Ham Radio Operators vs. Pot Growers (Maine)

With more and more states legalizing marijuana for medical and recreational use, amateur radio enthusiasts have been complaining that the increased use of grow-light ballasts has been interfering with shortwave radio transmissions. According to the American Radio Relay League (ARRL), these large grow lights can cause interference from up to 1,000 feet away, blocking ham and AM spectrums in violation of Federal Communications Commission rules. While this trend has been handy for police in tracking down illegal growing operations, it’s gotten so bad for radio enthusiasts that ARRL has filed a formal complaint to the FCC on behalf of the country’s 720,000 licensed ham radio operators.

On January 31, the Energy Utilities & Technology Committee will  have a front-row seat in the showdown between ham radio hobbyists and marijuana growers as it hears LD 58, sponsored by Rep. Jonathan Kinney (R-Limington), which would limit the use of any grow-light ballast that does not comply with FCC rules and that interferes with shortwave radio transmissions.

via The Free Press: http://bit.ly/2kcyOQj

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