Mongabay Article: Legal and illegal cannabis: A cause for growing environmental concern
This is the best article we have seen on the topic for quite some time About Mongabay Mongabay is a U.S.-based non-profit conservation and environmental science news platform. SOURCE: https://news.mongabay.com/2022/06/legal-and-illegal-cannabis-a-cause-for-growing-environmental-concern/ Legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational use is an expanding global trend in the U.S. and globally, while the illicit market continues to feed large swaths of demand. Both the legal and illegal markets are linked to environmental challenges such as freshwater use, land-use change, toxic and nutrient pollution, and climate change-contributing CO2 emissions. Emerging legal cannabis businesses in the U.S. are subject to strict regulation, but many operate in ways that can contribute to environmental harms. While the scope of damage from booming legal growing operations is now being better assessed, the impacts of illicit clandestine operations remain mostly undetermined. Cannabis, marijuana, pot, bud, grass or herb — no matter its nickname, this go-to drug has long been associated with the essence of “green” and connected to eco-friendly movements. Yet, as legalization for medicinal and recreational use gathers pace globally, concerns are rising over the environmental impacts of this nascent industry as it emerges from the shadows of its illicit past. Both sides of the cannabis business — the legal and illegal markets — are responsible for environmental damage to varying degrees, experts say, potentially contributing to pressures on Earth’s “safe operating space.” Among the concerns are the impacts on freshwater supplies, threats to biodiversity, changes in land use, and potentially vast emissions of CO2, adding to ever-worsening climate change. Legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational use is gathering pace at the global level. Image by Ryan Lange via Unsplash. A growing trend Cannabis is the world’s drug of choice, consumed by an estimated 200 million people annually, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).…
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Source : Mongabay Article: Legal and illegal cannabis: A cause for growing environmental concern
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