Politicians in the Netherlands are stealing Dutch farmland under the guise of an environmental emergency. This has many on the other side of the Atlantic wondering: what about cannabis & climate change legislation?

Cannabis cultivation isn’t exactly carbon-neutral. Depending on where and how you’re growing it, a cannabis farmer may use up to 22 litres of water per plant daily. According to researchers, that’s three billion litres per square kilometre for the traditional growing season, June to October.

And that’s just water use. What about other pollution issues? The Dutch farmers’ protest is a result of politicians and bureaucrats aligning more with the values of the Davos elite than with voters. So it’s only a matter of time until the same draconian legislation reaches Canada and the United States.

All in the name of combating climate change. Just as losing our mobility rights is all part of fighting the flu.

So what about cannabis and climate change legislation? BC Bud is already diminished in Canada since Trudeau never welcomed them into his legalization scam. But what about the small-time growers of Colorado or California?

The World Economic Forum (WEF) wants agriculture concentrated in the hands of a corporate-state elite. How will cannabis cultivation play into this?

Cannabis Produces Volatile Organic Compounds

Cannabis & Climate Change Legislation

William Vizuete is an associate professor at the University of North Carolina. He’s been working on an air quality model to understand better how commercial cannabis cultivation impacts the environment.

So far, much environmental criticism of the cannabis industry has stemmed from its illegal status. Farmers don’t necessarily care about their plant’s externalities when they don’t own the surrounding land.

But Vizuete’s work focuses on legal cannabis cultivation. His research shows that cannabis plants produce volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that are considered harmful pollutants.

“If plants produce VOCs, there is a high possibility that under certain conditions, cannabis cultivation could impact the ozone,” Vizuete says.

You may have heard of VOCs under a different name: terpenes.

Terpenes are a naturally occurring compound found in cannabis plants. Terpenes help give cannabis its aroma and flavour. But when mixed with nitrogen oxide and sunlight, cannabis terpenes become an ozone-degrading aerosol.

Vizuete’s research focuses on high desert zones in Colorado, where there are little-to-no sources of VOCs. Since cannabis legalization, there’s been a regular source of VOCs.

The issue grows worse in Denver, also considered a high desert zone. Combining VOCs with nitrogen oxide from cars worsens the problem. High concentrations of VOCs are linked with liver damage and cancer.

For his research, Vizuete grew four strains of cannabis for 90 days and measured their terpenes as they grew. Extrapolating from this experiment, Vizuete concludes that cannabis cultivation more than doubles the current rate of annual VOC emissions. From 520 metric tons of ozone before Colorado legalized it to 2,100 metric tons post-legalization. 

Vizuete says, “We picked four [cannabis] strains based on their popularity, and their VOC emissions might not be representative all of the strains. Additionally, in commercial facilities, where conditions are optimized for growth, emissions may be even higher.”

Cannabis & Climate Change Legislation Ignore Property Rights 

Cannabis & Climate Change Legislation

Dutch farmers are demonstrating against environmental tyranny by driving their tractors down highways, blocking roads with burning hay bales, and occupying food distribution centres, borders, and airports. And by spraying liquid manure all over government buildings.

Cannabis farmers may soon have to do the same.

It’s an insidious policy of using pollution for greater state control.

For one, pollution is a private property violation. In the 18th and early 19th centuries, the courts used to recognize pollution as such. If a train left soot all over your crops, you could go to a judge and get an injunction on the railway.

But then politicians stepped in with legislation to protect the “public good.”

The result was industry developing without having to respect private property rights. Old drawings of Victorian London show a city suffocating in smog. Smoke stacks dominate the skyline. None of that would have been possible if legislatures respected property rights.

Of course, industry would have evolved slower. But business owners would have had to calculate their externalities into their profit-and-loss statements.

Two, cutting back on emissions this late in the game will only result in mass poverty and starvation. Suppose politicians were serious about combating climate change. In that case, they’d recognize fossil fuels’ role in transitioning to a “green economy” instead of trying to ban it.

They’d also recognize that their role to play is stepping out of the way. Politicians created this mess by focusing on the “public good.” Now they’ll make it worse by, once again, ignoring everyday farmers’ struggles and concentrating on the “public good.”

Politicians are the Real Pollutants

Democratic politicians are the real pollutants. They’ll focus on the VOCs cannabis produces without recognizing the positive externalities of legalization. For example, when Oregon legalized, growers who had been illegally deforesting could now apply for a legal, above-the-board greenhouse. In other words, they didn’t have to cut down trees anymore to grow weed.

And if politicians had never prohibited cannabis from beginning with, these Oregon farmers never would have hidden their crop in a forest anyway.

Almost every single issue in society can be traced back to the consequences of relying on politicians to run civilization.

Society is concentrated action – billions of individuals acting by their ideas and values. Civilization is an emergent order that arises without any central leader or overarching plan.

It’s human nature to want to feel like we’re in control. So we concoct these ideas of electing leaders and passing laws to create the type of society we want to see.

But reality doesn’t work that way. And if the last century of cannabis prohibition and climate change legislation doesn’t convince you, nor does the Dutch farmers’ protest, then what will?

Footnote(s)

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1352231018307416
https://www.jstor.org/stable/90007339?mag=the-environmental-downside-of-cannabis-cultivation#metadata_info_tab_contents