Some interesting discussions on the internet regarding thecarbon footprint of marijuana, specifically indoor marijuana growing.

It's argued that it's the illegality that leads to indoor growing, and therefore legalization would lead to decreased carbon footprint.  Still, it is what it is.

From the freakenomics article (some editing for brevity):

  • A single joint = 2 pounds of CO2 emissions, =100-watt light bulb for 17 hours.
  • Processed marijuana = 3000-times its weight in CO2 emissions.
  • For off-grid production...70 gallons of diesel fuel to produce one indoor Cannabis plant, or 140 gallons with smaller, less-efficient gasoline generators.

Also

indoor Cannabis production... energy expenditures of $5 billion each year...  equivalent to that of 2 million average U.S. homes. ... 1% of national electricity consumption or 2% of that in households. The yearly greenhouse-gas pollution ...  = that of 3 million cars.

From Seattle Times,

One kilo, or 2.2 pounds, of pot grown indoors= carbon footprint equivalent to driving across the country seven times. Producing one joint is equivalent to leaving a light bulb on for 25 hours.

I suppose every drop in the bucket is important, but I doubt this comes anywhere close to the energy requirement / carbon footprint for commuting, or for meat and here.

As far as the horticulture aspects are concerned, pot can be grown almost anywhere in the US.  It's the legal aspects that cause so much waste.  Maybe some corporate interests too.

Maybe if you stay home, or bike, and eat cheetos instead of meat, you can lower your carbon footprint and still enjoy your THC.

Personally, I'm neither for or against personal use of marijuana.  I like to grow plants, I cherish personal choice, and personal responsibility, I don't like government or corporate intervention into personal lives, and I think legalization of marijuana would reduce a tremendous amount of heartbreak around the world - especially Mexico, where the drug war - literally a war - has cost 48,000 people killed in the past 5 years.. 

Tags: climate change, environment, global warming, marijuana

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