idiots apply it.

    The store trying to sell Avid could be shut down and face huge fines. Illegal as hell to sell in California.

    First press neem oil and a good surfactant is enough to kill mites. Oils like rosemary and clove kill off fungus too. Don’t be all oh shit, I have mites. If you spray oils as if you are about to get mites, you’ll never get mites. Fuck.

    I have talked to folks before who thought that every mite they ever got came from a “bad clone” or some shit as if mites don’t exist ubiquitously and do billions of dollars of crop damage every year across the world. People who use this super poison stuff are lazy dumbbells as far as I can tell. I can see the justification for using a poison on 500 acres of genetically identical fruit trees… but on fifty plants? Pathetic.

  • Thanks for this, Kym. And I agree 100% with Mr. Nice on this issue. Neem oil works, and it doesn’t poison the user, so why not use it? Anyone who knowingly sells Avid to growers should be driven out of business as a public service.

  • Thanks for this, Kym. And I agree 100% with Mr. Nice on this issue. Neem oil works, and it doesn’t poison the user, so why not use it? Anyone who knowingly sells Avid to growers should be driven out of business as a public service.

  • Kudos to the Bay Citizen. There isn’t enough investigative journalism out there and this is wonderful, important work.

  • Kudos to the Bay Citizen. There isn’t enough investigative journalism out there and this is wonderful, important work.

  • Fiance here: Thanks for this Kym.

  • Fiance here: Thanks for this Kym.

  • organic mechanic™

    yes, saw this article earlier today when I checked out this new site. (note: site is underwritten by Warren Hellman and other big money SF’er’s in response to the decline of local print media, most notably the Chronicle which we call the Comical) so glad word is starting to leak out about how toxic the indoor grows are. not only toxic, but leaving a huge carbon footprint and lots of *enhanced nutrients* flowing into sewers and eventually out to sea. (you can’t put out a cigarette butt in the streets of SF or Berkeley, but you can put your chem in the sewers. so much for progressive politics).
    glad you linked the article on your site. at last we start to see the fruition of some of the whispers we’ve planted in some folks’ ears. let the games begin!
    oh, they already started. *sigh* the horse is so far out of the barn on all this, she’ll never come back. too many people on too many payrolls — from lobbyists to activists. glad to have been part of the real thing, back in the day. authenticity is so hard to find now.
    onward we go. let’s hope the Top Kill works, and be happy we’re not living by the Gulf.

  • organic mechanic™

    yes, saw this article earlier today when I checked out this new site. (note: site is underwritten by Warren Hellman and other big money SF’er’s in response to the decline of local print media, most notably the Chronicle which we call the Comical) so glad word is starting to leak out about how toxic the indoor grows are. not only toxic, but leaving a huge carbon footprint and lots of *enhanced nutrients* flowing into sewers and eventually out to sea. (you can’t put out a cigarette butt in the streets of SF or Berkeley, but you can put your chem in the sewers. so much for progressive politics).
    glad you linked the article on your site. at last we start to see the fruition of some of the whispers we’ve planted in some folks’ ears. let the games begin!
    oh, they already started. *sigh* the horse is so far out of the barn on all this, she’ll never come back. too many people on too many payrolls — from lobbyists to activists. glad to have been part of the real thing, back in the day. authenticity is so hard to find now.
    onward we go. let’s hope the Top Kill works, and be happy we’re not living by the Gulf.

  • I remember back in the 80s when most people in California were still smoking mostly Mexican weed and it was sprayed with parquat (spelling probably wrong)! That shit was deadly! Went for for years. Not sure if they still do.

    This issue of pesticides on pot has always upset me. I was sprayed with Agent Orange in the Nam and I admit to having a real bad attitude when it comes to their use.

    So glad to see this kind of investigative reporting. Nowadays most newspapers spend more money on “canned stuff” from AP, etc., than in meaty stories that require research and initiative from the reporter’s and editor’s.

    Thanks for the link. Good topic. Time to get the word out now.

  • I remember back in the 80s when most people in California were still smoking mostly Mexican weed and it was sprayed with parquat (spelling probably wrong)! That shit was deadly! Went for for years. Not sure if they still do.

    This issue of pesticides on pot has always upset me. I was sprayed with Agent Orange in the Nam and I admit to having a real bad attitude when it comes to their use.

    So glad to see this kind of investigative reporting. Nowadays most newspapers spend more money on “canned stuff” from AP, etc., than in meaty stories that require research and initiative from the reporter’s and editor’s.

    Thanks for the link. Good topic. Time to get the word out now.

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