Maryland s psychotic herbicide laws

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Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 1.54.08 PMThere must be something in the water in Montgomery County, Maryland. But what s in there is more likely to be LSD, rather than the chemicals that they are trying to ban. A series of disjointed regulations that are worthy of The Three Stooges is on the table. If the folks in charge there weren't serious, this would be nothing short of hilarious. Which it really is anyhow.

Montgomery County, going against both science and already-cautious federal guidelines, wants to ban cosmetic pesticides (technically herbicides) those that are used for non-essential purposes, like lawns.

This is where it gets good. Whatever a non-essential purpose is, the following are considered essential enough to be exempt from the ban: noxious weed and invasive species controls, agriculture, gardens and golf courses.

ACSH s Dr. Josh Bloom wonders, If these are essential uses, what could possibly be non-essential? Maybe the bonsai tree in your living room? And you better believe that the putt putt lobby is none too happy about golf courses being exempt. Very unfair! Here s a Federal Trade Commission case if ever there was one.

Making even less sense is the chemicals that are too dangerous to be used on private lawns all of a sudden become OK when used in public places, or by big businesses.

What this is really about is simply regulation of the use of herbicides on people s lawns. But, these chemicals are already considered by the EPA to be safe at the levels used, and are essential to farmers. Pretty much everything you eat has been grown in the presence of them.

Dr. Bloom adds, The true insanity here is that these dangerous chemicals are deemed too unsafe to be used on lawns, but OK to use in your vegetable garden, where you will EAT what grows? They sure thought this through carefully.

He continues, Yet it gets even crazier. The logic that follows is reminiscent of the Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk destroys an evil android that is holding them captive by using the liar paradox. He tells it that everything it hears is a lie, but so is that statement. Unable to process this, the robot s head blows up and Kirk survives to make Priceline commercials decades later.

This particular paradox involves athletic fields. Montgomery County also wants to exempt them by using the twisted logic that a better maintained field will cause fewer accidents, and thus, lawsuits.

Assuming your head hasn't blown up yet, it is reasonable to question why the county wants to ban a chemical so dangerous that it can t be used on lawns, but is perfectly fine to use to grow food, and to maintain football fields, where people s faces are routinely smashed into the turf.

Beam me up, Scotty.