“It’s just a plant. It can’t hurt the environment.”
Planting and cultivating marijuana can have negative impacts on wildlife, forests, soil, water sources, and more.
Ironically enough, marijuana is one of the least green industries out there.” – Keep Idaho
We couldn’t have said it any better. An increase in the demand for marijuana could have detrimental impacts on the environment. Did you know that a single mature marijuana plant can consume almost 6 gallons of water per day? That’s more water than what’s needed to run an entire dishwasher cycle. In a sizable outdoor operation, the plants can suck up something on the order of a billion liters of water per square mile over a growing season. That’s a LOT of water.
Cultivating marijuana also uses a large amount of electricity. In fact, 3% of California’s electricity usage goes to powering indoor weed cultivation. Now, 3% might not seem like a lot, but if we size that up to a national level, it counts for 1% of the country’s total power consumption and emits 17 million tons of carbon dioxide per year. All that CO2 is equivalent to the output of 7 sizable power plants. Yikes.
The reality is, with an increase in demand for marijuana, forests will be fragmented and new roads will be constructed which will result in soil erosion, habitat destruction, and river diversion. Not to mention the pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and petroleum fuels used to grow marijuana will poison wildlife. But, hey, it’s just a plant, right?
Click the Learn More button to return to the topic page.