In February, Congressman Nunes (Calif.) introduced legislation H.R. 759, the Federal Lands Counterdrug Strategy Act, designed to address the problem of drug production and trafficking on our nation's public lands. The American Sheep Industry Association, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Public Lands Council supported the introduction.
Drug traffickers benefit from the remote locations that enable cultivators to operate large-scale cannabis cultivation operations by limiting the chance of detection. Traffickers are growing increasingly aggressive toward law enforcement officials and public lands ranchers who enter the area in which drugs are being cultivated and produced.
Moreover, drug traffickers are causing serious environmental damage to our public lands in the form of water pollution, stream diversion, hazardous chemical use and dumping and clear cutting.
The legislation, supported by the industries policy to promote border security, would address this situation by requiring the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to develop a strategy to combat drug trafficking on public lands. ONDCP would be required to consult with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and to state the specific roles and responsibilities of the relevant agencies.