No Prohibition Seen In Tapping Lake Mead Water To Grow Medical Pot | Las Vegas Review-journal

Its about open irrigation water, DuBray said. The policy states that in accordance with the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970, the bureau will not approve use of Reclamation facilities or water in the cultivation of marijuana. It goes on to require bureau employees to report to their superiors if Reclamation facilities or the water they supply are being used to grow marijuana. The policy statement, which expires in May 2015, does not draw a distinction between or even specifically mention irrigation districts and municipal water suppliers, but both DuBray and Mack said the water authority falls under a specific exemption for agencies that take water from a federal source and mix it with other water in non-federal facilities before delivery to customers. Though Hoover Dam is a federal facility, the authority and its member utilities own the intake pipes and treatment plants that draw water from Lake Mead and clean it up for delivery to local taps. That wasnt always the case. The federal government built the first intake pipe and treatment plant that began delivering drinking water to Las Vegas in the early 1970s, about the same time the Controlled Substances Act took effect. The water authority bought those facilities from the Bureau of Reclamation in 2001. If that hadnt happened if the bureau still owned the pipes and pumps that may soon feed Colorado River water to the valleys legal indoor marijuana farms the new policy could be a problem, Mack said. But even if the policy did apply to the water authority, its unclear just how aggressive the bureau would be in enforcing it. As DuBray put it, echoing language in the policy statement itself: Reclamation is not an enforcement agency.
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