For those of you old enough to remember, or for the younger among us who learned about it as a joke, the black-and-white '50's film "Reefer Madness" has come to symbolize old-fashioned attitudes toward marijuana use. Now we are told, however, that "reefers" may be an environmental hazard- causing "madness" among environmentalists.
In a letter published in today's Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, Detective Gregg Roberts of the Long Beach Police Department outlines some of the dangers his officers face when raiding a home marijuana factory:
The concerns of police officers at a clandestine indoor marijuana grow are as follows:
Mold spoor. Marijuana mold spoor is documented as being toxic and causes respiratory and allergic reactions. At an indoor grow operation, decaying marijuana plant material is prevalent and mold is common.
Toxic chemicals. The chemicals used in the hydroponic cultivation of marijuana include fertilizers, pesticides and steroids, which can all create health hazards for humans.
Mercury. Mercury vapor lights are used in the grow rooms. Any broken bulbs can cause harmful mercury exposure. ...
...Various studies are now indicating that the use of respiratory protection is probably appropriate at any marijuana grow, and almost always at a clandestine indoor grow operation, and especially when handling items coming out of the grow room.