But what happens when self-styled environmentalists are confronted with the fact that their marijuana consumption is causing unnecessary global warming?
One of the many electric-related holiday filler stories making the rounds this season says
“Consumers seeking a green lifestyle are likely unaware that their cannabis use could cancel out their otherwise low- carbon footprint,” Evan Mills, a senior scientist for California’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, wrote in an email.
In a visit this month to a Denver warehouse, growers wore sunglasses as they checked on 150 top-heavy flowering plants. The four-foot-tall bushes were flourishing under dozens of 1,000-watt bulbs blazing 500 times brighter than reading lights.
“All these things consume too much power,” said Paul Isenbergh, a commercial real estate broker and co-owner of the 3,100-square-foot medical-marijuana operation called Sense of Healing. He gestured at equipment surrounding varieties with names like Grape Crush. “The air conditioning, the lighting, the fans, the scrubber, the humidifier.”
The atmosphere is calibrated to mimic outdoor conditions to allow growers to reap multiple harvests a year. In an unvirtuous cycle, the intense heat from the lights requires air conditioning and fans to keep grow rooms at 75 degrees, a dehumidifier to prevent mold and a carbon-dioxide injection system. The electric bill for all this: as much as $5,000 a month.
“Most of the power in our region is coming from the burning of coal, which has a powerful negative footprint,” Flax said. “We were aware there would be an increase in the carbon footprint because of this industry. We are trying to get out ahead of it.”
Or maybe the environmentalists can continue to deny their contribution to global warming and simply get high and eat an entire bag of gluten-free, non-GMO Doritos?