How the Drug Trade Threatens the World's Ecosystems

| 1/14/2015 9:11:00 AM


For an increasing number of Americans, the writing is on the wall when it comes to climate change. We have achieved scientific consensus, and the international community has finally recognized the shared responsibility that this problem represents.

Even so, skeptics remain who argue that accelerating climate change is neither humanity’s fault nor our responsibility.

What might be a little less taxing for the human imagination is the fact that we constantly affect the natural world around us in smaller and more easily observable ways. And one of the unexpected ways this happens concerns the worldwide illegal drug trade.

Let’s take a quick look at some of our drugs of choice and how they bring harm to the world’s already-fragile ecosystems.


Let’s ignore for a moment that 51 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization; that’s a debate for another day. We’re going to focus instead on some of the unintentional collateral damage of our fondness for cannabis.

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