A Righteous Rant About Cannabis and Energy
I have a confession. I’ve been Sleepless in Encino since that raft of Tricky Bullshit(TM) about how indoor cannabis is SO BAD for the environment. Data and heat maps and charts, oh my!
Fortunately, yesterday AlterNet.org put me on the yellow brick road with this article:
Tricky Bullshit #1: Use Razzle Dazzle Data
Using sources up to 20-years old, author Phil Smith lumps 5 types of data into 1 paragraph: we produce 35 million pounds or 69,000 tons of weed but in any case, indoor cannabis uses $6B dollars in electricity and produces the same GreenHouse Gas Emissions as 3M cars. Phil lumps in New Frontier Data who determined that indoor cultivation produces a pound of carbon for every gram of harvested flower.
OK Smitty, you want to play?
Poker: I see your reefer madness and raise you running shoes. A typical pair generates 30 pounds of carbon dioxide; more than 23 Billion are produced each year, over 300 million are thrown away and each one takes 30 years to decompose.
Switcheroo: It takes 150 gallons of water to grow a pound of weed. It takes 1,800 gallons to make a pair of jeans
Non sequitur: Have one less child and save 59 tons of carbon annually. (Except Rico Lamitte, your daughter is adorable!)
THE DEEP DIVE
Tricky Bullshit #2: Blame the Stoners
All the energy articles suggest WE are to blame for ALL this energy use. It’s OUR fault, and WE dropped the house on the wicked witch of the East.
Luckily, the author quotes Dale Gieringer, the head of California NORML, who said "Indoor [cultivation] never made any sense to us, any more than indoor wheat … California authorities got real skittish about outdoor growing and so these towns in the desert opened up huge indoor grow facilities that have to be air-conditioned. None of that makes any sense… it's just the way things have been regulated."
None of this indoor growing is our fault. You don’t grow oranges in Minnesota, right? But they have to grow their own weed because of federal Prohibition.
If the market were allowed to operate, cannabis would be grown where crops grow, and Michigan and Maine and Alaska can grow hockey sticks and maple syrup and grizzly bears. And don’t get me started on Canada, where they have greenhouses the size of football stadiums.
THE LOOP BACK
You want rational energy? How about this:
Cannabis is a plant and very good at sequestering carbon in the soil. If you want less carbon, grant more licenses and let us grow more plants.
We’d use a LOT less energy if we could use MORE federal solar tax credits
Let us grow where it makes sense, and ship it to places it doesn’t grow naturally. We know how to do this, we just won the War on Drugs...
Sneakers again: 690 Billion pounds of carbon every year? Go barefoot and smoke weed.
Cannabis uses 20x times less energy than bitcoin. Keep your eyes on the ball, you greedy bastards.
And I’m out of gas.
[Image by Pixabay at Pexels]