Men and women who care about preserving America’s rich natural resources and farmland need to be aware of the huge threat being imposed by the marijuana industry. Big Weed is causing a big water problem in areas of the country that suffer from summer droughts. Marijuana plants soak up huge amounts of water, and often the pot growers steal that water from neighbors who need it. Deer Creek in Oregon has run dry because of the theft of its water by marijuana growers. Cannabis needs the most water during dry summer months when water shortages have worsened for everyone else.
In Humboldt County, California, cannabis plants have been diverting so much water that the wells of neighbors are running dry. A settlement in 2019 to address this has not been successful, and people are being asked to create their own ponds to try to maintain enough water for themselves. If any other crop caused the same harm to the environment that marijuana causes, environmentalists would have protested it out of existence decades ago. Yet, marijuana gets a free pass to destroy our natural resources just because it is more trendy with the left.
Estimates are that cannabis requires 100 to 200 gallons of water to grow merely one pound of it. That translates to 10 or more gallons of water wasted for every tiny ounce of pot. Legalizing pot a decade ago in Colorado caused an explosion in pot-growing there, legal and illegal, which has drained water away from the Colorado River on which Arizona and Nevada depend. Water-wasteful marijuana farming is surging at a 16% annual increase, and will triple in size in the next eight years.
Cannabis also has a devastating effect on the soil, as pot-growers often deplete the nutrients of land and leave it barren while they move on to harm more soil elsewhere. Traditional agriculture rotates crops so the soil remains viable indefinitely. Senators in flyover country should reject special legislation for the cannabis industry. Water in the Midwest is plentiful. Let’s keep it that way for our legitimate crops and comfortable living for everyone.