Back in 2016, North Dakota voted in a bill to allow for legal marijuana for medical purposes. The program is certainly not the most ambitious in the country, and the state has only granted two growing licenses. One has gone to a Chicago-based group. But the other license is raising eyebrows, going to an infamous rancher with a bad history with rat poison.
The Environmental Protection Agency flagged the ranch of David Meyer after neighbors were concerned by the sudden trend of dead rodents and eagles appearing around their property. The EPA’s investigation concluded that Meyer was using the dangerous pesticide Rozol, and was using it haphazardly.
Rozol requires a license to legally use it, and Meyer was using it without one. Had he gone through the application process, it might have been clearer that Rozol needs to be buried at least six inches below the ground, while Meyer told the EPA that he covered his ranch with nearly 40,000 pounds of the poison using pails and a spoon.
They say the labels on Rozol containers clearly state it should be applied by hand scoop or mechanical bait application machine at least 6 inches below the ground. Meyer admitted to tossing the contents of 22 1,800-pound bags of the poison on the wide areas of his ranch using 5-gallon pails and a spoon, according to EPA documents.
Meyer was hoping to kill prairie dogs, but improper application threatens every passing animal, including protected species like bald eagles, of which the EPA discovered six corpses of. The report also states that Meyer didn’t dispose of the dead prairie dogs either, allowing for hungry predators to pick up the corpses and spread the effect of the poison even further. Meyer also used the poison on Cannonball Ranch, considered sacred land by natives and used to protest DAPL, only to be sold to Dakota Access by Meyer as well.
Unfortunately, pesticides and cannabis are not strangers. Black market growers routinely use dangerous poisons that not only threaten smokers but endangered species as well. Part of moving cannabis cultivation out of the black market is to enforce standards that won’t threaten the surrounding area. When local news asked the state department handling North Dakota’s medical marijuana process, they were told a panel of seven reviewed the applicants blindly, meaning they did not see Meyer’s name attached.