U.S. Blocks Legal Marijuana Growers From Using Federal Irrigation Water

Cannabis farms cannot take advantage of water from federal irrigation projects, the U.S. Interior Department announced. The announcement is a major setback for growers in the states of Washington and Colorado, where both recreational and medical marijuana is legal.

The Bureau of Reclamation, the branch of the Interior Department that maintains dams, power plants, and canals in 17 western states, reaffirmed that the growers cannot use water supplied through the federal system. The bureau helps provided irrigation water to about 1.2 million acres of land in Colorado and Washington.

“As a federal agency, Reclamation is obligated to adhere to federal law in the conduct of its responsibilities to the American people,” Dan DuBray, the bureau’s chief of public affairs told NBC News.

The Bureau said it would refer any violations to the Justice Department.

“We’re not an investigative agency. We’re an agency that provides water to irrigation districts,” said DuBray. “The limit of our proactive stance is that if asked, we’re not approving it, and if we become aware of it, we report it.”

– Read the entire article at AlterNet.