June 18, 2024

Legalizing Marijuana May Be Good for Teens, But Is Bad For Environment

2 min read

Marijuana use by Colorado high school students has been found to be lower than the national average since the state first legalized the recreational use of the drug for adults.

In their biannual poll, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment showed that 21.2% of Colorado teens had used marijuana in the preceding 30 days. This is down from 22% from the year 2011, the year before recreational cannabis was approved for adults over 21.

Nationwide, teen use of marijuana holds steady at 21.7%.

About 17,000 students replied to the voluntary poll. With these positive results, pro-advocacy groups are trying to spread the word that the fear of increasing pot use among teens in states with legalized cannabis are false.

As reported on AOL, Mason Tvert the spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project says, “These statistics clearly debunk the theory that making marijuana legal for adults will result in more teen use.”

But despite these successes, the process of growing marijuana is causing some difficulty. One aspect of growing cannabis that has yet to be overcome is energy consumption.

Even though the marijuana plant is a natural resource, it has quite a large energy footprint. For every kilogram cultivated, 4.3 tons of carbon monoxide is produced.

To put it in perspective, that is the equivalent of seven cross-country road trips in a standard vehicle.

Cultivating pot also requires an outstanding amount of water. In order to get the adequate amount of water necessary for a lush green lawn– one inch per week– it takes a little over half a gallon of water per square foot.

Multiply that by hundreds of marijuana plants, and each grower will be using thousands of gallons a month. In total, grow operations within the United States consume six billion a year in energy, and take up one percent of the nation’s entire energy usage.

The state of Colorado has gone to lengths to combat this energy usage, by starting initiatives that require cannabis growers to offset their electricity costs with a renewable energy.

If they don’t have access to a renewable energy source, they can pay a fee of two cents per kilowatt use. It will then go to the Boulder-based Energy Impact Offset Fund in order to educate and supply cannabis growers with energy monitors and other solutions.

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