Illegal Drugs and the Environment

For nearly 50 years, the Drug Enforcement Administration has conducted operations in remote forests, jungles, and deserts worldwide to stop illegal drugs from harming the safety and health of Americans. In every location, clandestine drug cultivation and production leave shocking environmental devastation.

DEA agents and forensics specialists encounter rain forests in Central and South America cleared for coca and opium poppy fields and banned toxic pesticides used in marijuana grows in U.S. national forests. Further, tons of hazardous waste and chemicals, byproducts of industrial methamphetamine and cocaine production, are discharged into African, Asian, and Central and South American waterways every year.

Our panel discussion, moderated by Curator of Education Josh Edmundson, is an eye-opening experience enriched by the firsthand experience, knowledge, and observations of DEA experts. Joining us are Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Special Operations Division, Patrick Kelly and Senior Research Chemists, Special Testing and Research Laboratory, Sini Panicker and Joe Bozenko. The program ends with an audience Q&A.