Marijuana production uses 1 percent of all U.S. electricity

Unlike the smokable plant, marijuana production ain’t green.

Just a guess, but the driver of this van is causing global warming.

The driver of this van has no idea he's killing baby polar bears.

Marijuana has a Godzilla-sized carbon footprint, with indoor production consuming one percent of all electricity produced in the United States, according to a study.

The resulting carbon dioxide emissions from all those power plants is equivalent to operating 3 million badly painted Volkswagen Microbuses (see photo).

Here’s some more interesting facts:

* Energy costs account for 25 percent of marijuana wholesale costs.

* The energy required to produce one joint is equal to running a 100-watt light bulb for 17 hours.

* A four-by-four-foot lighted “production module” uses the same energy as 30 refrigerators.

Of course, after reading all that, you’re probably wondering how much in energy costs the U.S. could save if we just let people grow marijuana outdoors.

The answer? $5 billion, or 2.5 million pounds of weed.

115 comments Add your comment


April 15th, 2011
2:51 pm

pot smokers are some lame losers. ah ah ah. keep on smoking DUDE. LOL


April 15th, 2011
2:52 pm

you blancos are some estupidos. va par el carajo maricon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


April 15th, 2011
2:54 pm

•Man drives around smoking pot with dead friend for 3 days

Place filled with fumes

April 15th, 2011
3:08 pm

@ Oh yeah. Suppose a home was filled with carpet, linens and other products made from hemp
and the place went up in flames its possible folks could get so high from the weed fumes that they may never leave the home.

Vick=Dog killing thug

April 15th, 2011
3:16 pm

Don’t bogart that joint my friend….

Re Hotep

April 15th, 2011
3:36 pm

In a world thats not driven by monetary gains, Hemp would create more jobs, cures and a greener planet,..Hemp can be harvested in a season and could make much stronger materials than the trees we cut down that takes a hundread years to grow…cigarets and alcohol creates medical problems which is great for the medical industry, so….


April 15th, 2011
3:36 pm

@place filled with fumes Uh, NO. Hemp does not contain THC (the psychoactive ingredient of cannabis).

Atlanta Mike

April 15th, 2011
3:39 pm

Duuuuude maaaaaan…..Totally!


April 15th, 2011
3:45 pm

HAHA, this pot was a sting operation! Expect a ring at your doorbell any minute.


April 15th, 2011
3:45 pm

lol, that was supposed to be “post” not pot. Got caught up in the subject.

Drugs sell on tv late nite legaly

April 15th, 2011
3:51 pm

Bobby needs a splif!

that guy

April 15th, 2011
3:58 pm

To all the ppl before me. I am going to do some math, and not really show the work, but it makes sense, I promise! 1%=5B, so yearly avg is like a 500B dollars. Avg Lights are 400-1000W. tents like described use a 400-600w lamp.Most of the big grows (in cali) are either outdoor, or from smaller rooms, I.E neirborhood guy with a tent. all the other, which will be the smalles group would be the warehouses. Using multiple, upon multiple 1000W lamps. They make up for maybe 1% of the market. So, this equals a lot of product getting grown, A LOT! All over the place, your neighbors, teachers, employees, EVERYONE! It is not illegal because it gets you high, doesnt really get you high after the first few times anyway. It is illegal because it has the ability to put a lot of big industry out of business. That is all…

Nay Thin Deal

April 15th, 2011
4:44 pm

I don’t smoke (anymore). But I believe in democracy.

headley lamar

April 15th, 2011
4:48 pm

You wanna balance the budget.

1. Make marijuana legal and tax it
2. Release all non violent criminals in jail on marijuana related crimes.

Wont take very long.

Cannabis is Good

April 15th, 2011
5:29 pm

Actually cannabis production offsets carbon when done organically outdoors via sunlight; because of the immoral, tyrannical, fascist (literal use of the term there) prohibition, growers do it indoors. The prohibition is not green… the prohibition is one of the worst civil rights abuses in US history.


April 15th, 2011
6:24 pm

leagalizing pot makes more sense than adding taxes to things we already pay too much for. the revenue and job created by legalization are endless and worth billions all which could go to help this country, easy the suffering for the sick, and understanding that drinking alcholic drinks can lead to death in just one session of binge drinking, it is impossible to die from smoking weed, you might get hungry or sleepy and really relaxed but in the morning there is no hang-over, no vomiting, so missing work because i had to many joints the night before, unlike the drinker you wont smell the alcohol on my breath because i dont need it and my choice for relaxation only lasts a few hours not at least 8 just so i dont have to eat breath mints to hide my habits from my boss.

Not true

April 15th, 2011
6:50 pm

TO DANIEL, I never said a whole house, I said a 4×4 space can be done with 600 watts or less.

It was the research paper that claimed that a 4×4 “module”(whatever that means) requires the same energy as 30 refrigerators, or about 24,000 watts. Yes a grow house might use that much wattage, but a 4×4 space(like in a personal grow) no…not true. 600 watts(or less if you use LEDs or HO T5 lights)


April 15th, 2011
7:16 pm

The only reason its illegal is cause the gov’t cant control or tax it. The states out West have it figured out, legalize it. The 5-0 have bigger and worse drugs to worry about like Heroin and Meth. Hell its so petty anymore, in some states its the same charge as a speeding ticket! The West is the Best…..

rick day

April 15th, 2011
8:35 pm

not going to wade through the comments, but statistically speaking 100% of what was used as assumption were just that…ASSUMPTIONS.

There is no way to do anything but take W.A.G.s at that number.

Even if it were half the number of .5%, cannabis hemp was designed by our Creator to grow outdoors, in abundance. The obvious solution to clandestine indoor growing is replacing prohibition with a “restrict and tax” model of control.

rick day

April 15th, 2011
8:37 pm

Also, your assumption that the photo image of the person with the VW mini-van either uses, (or an even greater reach), grows cannabis.

Stereotype much? In journalism, we call that ‘low hanging fruit’.


April 15th, 2011
8:43 pm

George Mathis . . . . get another job . . . you obviously don’t know what you are talking about.


April 15th, 2011
8:59 pm

Talk about some garbage propaganda! If you believe this DEA/Law enforcement/Goverment fairy poop, good luck with your life.
How stupid are these people who want to control everyones life. (Especially when they see how boring my life is). At least say pot causes something, warts or Hiv or something. Make it a little believable please.
Do you know how much 1% of all power in the US would be?


April 15th, 2011
9:01 pm

Yeah Daniel I’m sure you’ve just seen a bunch of them. Dumb stoner.


April 15th, 2011
9:04 pm

Well, I am conservative and a Christian. I think legalizing pot is the right thing to do on every level. Look back at OhYeah’s list of points and every one is completely valid. Pot is far less harmful than alcohol. Sure, it would be just as illegal to smoke pot and drive a car, same as for alcohol. It just does not carry the health risks. No one is going to smoke pot and get aggressive as they do with alcohol. It just makes all the sense in the world. Let it go. Sell it in liquor stores, check IDs, collect taxes and put the drug runners out of business. It is clear as a bell: If alcohol and tobacco are legal, then why not relatively harmless marijuana?


April 15th, 2011
9:06 pm

Yes you are truly sad. What the F@@K does the bible have to do with this story? I’m a devout Christian, but I’ve got no problem with drugs. Legalize all of them. God gave us freedom of choice, the least the stupid boneheads in goverment could do is respect that.
Anyone with a brain can figure out that this story is total BS, written by a proud fool. And that pot is just a plant that doesn’t do much harm if any.


April 15th, 2011
9:18 pm

That seems like a high percentage


April 15th, 2011
10:10 pm

I got five on that.

brian s.

April 16th, 2011
1:13 am

“Most marijuana is grown outdoors, and growing in a 4×4 space only requires 600 watts or less.”

and a typical modern refrigerator on “normal” setting uses much less than 600 watts per hour… usually runs less than 1/4th of th etime. so probably more like 30-60 watts. which was the point of the article…


April 16th, 2011
6:54 am

no one knows better than the herbiculturist; grass is always greener in the closet but tastes like sour sneakers.


April 16th, 2011
7:35 am

Cough Cough Bullspit Cough………

Mark The RV Guy

April 16th, 2011
9:45 am

The fact that it is illegal is what fuels the war in Mexico. Smuggling weed accounts for 70% of revenue to drug gangs in Mexico. This outdated position by the US Government has cost 10s of thousands of lives in Mexico. There is not a single legitimate reason for weed to be illegal. Hey, alcohol is legal, however it is socially destructive, mentally and physically harmful to those who use it and the for those who have to live with addicts. No one comes home on Friday night, gets high and beats his wife and kids.

Biff Clinton

April 16th, 2011
9:47 am

Marijuana Prohibition is the most destructive and dysfunctional social policy in America since Slavery. Legalize Marijuana and stop playing this stupid outdated reefer madness game

Lisa Pound

April 16th, 2011
9:49 am

I wish thousands of Marijuana users would plant seeds all over the State Capitol grounds this spring and show those bozo’s in the State house that Marijuana is NEVER going away. EVER.

Gabe Williams

April 16th, 2011
9:52 am

All Marijuana Prohibition does is fuel the NAZI Police State here in America. Legalize it.

tom turtle

April 16th, 2011
11:08 am

With pot possession arrests increasing nationwide, I prefer smoking the marijuana mimic Krystal koat, which looks exactly pot, smokes like pot, gets good dro buzz like pot, and never test fail a drug test.

Earth Friendly

April 16th, 2011
11:38 am

@ Oh Yeah…. AMEN to your comment! Hemp is the “greener” choice in fact!


April 16th, 2011
3:01 pm

The “facts” presented here are absurdly wrong. Ask an engineer. One refrigerator uses about 850 watts. A hundred refrigerators would use about 85,000 watts. Think 850 incandescent 100 watt bulbs. The wate heat would burn the building down.

rick day

April 16th, 2011
3:56 pm

April 15th, 2011
2:47 pm

drug dealers and illegal drug users should be exterminated.

malaka, to be honest I agree: re-legalize drugs and watch while illegal drug use and illegal drug sales are exterminated!

silly monkey. you had the key the whole time :D


Denise Tasa

April 16th, 2011
4:06 pm

Are they counting the power consumption that included growing hemp for weaving cord, making paper making oil in all the statistics?


April 16th, 2011
4:40 pm

The study pulls data from the very top end of high-tech gardens, with items such as air exchanges, humidity control, and CO2 injection. I would guess that about 5-10% of indoor growers use those methods, and the rest just use a simple grow light and circulating fan. I saw a garden in CA that was a basic 4×4 setup, with a 250W MH bulb, and a small fan for air circulation. It produced 4 nice plants and a few ounces each harvest. A 250W bulb is just 3-4 times normal bulbs. In the first month of growth, the lights were on 24hrs day. The last 2 months, 12hrs a day. That brings down the usage to an avg of 16hrs a day. You get about 30-40 joints from an ounce, meaning that garden yielded about 100-120 joints over 3 months at 250W a day. I guess that could be fairly close to 1 joint a day. So the math could match up depending on your setup. Like everything, the bigger scale will yield bigger for lower avg inputs. This means that big gardens can really get good economies of scale, compared to small closet grows.


April 16th, 2011
8:15 pm

George Mathis, please provide facts and back up your wild statements.
This is just another ignorant reefer madness brainwashed induced dream of a typical prohibitionist.

Sorry George, nice try, but the truth is better reading.


April 16th, 2011
8:25 pm

Must be talking about a Hydroponic Set up. Lights, Timers, Fans, De-Humidifier, Air Pumps and
Exhaust Fans. A lot of folks now days use LED or T-4 grow lights which run cooler and are far more

big dawg

April 16th, 2011
9:09 pm

What a waste of space. Who cares how much electricity is used. Don’t get your hopes on on seeing it legalized anytime soon. If California couldn’t pass it, no state will. In the meanwhile, smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.

jim evans

April 16th, 2011
10:28 pm

Legalize marijuana. Stop throwing innocent people in jail !!!


April 17th, 2011
7:28 am

The only reason it is not legal is because the goberment can’t figure out how to regulate, tax, and distribute it. If it were leagal it would put such a hurt on the alcohol and tabbacco industry that many of the smaller businesses would close up shop, and philip morris and rj renold would take such a huge pay cut, so I am willing to bet that these are the people that are really fighting to keep it illegal, probably to the effect of lining the pockets of the people with the power to legalize it.


April 17th, 2011
9:30 am

Cool, hopefully this keeps them distracted and they never figure out why I have solar panels on my shed….”no officer, there’s no excessive use of electricity going on here, pffft cough cough”


April 17th, 2011
11:58 am

Let them grow it out in the sun. Problem solved


April 17th, 2011
11:58 am

Enter your comments here

Billy Budd

April 17th, 2011
12:02 pm

Methinketh True Christian is yanking some chains and rather wittily so…if I am wrong, I hope this person is not allowed out of the padded cell with an attendant..