The Primary Land Users Group (PLUG) representing a
cross-section of forestry, dairy, horticulture and dry-stock
land-users has called out the Green Party, asking how they
can reconcile their desire for legal cannabis with the
negative environmental effects from cannabis

In a media
, they’ve highlighted the experience of
overseas jurisdictions where there has been erosion, river
diversion, and habitat destruction from large grows, and say
that the Greens “are quite vocal about blaming
agriculture and the burning of fossil fuels for the
country’s GHG emissions but it seems, taking the USA
consumption as an example of the likely effects from
legalisation in NZ, that logic does not come into their
thinking – it is just about

They also highlight concerns
around “the case of pollution with the use of
chemicals, which are often used to kill rodents which may
damage the crop. These chemicals make their way into the
sewage system and into our water supplies. They also make
their way into the food chain, and can pose significant
health risks to predators,”
and that in Colorado, the
voracious energy consumption of growers is rubbing up
against the city’s ambitions of cutting greenhouse
.” They also say that “producing just a
couple of pounds of weed can have the same environmental
toll as driving across America seven times

their concluding statements, they warn; “The
legalisation of recreational or medicinal marijuana in eight
states including California, Florida and Massachusetts,
means some of the nation’s hard-earned progress towards
climate change solutions is on the chopping block as
regulators continue to ignore this industry’s mushrooming
carbon footprint

SayNopeToDope campaign
spokesperson Aaron Ironside says “The full effects of the
industry on the natural environment are only just beginning
to be recognised. These impacts occur even under a so-called
“regulated” environment, as the vast amounts of water
and electricity needed to power marijuana farms are damaging
to the environment. One average kilogram of final product is
with 4600 kg of carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.
According to research published
in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology,
cannabis cultivation consumes 5.2 MWh/y/kg of electricity
and produces roughly 4.6 metric ton of CO2/kg of

“If the Greens really want to protect
the environment and reduce carbon dioxide emissions, then
they should not be pushing for introducing the cannabis
industry into New Zealand which may lead to environmental


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