Unfortunately, a reliable count hasn’t been done in years, but back in 2006, there were approximately 17.5 million outdoor marijuana plants in the state. (That number has almost certainly skyrocketed since, given that the DEA has eased its enforcement, but we’ll be conservative and use the old number.) Meanwhile, one outdoor marijuana plant requires approximately six gallons of water per day during its roughly 150-day growing season. That means that, over California’s four-year drought, outdoor marijuana plants — based on the six-gallon a day estimate, and the 2006 figure — have used roughly 63 billion gallons of California water. (Indoor growing is also rough on the environment; roughly 9 percent of household electricity use in the state is used for marijuana cultivation, reports Evan Mills of the Lawrence Berkeley National Library.)
The writer goes on to say that California is already producing more marijuana than Mexico and with a much higher potency. Could get interesting if the migrant lettuce pickers go to the wrong field and the results get shipped East and put in the produce aisle.
This is a story that twenty years ago I would never have believed. Take a moment to think about the millions of dollars the US Government is giving the Mexican Government to eradicate marijuana fields in Mexico. Someone is crazy and I don’t think it’s me.