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Harmful or injurious, generally with regards to human health or the environment. Criminal and civil statutes may prohibit the use or possession of noxious substances or materials. For example:

  • In New York, it is unlawful to possess noxious material, meaning “any drug or other substance capable of generating offensive, noxious or suffocating fumes, gases or vapors, or capable of immobilizing a person,” when a person “possesses such material under circumstances evincing an intent to use it or to cause it to be used to inflict physical injury upon or to cause annoyance to a person, or to damage property of another, or to disturb the public peace.”
  • Section 7207 of the California Food and Agriculture Code makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly permit noxious weeds to grow on their property. Section 5004 of the California Food and Agriculture Code, defines a noxious weed as “any species of plant that is, or is liable to be, troublesome, aggressive, intrusive, detrimental, or destructive to agriculture, silviculture, or important native species, and difficult to control or eradicate, which the director, by regulation, designates to be a noxious weed.”

[Last updated in June of 2020 by the Wex Definitions Team]