Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Killing Cannabis with mycoherbicides.

Abstract

In 1998, researchers were funded by the U.S. government to develop genetically engineered mycoherbicides that destroy drug plants, including marijuana [Cannabis sativa]. Controversies surrounding this solution for the war on drugs are discussed. It is argued that introducing foreign fungi into new habitats is fraught with unpredictable environmental pitfalls. Exotic pathogens can spread from their intended targets to other organisms. Also, fungi with recombinant DNA may reproduce with native fungi and create new strains of virulent, transgenic pathogens. All known pathogens of marijuana also attack hemp. It is possible that exterminating drug plants will spell the demise of the valuable fibre and oilseed crop.