Hi everyone, I’m on the road at the moment, but wanted to give a brief update. I got a few on-air comments on KQED’s Forum discussion a few days ago. The subject was the environmental costs of pot growing, spurred by the L.A. Times piece I critiqued in recent posts. Luckily, all of us, other than the guy from Fish and Game, were what you might call pro-pot environmentalists. That is to say, we understand the community, culture and economics of pot production and know it can be grown in a manner that is organic, fish-friendly, land-friendly and community-friendly. (And as shameless self-promotion, that is part of what my film shows.) We are also long-time environmental activists who are very concerned about the negative impacts that some growers are having.
This is an important distinction to make. Most people who rail against the negative impacts of pot growing are also anti-growing and anti-marijuana, which makes it hard to bridge the divide between enviros and growers. Those of us who can have one foot in each world are in the best position to find solutions.
The KQED podcast can be heard here:
Happy new years!
Mikal, Do you know if there is a written transcript of the show? I’m deaf and can’t listen to it.
Uti, sorry, no I don’t know if there is a transcript. Best bet is to check with the site, maybe check their contact info and drop them a line. If you find a transcript, let me know and I’ll post the link here for others.
Well … in the glass-is-half-full view, it’s nice to see attention being paid to environmental issues. Perhaps this heralds the start of a serious public policy debate.
No, wait, we’re talking about cannabis, so throw informed debate out the window. What you’ll see, instead, is a lemming-like rush to ban outdoor cultivation of cannabis, which of course creates ginormous environmental impacts through increased electrical consumption, risk of house fires, utility theft … and the list goes on.
As this new wave of zoning ordinances sweeps California, medical cannabis advocates would be well served by understanding the environmental costs and carbon footprints associated with both indoor and outdoor cultivation. This isn’t high on the list of concerns of many indoor growers, sadly, but inaction will bite them on the butt too with increasing indoor restrictions and energy taxes like the one just passed in Arcata. Here in Fresno, I’m attempting to challenge the city’s outdoor growing ban on grounds they failed to conduct an initial environmental study. Read more, and wish me luck: http://fresnocannabis.org/suit-targets-medical-marijuana-growing-ban/
Hi Bud, thanks for the comment and link and sorry for the delayed reply. I’m on the road and got behind on replies. That’s great that you’re challenging that ban. Indoor-only and other mindless and paranoid regulations are what we get when growers don’t come out of the woods and grow rooms and organize. Seriously, folks, what other industry sits there and lets politicians who know ZERO about the subject write regulations? Most ordinances are drawn up after lobbying and public debate by all interested parties. But, the cannabis industry by and large sits back and lets others push them around. Even industry groups that have formed often have a hard time getting funding or convincing people to show up at hearings and so on.
This passivity among growers who won’t lift a finger to look after their own interests has always been a burr in my sock. The result will be corporate-friendly, anti-environment regulations that will exclude most small farmers. That will force people to stay in the black market, even if they want to go legit.
Good luck with Fresno.