Smoking Weed Is Really Bad For The Environment

Marijuana, hue notwithstanding, is not exactly new school green. In fact, it's the worst drug for the environment. Marijuana growers use $US5 billion worth of electricity to power lightbulbs, fans, dehumidifiers and whatever else it takes to grow weed. That's 1 per cent of the national electricity consumption.

Not only that, smoking a joint is worth 1kg of carbon dioxide emissions. Who knew getting high could have such environmental consequences! We'll ignore the fact that if it was legal, growers could grow out in the open and not damage the environment with energy consumption. Thanks lawmakers. As for the other drugs: Cocaine powers the deforestation of rain forests, as farmers chop down trees to grow the coca. Also, according to National Geographic:

Farmers also use a number of harmful insecticides, fungicides and fertilisers to grow the [coca]plants. Petroleum products are also a key ingredient in the process of turning coca into cocaine. To extract the drug from the plant, farmers mash coca leaves and soak the paste in petroleum products such as gasoline or kerosene. According to the US State Department, as many as 85 quarts (80 litres) of kerosene are used to manufacture every kilogram of cocaine that makes its way to the street market.

Making meth uses energy, along with toxic ingredients like drain cleaner, lye, camping stove fuel and more. According to the EPA, the production of a half a kilo of methamphetamine creates 2-3kg of toxic waste. Extracting heroin requires toxic substances like ammonia, acetone, hydrochloric acid, etc, that often ruins the environment the process takes place in.

Basically, any illegal drug you take to gets high, takes a toll on Mother Earth too. Think about the planet the next time. Or just eat shrooms. [National Geographic]

Image: Pashabo/Shutterstock

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    I get the feeling if people could grow it outside this wouldn't be as much of an issue.

      Just legalise the textile variant, and the savings made from using it's varied and many products will offset the short comings of the illegal stuff! #]

        Damn Straight, Hemp should have never been thrown in the Cannabis basket; concidering you cannot get any kind of high from it...

        Hell, the declaration of independence was written on hemp

          The saddest thing is, the textile variant isn't even smokable, so there's absolutely no reason not to use it.

          We live in a country with low rainfall, and we farm *cotton* in one of the most water-rich areas. We could farm hemp and make even better quality clothes and textiles from it.

          But noone can get past the 'marijuana' thing. Even though, again, the hemp in question can't even be smoked. (Well it can, but it wouldn't make you high).

            But then the lumber business would go broke, God forbid!

          i agree on completely, except that its not on hemp it is on parchment which is an animal product!

            Researched a bit more into it and you're right!

    Wouldn't cost that much if the government decriminalized/legalized and they started growing it through mass production or just even out side for the non-potent stuff, all while creating a new job market and tax revenue for the Government.

    Hey... At least scientist figured out how to greate matter from nothing. 0.5 grams of matter into 1kg of carbon matter sounds like a milestone in science to me! I'm thinking the scientist was probably sampling the samples lol.

      or it was a 1kg+ joint... :/

        and I pants.

      The 1kg of carbon matter is from the production and transportation of the joint, not just lighting it.

        Already corrected this, I bet you derped massively after reading the later comments...

    Doubt druggies will really give too much of a [email protected]#$ about the environment. Prolly just waiting for the next high.

      you sound like you the media. i take it that's where you get all your world views from

        No idea where he got those views from, if it was from the media weed users = hippies, hippies care about the environment :x

      You sound like an absolute moron if you're still preaching those 1980 views of 'Marijuana is a dangerous drug!'
      Hmm, marijuana can't kill you (alcohol can), it's not physically addictive (tobacco and coffee are) and it has no proven negative side affects to your health EXCEPT the temporary memory loss, smoking a heated plant substance which is a small amount of damage to your lungs (no, marijuana can not solely give you cancer) and the small chance to develop schizophrenia (even though most the times this just hereditary) - which is less then your chance of getting alcohol poisoning when you drink alcohol (one actually kills you).
      Now you be the judge.

        Well said Matt.

        I can't believe marijuana is illegal, but alcohol isn't. Alcohol is responsible for mind boggling amounts of death, violence and disease. Same goes for tobacco.

        Either legalise all of them, or illegalise all of them. Bloody ridiculous.

          My theory is, if legalised it'd compete nearly directly against the tobacco and alcohol industries. Two of the most powerful in the world.
          The media doesn't just flip a coin to decide whether they're for or against something. They're always biased by something or someone. All the negative, misinformed press they spew out? Hmmmm...wonder why.

            I'd still drink if marijuana were legalised. I drink and smoke for two entirely different reasons. I also drink more than I smoke, and not just out of availability.

          Double standards my friend.

          Take cigarettes for example. Imagine if a food company tried to release onto the market a product containing 4000 different chemicals, with 50 of those known to be cancer causing. Do you think it would get anywhere near the supermarket shelves? yet the ciggy companies are legally allowed to sell a product containing just that.

          It all comes down to how much money the government can make from it on tax, if you could legally grow your own cannabis the government would have no way of regulating or taxing it.

          and btw this article is a joke, where are these figures coming from?

            Sketchy, my suggestion is legalize and regulate, just like alcohol.

            Almost anyone can have access to ingredients to make there own alcohol but they don't, marijuana is incredibly cheap when mass produced, the government could still add 100% + tax and it would still be cheaper then today's marijuana from your local drug dealer.

      You're an idiot Boon.
      I think you may be thinking of meth or heroin.

    Actually, before you think I'm a dumb shit, I'll admit it - I didn't take into account the rest of the article when I said that comment. Yeah, I can see the electricity usage playing a massive part. I don't know how much energy is required to grow a joint-amount of bud, but it'd probably be some... There is a solution tho - Solar power :D

      Actually most of the power use comes from the use of HPS lamps or similar.
      These days, those new fangled flourescent lamps use a fraction of the power and still produce enough light in the right part of the spectrum to grow really rather well indoors..

      err.. so I'm told..

    Good story guys. I feel liberated.

    Ok, I get that if you factor in all the pollution while growing it through to incineration based consumption you will have caused 1kg of CO2 emissions, there's a few ways to fix this.

    Grow it outside, legally, in soil. There goes 99% of the emissions.

    Alternative consumption methods - including the baked goods variety, and other non-incineration based inhaling methods.

    As is said in many posts above mine, it stands to no merit worthy reason as to why it remains illegal.

    Also, as a photosynthesis based plant, during it's growth it will feed on CO2 and pump out O2 as waste, thereby giving it a NEGATIVE footprint.

      Basically. Until the government legalize weed, they should be bound to pay the carbon emisson tax, as it is there fault that so much energy is being wasted due to illegilizing such a tasty, drool-worthy product.... Mmmm... If anyone can actually build a legal argument against the G, please do so immediatly.

    Yeah come on people if it MJ legal less people would be growing inside slowing the electrical part of this persons idea. And then outside growing helps create air vaporising mj stops you taking the carbon as much into your lungs and then the carbon goes in the bin

    If it was legal then it wouldn't be a problem. Growing mj actually improves the quality of the soil and is good for the environment. It even has the potential to prevent global warming.

    wow all i gotta say is cmon next thing you know we wont be able to take a dump cuz its bad for the fish

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