For years, they have been the best of friends, but it looks like marijuana and the environmental movement could be about to fall out.
According to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the drug of choice of eco-hippies, hip hop artists and people who actually think Seth Rogen comedies are funny is choking the planet, and not in a good way.
The paper from Evan Mills, entitled Energy up in Smoke: The Carbon Footprint of Indoor Cannabis Production, calculates that indoor cannabis production accounts for one per cent of all US electricity consumption and requires energy expenditure of $5bn a year (no wonder the resulting little plant is so expensive).
Running through the calculations, Mills reckons that smoking one tiny little joint (honest, officer) is equivalent to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours and results in two pounds of CO2 emissions.
Mills is keen not to antagonise the tokers, stating that the report "does not pass judgement on the merits of cannabis cultivation" and noting that the carbon footprint of cannabis production could be significantly reduced through basic energy efficiency measures – measures that are made all the harder as a result of the evil weed's continuing criminalisation.
The Sceptic Tank, for one, is hugely disappointed. We had always signed up to the stoners' belief that all the world's problems could be solved if everyone would just come join them and spark up – turns out they were wrong.
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