Many are thrilled that Washington and Colorado approved marijuana for recreational use. Personally, I could care less. I don’t smoke it. I used to when in high school and the first years of college, but, it stopped being fun (note: I don’t drink much, either). I’m not worried about pot being super bad, as it is less dangerous of a drug than alcohol. If people want to use it, so be it. If States want to make it legal (though HIGHLY controlled and taxed), that’s what is supposed to happen. It will be interesting to see how the highly politicized Obama DOJ reacts, since marijuana is a federal Schedule I drug, in the same class as cocaine and crack. But, hey, Grist is here to throw cold water on those who are psyched
This likely means increased production to meet newly legal needs, which likely means more impact on the environment.
Marijuana advocates point to the fact that it’s “just a plant.” They’re not wrong! But it’s a plant that’s often shipped hundreds of miles from production to consumer, and either grown indoors at tremendous energy costs, or cultivated outdoors to the detriment of the local landscape.
And energy usage, all those evil incandescent bulbs mimicking sunlight, is bad for “climate change”. Growing outside can be bad for the real environment, and you have all those miles for shipment of pot (fossil fuels), so, it’s better that you grow it at home, but, back to energy
Unfortunately, they won’t avoid massive energy costs from the bright artificial lights used for up to 20 hours a day in order to speed up nature. About a quarter of the cost of weed grown inside is the cost of energy – which some studies say could be 1 percent of all the energy used in the U.S. And that’s been without legalization.
Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.