It sounds crazy, but there are some pretty strong links between cannabis legalization and global warming. This could potentially have massive benefits. Global warming is heavily linked to the increase of CO2 (carbon dioxide) in our atmosphere. According to NASA, our CO2 levels are the highest they have been in 400,000 years. This is because of multiple reasons. The rise of industrialization, mining, and increased use of automotive vehicles all play a part. So how is this linked to cannabis legalization?
Lack of Cannabis Legalization Increases CO2
Plants actually absorb CO2 to produce oxygen using a process called photosynthesis. Every ton of hemp grown can absorb up to 1.63 tons of CO2. If we started using hemp more, we would have to grow more. The more we grow, the more CO2 is absorbed. Thus, if we started growing hemp nationwide and/or worldwide, the effects could help solve our CO2 problem.Furthermore, about 6 kilograms of CO2 is produced when only 1 kilogram of plastic is incinerated. Hemp is pretty effective at replacing plastic.
Buffalo Hemp Co. is using hemp already to produce a wide variety of products that are traditionally made with plastic. The CEO, Denver Mackintosh, plans to increase this by 2018. Less plastic being incinerated equals less CO2 released into our atmosphere.
A lack of tree’s due to deforestation is another problem linked to global warming. Not only are the tree’s a natural CO2 absorber, but cutting them down actually produces even more CO2.
Currently, deforestation is responsible for about 15 percent of the effects of global warming. Therefore, if we achieved cannabis legalization, we could replace trees with hemp for our wood and paper products. This would allow us to absorb more CO2, produce less, and keep our tree’s alive and well.
Illegal Grow Ops a Big Problem
Additionally, illegally run indoor grow operations generate their fair share of carbon emissions. This is largely due to grow operations having to use gas generators to stay off the grid.
Cannabis legalization would remove this need and effectively drop CO2 levels. Annually, they produce 15 tons. The equivalent of about 3 million cars.While we are speaking of cars, did you know that hemp can actually be made into ethanol? Ethanol is a much cleaner alternative to the fuel we use currently.
In 2012, Argonne National Lab revealed that using ethanol infused fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions. This could reduce our emissions by up to 48 percent. That’s huge.While legalizing cannabis certainly isn’t going prevent global warming, it would help. There are may little steps needed to be taken to prevent this issue. Cannabis legalization could potentially be a bigger part in that. Therefore, it’s definitely worth looking into.