April 14, 2011

Medical Marijuana's Claimed Contribution to Climate Change

An article in the San Francisco Business Journal links medical marijuana to climate change, via the energy costs of the crops.
People growing marijuana indoors use 1 percent of the U.S. electricity supply, and they create 17 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year (not counting the smoke exhaled) according to a report by Evan Mills, an energy analyst at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

After medical pot use was made legal in California in 1996, Mills says, per-person residential electricity use in Humboldt County jumped 50 percent compared to other parts of the state.

In order to produce some 17,000 metric tons of marijuana this year, Mills estimates authorized growers will use $5 billion worth of energy. That works out to the output of seven big electric power plants.

But since Colorado also permits medical marijuana, I am waiting for one of the many clinics advertising in the Colorado Springs Independent, for example, to trumpet their "solar-powered MMJ."

(Via Ann Althouse.)

1 comment:

Heather Houlahan said...

Uh, yeah ...

If we hadn't been conducting decades of warfare on harmless hippies growing maryjane next to their tomatoes, we'd have neither the energy-sucking indoor pot factories nor the mutant cultivars that now require industrial inputs and constant cossetting.

Let me plant some good old-fashioned ditchweed in the herb garden. No electricity required.