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Mountains Meet Lake




The huge number of marijuana growth and other synthetic drug labs are having a very negative effect on our environment.

In observance of World Earth Day, the conversation around environmental impact has taken a sharp turn to address the burgeoning issues surrounding the cultivation and legalization of cannabis. The latest reports draw an inseparable link between this practice and the deterioration of public environmental health.

An authoritative analysis by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reveals that the carbon footprint of indoor cannabis cultivation is colossal, landing between 16 and 100 times greater than its outdoor
counterpart. This difference stems from the energy-intensive nature of artificial cultivation environments. Similarly, laboratory-produced drugs such as cocaine leave a carbon trace 30 times wider than that of
cocoa bean production.

The environmental ramifications of these findings are profound. Deforestation and rapacious water usage associated with the illicit cultivation of cannabis significantly contributes to these adverse effects.

This hazardous pattern propagates unfavorably, affecting not only human communities but the entirety of the Earth's ecosystems. The UNODC report raises the alarm that other organisms and animals suffer
indirectly due to such practices, which ultimately imbalance the delicate food chain.

Our reports inform us that while the cannabis industry burgeons and cannabis stocks soar amid North American and global legalization waves, there's a silent crisis unfolding. Advances in the market are
in stark contrast with the escalating ecological footprint, further illuminated by wastewater studies that indicate tracking cannabis use is fraught with challenges.

In an attempt to contextualize the individual's accountability and the cannabis industry's responsibility within the climate change discourse, a recent journal article frames a compelling question.
Which came first – the chicken of escalating drug demand driven by addiction and self-medication or the egg of catastrophic environmental damage propelled by drug cultivation and production?

The Dalgarno Institute, acutely focused on the intersection of public health and environmental stewardship, highlights the perils of normalized cannabis usage amidst such dire environmental consequences.

It stands firm in its commitment to educating the community and legislatures about the net negative impact of cannabis growth on our planet's wellbeing—both ecological and human.

On a day meant to galvanize action towards sustainability and respectful coexistence with nature, we are urged to consider the broader, often concealed, consequences of cannabis legalization.

In keeping with our duty to the community, it is essential for all stakeholders involved, from legislators to consumers, to closely examine the tangible repercussions of their choices. We must commit to the protection of our environment, fortify against public health decline, and resist the allure of unverified, and in many cases, clearly failed ‘Cannabis liberalisation’ solutions to the detriment of planetary health and a growing number of its most vulnerable citizens.

As we move forward, the imperative for authentic, serious discourse on the environmental impact of cannabis cultivation is clear. The call to act responsibly and decisively has never been more urgent.

In light of these revelations, the Dalgarno Institute reiterates the urgency of integrating environmental consciousness into our policy-making and communal behaviors. Acknowledging the data presented
by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) that highlights the severe environmental implications of indoor cannabis cultivation and synthetic drug manufacturing, our conversation must pivot towards sustainable practices. Similarly, the alarming connections between drug demand, addiction, and environmental degradation necessitate a more profound communal and legislative introspection. It is no longer viable to overlook the ecological footprint associated with the drug industry, especially in the context of cannabis legalisation accelerating pace worldwide.

The challenge lies not only in advocating for policy change but also in fostering a collective responsibility towards environmental stewardship. At the very least we must encourage a transition to outdoor cultivation methods for cultivation of cannabis product for legitimate medicines, that significantly reduce carbon footprints and implement stringent regulations for waste management in drug production. Additionally, supporting research into sustainable licit drug cultivation and production practices can pave the way for innovations that align with our environmental goals.

Our commitment to the environment and public health emphasises the need for informed choices and actions. By recognizing the intricate link between our habits, industries, and the planet's health, we can
begin to mitigate the adverse effects highlighted in the UNODC report.

Together, as a community invested in the future of our planet, we call for a concerted effort to reevaluate and adjust our practices in favor of a more sustainable and healthy world.

The Dalgarno Institute's engagement with World Earth Day is not merely a call to action but a reminder of our shared responsibility to heal and protect our planet. Through education, policy reform, and community efforts, we can reduce demand and subsequently counter the negative impacts of drug cultivation and production on the environment. It is imperative that we act now, with conviction and collaboration, to ensure a thriving planet for future generations.

Team @ Dalgarno Institute



The carbon footprint of indoor cannabis is between 16 and 100 times greater, than for outdoor cannabis, on average, according to the report – due to the intensive energy demands of artificial cultivation. And it is 30 times greater for lab-produced cocaine, than that for cocoa bean production.

Other environmental impacts include substantial deforestation associated with illicit coca cultivation; waste generated during synthetic drug manufacturing, which can be 5-30 times the volume of the end product; and dumping other waste that can affect soil, water and air directly.

Other organisms, animals and the overall food chain, suffer indirectly, said UNODC.

Earth Day 2022 and World Wearying Weed!

Cultivating Disaster – Cannabis and Earth Day!

Earth-Day 2023: Dear Plant E, Weed is NOT Your Friend!

Cannabis Stocks Continue Skyrocketing Amid Florida And Global Legalization Advances

Wastewater study sheds light on tracking cannabis use challenges

Global Cannabis Outlook: Worldwide Developments in 2024

Climate Change and Substance-Use Behaviors: A Risk-Pathways Framework

Which comes first the Chicken of ever increasing drug use over the last 30 years with the relentless demand that addiction, hedonism and self-medication drive. Or, the egg of ecosystem destruction and climate interfering that drug use cultivation and production precipitates? I want my drugs! I need my drugs! I Planet be damned?

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