DON’T BOGART THAT KILOWATT: Pot Farming Burns Through $5 Billion Worth Of Energy Annually


STUDY:  The emergent industry of indoor Cannabis production results in prodigious energy use, costs, and greenhouse-gas pollution.  Large-scale industrialized and highly energy-intensive indoor cultivation of Cannabis is driven by criminalization, pursuit of security, and the desire for greater process control and yields. The practice occurs across the United States and in many other countries. The analysis performed in this study finds that indoor Cannabis production results in energy expenditures of $5 billion each year, with electricity use equivalent to that of 2 million average U.S. homes. This corresponds to 1% of national electricity consumption or 2% of that in households. The yearly greenhouse-gas pollution (carbon dioxide, CO2 ) from the electricity plus associated transportation fuels equals that of 3 million cars. Energy costs constitute a quarter of wholesale value. […] From the perspective of individual consumers, a single Cannabis cigarette represents 2 pounds of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours with average U.S. electricity. MORE

RELATED: A bill that would repeal the existing Medical Marijuana Act in Montana is still sitting on Governor Brian Schweitzer’s desk, and as of Saturday, he has one week left to make a decision on it. Schweitzer faces several options with the repeal bill: sign it and make it a law, veto it, or send an amendatory veto back to the legislature, changing some of its language. Governor Schweitzer said he is still weighing out these options, and hasn’t decided on any of them yet. He added that he is waiting to see if another bill, aimed at reforming, rather than repealing, the existing law, will arrive on his desk in the next week. MORE

Willie_Nelson_Think_Green_Cream_Shirt_dec3.jpgRELATED:  The House of Delegates on Saturday gave final passage to a plan to decriminalize marijuana possession for the sick. The bill, which also includes a medical marijuana study component, must be adopted by the Senate (which has already blessed a slightly different bill) before the conclusion of the legislative session Monday night. Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he would sign the proposal into law. Lawmakers are looking to extend the affirmative defense option as Maryland officials research a plan to develop and implement a system for the prescription and distribution of medical marijuana. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical use. Under the House’s affirmative defense proposal, a person arrested for possession of 1 ounce or less of marijuana could present a doctor’s note, medical paperwork or the live testimony of a doctor in court as evidence of a medical necessity for the drug. The judge or jury would have to be convinced of the necessity by a preponderance of the evidence in order to find the person not guilty, the House plan states. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: President Carter Wants Marijuana Decriminalized

RELATED:  In one of Willie Nelson’s books, he freely admits stealing away to the roof of the White House, where he lit up “a big fat Austin torpedo” while members of the Secret Service looked on. Apparently, it wasn’t the first time that particular law was broken at the White House: In 1977 — also on Carter’s watch — David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash are said to have burned a fatty of their own when they were left alone in the Oval Office. MORE


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