Maybe I’m a little cranky today, but something I just read has me fuming like Lewis Black. Check this chain of events: California in particular, and the U.S. a whole, are finally coming around to the idea of decriminalizing marijuana, with medical use acting as the wedge just like everybody said it would. For the most part I fully support this idea, though I worry a) that our youth will damage their brain cells with cheap, readily available cheeba and b) that having it be legal will take all the fun out of it for them.
Taking advantage of this change in the general attitude toward the ganja, my beloved Oakland has been one of the more aggressive cities in licensing and taxing growers, and is getting even more so in anticipation of de facto legalization being passed by voters in November. Again, this is a good thing. People like to get high and they like to drink, and I think people on the right and the left can agree at this point that it’s not government’s business to stop them. What government can do is regulate the business and scoop some money off the top to support services that people need.
Here’s the part that bugs me: Oakland is licensing four colossal indoor growing facilities. As pointed out by the faithful East Bay Express, the massive amounts of energy required to grow tons of cannabis indoors will not only put a major strain on our electrical grid, but release large amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. This comes just as the U.S. experienced its hottest month in recorded history in July 2010.
So here is what we are doing, fellow humans: exacerbating an already risky global-warming situation to grow a plant that isn’t even food and could just as easily be grown with free and abundant sunlight. Why? What the hell is wrong with us? I refer you back to the headline.