Believe it or not, at one point, Florida’s drug czar announced a plan to unleash a marijuana-eating fungus in the Everglades. Florida’s proposed marijuana eradication plan would have enlisted the use of a new, marijuana-eating, soil-borne fungus, known as Fusarium oxysporum. Proponents of the program, spearheaded by state drug czar Jim McDonough, argued that the mycoherbicide will target marijuana and ignore other crops. Biologists disagreed.
Despite concerns, state officials planned to begin testing the fungus at a research facility outside of Gainesville. Tom responded by filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with five U.S. government agencies in an attempt to retrieve all information pertaining to the study and use of the cannabis killing fungus. FOIA requests were sent to The United States Department of Agriculture, Drug Enforcement Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. State Department, and the U.S. Drug Czar’s Office.
As expected, information was obtained that proved that the government had conducted field experiments with the fungus. In fact, the federal government had authorized $23,000,000 to fund research into the use of the fungus. Tom argued that the company heading up the research did not have the proper EPA clearance for the field studies; after all, even the Drug Czar is not above our country’s environmental protection laws. Ultimately, because of the efforts of Tom and others, the research was halted and further testing relocated to Colombia.