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Not So Green: Marijuana Growers Consume 1% of National Electricity Consumption

Originally posted on Gizmodo by Casey Chan.

Marijuana, hue notwithstanding, is not exactly new school green. In fact, it's the worst drug for the environment. Marijuana growers use $5 billion worth of electricity to power lightbulbs, fans, dehumidifiers and whatever else it takes to grow weed. That's 1% of the national electricity consumption.

Not only that, smoking a joint is worth two pounds 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 fertilizers 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 U.S. State Department, as many as 85 quarts (80 liters) 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 pound of methamphetamine creates five or six pounds 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 takes a toll on Mother Earth too.

One last thing…
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