Legalizing marijuana is good for the environment

Cannabis has medical benefits, is better for the body than alcohol and can ease anxiety – and with greater legalization it would be better for the planet too

Marijuana is becoming increasingly popular and marijuana use is increasing. Generation Z is turning away from alcohol and using weed as a healthy alternative. Michigan just hit $3 billion in sales and other states are setting records. As the federal government considers rescheduling, medical marijuana will expand as the FDA will be able to monitor consistency and dosage. But where are all the products produced? Legalizing marijuana is good for the environment and good for patients.

The Fresh Toast – Legalizing marijuana is good for the environment and would also be good for patients.

Related: California or New York, where there's the biggest marijuana mess

Legalizing marijuana would allow traditional agricultural states, particularly in the South, to add cannabis to crop rotations. While there are already outdoor groups in the South, particularly in the states of Florida, Georgia and Alabama, federal approval would improve farming practices. Currently, illegal crops are hidden on agricultural land in forest areas or grown in only two small quantities to be effective. Canada, which was the first major company to lift restrictions, was expected to become the world's supplier.

Photos by Jen Chiu

Canada's crops are wheat, canola, mustard, barley, rye, oats, corn and soybeans. These plants can thrive in the northern Canadian environment. While wheat requires more water, winter wheat and crop rotation allow farmers to take advantage of Canada's vast amounts of farmland.

When Canada introduced legalization, companies like Tilray existed, but massive indoor grows cost tens of millions of dollars. Indoor cultivation not only produces significant CO2 emissions, but also does not allow for more natural uses such as rainwater. Everything has to be driven by energy-consuming systems. On average, a cannabis plant uses an estimated 22.7 liters or 6 gallons of water per day during the growing season. Grapes that are irrigated use an estimated 12.64 liters of water per day.

Growing indoors doesn’t mean better harvests either.

RELATED: Science Says Medical Marijuana Improves Quality of Life

Using a natural environment is healthy for the farmer, the plant and the planet.

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