Public-lands marijuana may pose safety threat

Commercial marijuana growers whose illegal operations are found in national forests and other remote public lands pose a ''very real, potential threat to the public safety,'' said Frank Monastero, a Justice Department official.

And George L. Farnham, director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told a Senate panel that marijuana will be the nation's third-largest cash crop this year, and that 30 to 50 percent of the marijuana is grown on federal land. He was pressing for ''a regulated and taxed marijuana market that would entirely remove marijuana from the criminal justice system.''

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