US Gov. Admitted to Spraying “Paraquat” Poison on Marijuana in 1980’s

In the 1980’s the director of the Drug Enforcement Administration admitted to using a poison named “Paraquat” on Marijuana crops, potentially harmful for drug users and the entire surrounding ecosystem.

MarijuanaBy JG Vibes
dev-test.intellihub.com
April 12, 2013

Yesterday i published an article on the history of prohibition, discussing how the US Government added poison to industrial alcohol to discourage consumption. People continued to drink it, so the government added more and they killed 10,000 people.

Many of our readers sent in emails and made comments informing us that a similar case occurred in the past few decades, where the government poisoned marijuana crops with a chemical named “Paraquat”.  This was admitted by the DEA as reported by the New York Times:

The director of the Drug Enforcement Administration said today that the Government would use the herbicide paraquat and two others in a stepped-up campaign to eradicate domestically grown marijuana.The use of paraquat, banned from national forests in 1983 because of environmental concerns, was announced by the director, John C. Lawn, at a news conference.

A drug agency spokesman, Cornelius Dougherty, subsequently said that, in light of a 1983 ruling by Federal Judge June Green, paraquat would be sprayed for marijuana eradication on private land, not on public property. The other two herbicides cited by Mr. Lawn, 2,4D and glyphosate, are not involved in the ruling and could be used on public lands, a spokesman said.

Jay Feldman, coordinator of the National Coalition Against the Misuse of Pesticides, said: ”The other two chemicals don’t have the same restrictions, but while that may be complying with the letter of the law, it is violating the principles that protect national lands to ensure the protection of wildlife habitats and recreation areas.”

Paraquat, which is used in agriculture to clear fields before planting and after harvest, is an acid that can produce severe lung damage in humans if ingested.  However, The government statement completed in July 1985 and found that ”there is a slight risk that heavy smokers of marijuana could be affected by paraquat-sprayed marijuana.” Totally downplaying the dangers that this chemical could have to humans.

As i have discussed over this past week in relation to the drug war, in the black market one of the major drawbacks is that there is no accountability among the people selling the drug. Since anyone can get kidnapped and thrown in a cage for even dealing with the stuff, it really doesn’t make sense for people to be plastering their names and logos all over the drugs.

In this age of corporate mercantilism logos and branding may seem like a really tacky idea, but when looking at the black market we can see the value in such things. Someone who is selling a product with their name on it, is going to go through far greater lengths to ensure the quality of their product, as opposed to someone who would remain anonymous.

This anonymity creates an incentive for people to be dishonest with what they sell. This could lead to rip offs, or downright contamination of the drug with unwanted harmful substances. This is why there was bathtub gin that would make you go blind if your drank it during alcohol prohibition. This is also the reason why some of the harder street drugs today are cut with toxic chemicals that increase the chance of overdose ten fold.

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J.G. Vibes is the author of an 87 chapter counter-culture textbook called Alchemy of the Modern Renaissance, a staff writer, reporter for dev-test.intellihub.com and Executive Producer of the Bob Tuskin Radio Show. You can keep up with his work, which includes free podcasts, free e-books & free audiobooks at his website www.aotmr.com