Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.?— Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Federal Lands Subcommittee held a hearing on Rep. Scott Peters’ (CA-50) TOXIC Act. This legislation was reintroduced earlier this month with Rep. Doug LaMalfa (CA-01) to keep dangerous and banned pesticides used on illegal cannabis grows from hurting our protected federal lands and consumers’ health.

“The TOXIC Act will help us restore the long-term health of our ecosystems, restrict the cross-border flow of toxic contaminants, protect public health and consumers, and support regulated cannabis businesses that comply with the law,” said Rep. Peters during his testimony.

The Targeting and Offsetting Existing Illegal Contaminants (TOXIC) Act will remedy the environmental damage caused by banned pesticides to our public lands and ensures those who illegally grow cannabis on federal property using banned pesticides are subject to stricter criminal penalties.

This bill will:

  • Authorize $250 million over ten years for the Forest Service to use Superfund toxic waste remediation authorities to address environmental damages caused by the release of banned pesticides on federal lands for cannabis cultivation; and
  • Raise the criminal penalties for using banned pesticides in illegal cannabis cultivation to maximums of 20 years in prison and $250,000 in criminal fines to establish parity with the criminal penalties for smuggling banned pesticides into the U.S. The U.S. Sentencing Commission would then be required to review and update its sentencing guidelines for these crimes.

In 2019, the San Diego-based Border Pesticide Initiative was formed with members of the Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Homeland Security, California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the City Attorney’s Office. In 2021, the group announced it had prosecuted over 50 defendants and seized more than 1,000 containers of illegal pesticides.

Click here to watch Rep. Peters’ testimony.