As some states recognize medicinal marijuana use and states like Colorado have legalized recreational use, marijuana is still illegal under federal law. Because the government only recognizes marijuana as an illegal drug, there are no federal regulations on growing or distributing it. There are no safety standards for those who use marijuana medicinally and some patients have filed a lawsuit against growers.
The patients allege marijuana grown and distributed for either legal recreational use or medicinal use is sprayed with Eagle 20, a fungicide used to kill mites and mildew. Eagle 20 also contains a chemical called myclobutanil, which produced hydrogen cyanide gas when burned. Obviously, when marijuana is smoked the patient would inhale the poisonous hydrogen cyanide gas.
The lawsuit asks the marijuana growers to step back and look at what they’re putting on their product. Chemicals added to the plants certainly decrease the appeal of marijuana for some patients – a more natural remedy than prescription medications. With the added chemicals patients feel they might as well get prescription medications instead. Plus, with no federal regulations they cannot be certain what is added to or sprayed on the marijuana before it is harvested.
Growers use chemicals such as Eagle 20 because they are growing hundreds of thousands of plants indoors under lights and see many mites, fungi, and other pests that they fear will destroy millions in profits for them. Because Colorado has legalized marijuana even for recreational use, the state has now regulated the industry providing a list of approved pesticides. Unless the federal government recognizes marijuana as legal, whether for medicinal purposes or in whole, no federal guidelines or regulations will be placed on marijuana production.