The Environmental Effects

Marijuana And It’s Effects On
Our Environment

Growing Green Isn’t GREEN

The legalization of marijuana it is mostly centered around heath factors, taxes, economy, crime rates, dispensaries, legislation, MONEY and so on… It is very uncommon to hear about the environmental effects growing marijuana has on our environment. 

Electricity

Marijuana Plants most specifically indoor grown marijuana plants, use massive amounts of electricity. From extremely bright UV lights, heat extraction, and ventilation, Electricity usage in Colorado is skyrocketing. To grow 4 marijuana plants it uses as much electricity as 29 refrigerators.  They are finding that people are actually stealing electricity to avoid extreme costs. 

Chemicals 

Pesticides and Fertilizers are commonly used in grow in both indoor and outdoor Marijuana Crops. Rodent Poison is another common chemical found in and around marijuana crops, as mice and rats are attracted to the plants. This is causing problems as the mice and rats are eating the poison them other animals are eating the dead rodents and dying or getting very sick themselves. 

In northern California people are using Illegal Fertilizers and pesticides on their crops when it rains these chemicals run into main water sources, therefor polluting the water source. If the water source is a stream or river then those chemicals are carried further causing mass pollution. In Northern California forrestry and wildlife conservationists are finding a severe decrease in Samon and other fish due to all of the illegal marijuana gorws polluting the water

Water

Marijuana plants, like all plants, need water to grow and survive….A LOT of water. “The average (marijuana) plant uses about 6 gallons of water a day depending on its size.”(Taylor, 2014) many illegal crops are popping up throughout the Sierra Nevada’s and, like in the cascade Mountain range, utilizing a lot of water needed by our local farmers. “Growers are drawing more than 156,000 gallons of water from a single tributary of the Eel River, in Mendocino County, CA, every day” (Taylor, 2014).
Streams, rives and lakes are drying up due largely in part to the current drought, however approximately 50,000 pot farmers are redirecting water for their own use using PVC Pipes, water bottles, funnels, and pretty much anything else they can get their hands on. 

Pollution

Growing marijuana outdoors requires a lot of materials,  including irrigation equipment, fertilizer, camping material and food and water for the people working in the grow operation. They also need to be close to a water source and have adequate sunlight. These
illegal water diversions and the materials used to divert the water, as well as increased sedimentation and pesticide use, are the main environmental impacts from marijuana grow operations.

“Near Fish Lake in Humboldt County […] pot farmers were using PVC pipe, Dixie cups, funnels and even 2-liter Pepsi bottles to divert water for 5,000 plants.”
                               -DeWayne Little, a lieutenant with CDFW’s                                                  Watershed Enforcement Team

Once the grow operation is complete these farmers are leaving behind truckloads of garbage and trash, as well as poisonous materials and illegal fertilizers.  All of these items are susceptible to wildlife ingestion, as well as polluting bodies of water and Forrest area.  

References:

Patterson, Brittney. “California’s 50,000 Pot Farms Are Sucking Rivers Dry.” Scientific American. 3 July 2015. Web. 15 Dec. 2015. 

​TAYLOR, HARRIET. “Water-Guzzling Pot Plants Draining Drought-Wracked California – NBC News.” NBC News. NBC News, 8 July 2014. Web. 9 Dec. 2015. 


See Some Examples
Photos and Fact Information From
MotherJones.com