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CaliforniaHiker Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 07:01 PM
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How Green Is Your Pot?
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How Green Is Your Pot?

A new collective is trying to sell sustainable, organically grown marijuana, but patients are hooked on indoor weed that wastes energy and pollutes the planet.


Five hours north of San Francisco, up Highway 101, nature truly rules. Geology has reduced the mighty six-lane freeway to a two-lane, landslide-prone country road. Off the highway and off the grid, miles and miles up country roads whose names cannot be disclosed, mountain lion and female deer run through Kim's front yard.


Set against the priceless backdrop of the Humboldt hills, this serene garden tended by an aging hippie seems like an iconic, timeless scene one that many people might imagine is what typical pot-growing looks like. But the reality couldn't be more different.

Northern California's highly advanced medical marijuana market is dominated not by hippie-grown, outdoor, sustainable marijuana, but by fossil-fueled and nuke-powered indoor weed. The medical stuff is just a small fraction of the recreational market, but, in total, indoor pot consumes an estimated 8 percent of all electricity generated in California and 1 percent of all electricity generated in America. Its greenhouse emissions equal that of six million cars. Growing just one joint indoors emits two pounds of CO2.

Indeed, marijuana, once synonymous with all that is green, has become anything but in the region that gave birth to the environmental movement. Residents in the liberal Bay Area routinely elbow past each other to buy cage-free eggs, free-range beef, and organic strawberries, and yet their weed habit costs a Fukushima's-worth of power every year.


Very interesting, in depth article comparing various growing methods, and their real environmental cost.
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