Transborder Labor Trafficking and Forced Servitude in Marijuana Growing Operations

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Thursday, November 21, 2019
Luz E. Nagle

Human trafficking and labor servitude are occurring globally in the rapidly expanding marijuana cultivation “industry” in which the murky status between legal and illegal product entering the consumer supply chain allows transborder criminal organizations to capitalize on gaps in law enforcement and immigration laws.  Over the last several years, grow operations concealed in non-descript settings—suburban houses and warehouses in industrial areas—have been found throughout Great Britain, Ireland, and Western Europe.  With those discoveries, authorities have found numerous instances of undocumented immigrants, including children, toiling over the valuable crops while subjected to potentially fatal health risks from constant exposure to chemicals in poorly-ventilated rooms, malnutrition, constant illness, and the looming threat of fires and electrocution.