First, while growing outdoor pot is not especially ecologically benign, it’s far more benign than raising commodities like cattle, rice or alfalfa. Consider: Agriculture uses 80 percent of California’s developed water supply; alfalfa soaks up a full 20 percent of that. The alfalfa is used primarily to create forage for feedlot and dairy. That means that 1 gallon out of every 5 used in California goes to a crop that humans can’t eat.
People don’t make a meal of marijuana either, of course. But measured by water, marijuana barely registers on the California’s water scale. A pound of pot requires, at the outermost limit, 250 gallons to grow, which means that a large serving of it requires about a half pint of water. By contrast, an orange takes 13 gallons water, a glass of wine 32 gallons, and a hamburger 600 gallons.
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