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 17th, 2011
1:56 pm

LMAO 250w can get the job done with the right kinda light. LMMFAO @ 600w isnt enough light. google 250w HPS grow or 400w HPS grow then tell me 600w isnt enough . i live in cali in the bay area . nothing aggrevates me more then false info on my beloved plant thats better then any man made drug


April 17th, 2011
3:23 pm

lol from cali an grow medical bud if that 1% stuff was true it still wont amount to any thing and if weed is so bad why did our gov make it legal during war 2 and have farmers all across usa growing, and why did they write the constitution on it lol is my gov telling me that the most usefull plant on earth can only be used by them o yeah i bet the owner of that vw dose more for the enviorment than the person who wrote this story


April 17th, 2011
3:43 pm

something to think about for those of you how suffer ongoing pain and think weed is bad think about this when you in pain would you let me give you herion or cocaine course not but because your dr say its okay you do.b4 you say what the hell let me explain vicodnoe,norco,percocet,oxycotin,morphine are things he will give but fail to tell u all these come from opiates for u how dont know thats where herion comes from thats why all these are highly addictive unlike weed when go to a get a filling first thing they do is give you cocaine in the form of novicaine to make you feel no pain. point is this if we found a useful to use something as bad as herion and coke weed should be a no brainer


April 17th, 2011
4:26 pm

Just legalize it and everybody can grow outside. Furthermore, why do they do “studies” on this and not on a detailed study of the plant itself? They would find it harmless to users…cracking the theory it is addictive and harmful like heroine and cocaine. Stop selling alcohol and cigarettes that are known to be harmful!


April 17th, 2011
4:48 pm

MJ can be grown successfully indoors with as little as one incadence lightbulb.

MANY small town closet growers spend as little as 25$ a month in electricity while still yielding 1-2lbs per month, which is enough to satisfy any medical grower.

A closet with a “2″ 400w bulbs one for HPS one for MH. run about 35$ a month.

I do not see how the carbonfootprint of all of the legal/illegal grow ops could out weigh the massive large scale tree farms / greenhouses present in almost every county/country/state.

get this

April 17th, 2011
6:08 pm

it takes roughly 750-900kw (kilowatts) of electricity to produce 1-1.5 lbs of finished quality indoor medical grade cannabis. To break it down further that would = 1.34kw-2kw of electricity per gram of finished product. This is using (1) 1kw light + fans + pumps over a 4×4ft area for 12hrs a day for 60 days..

Legalize it

April 17th, 2011
7:11 pm

Killing polar bears! Give me a break. The marijuana growers are doing this all by themselves? How bout all the people living in McMansions that leave every light on. How about the fact that we have absolutely no conservations efforts in any area of resources.

This is an absolutely crap piece of news which is indicative of the dribble we get from the AJC.

Legalize it. Grow it outdoors. Tax it. Every bodies happy.

Lounge Lizard

April 17th, 2011
11:11 pm

What about using CFL’s? or LED’s? Talk about stealth operation!!


April 18th, 2011
12:22 am

Maybe as responsible cannibus consumers we vet this report and check his sources, estimates etc, and then start looking at how to make cannibus production cleaner and more efficient indoor grows and outdoor grows. If we approach this seriously and not just spit out the same old stoned cliche’s,
we might be able to move toward decriminalization much faster than we are now. Just a thought while enjoying a bit o bud.

to truley sad

April 18th, 2011
7:30 am

“how long will we let bible thumping voters continue to supress the ‘devil-weed’”

you really have no idea what you are talking about if you think it is “bible thumpers” keeping this drug illegal, do some real research on why it is illegal

and I honestly hope it stays illegal, just what we need to more stoners on the highways

Angry Goat

April 18th, 2011
8:40 am

More hate toward hippies with bs propaganda. U should note that indoor cultivation began as direct reaction to aggressive, civil rights violating law enforcement using planes, helicopters and satellite images to spot pot growing. Air force uses half of US oil per year. War on drugs and Terror is much more nefarious and energy wasteful than humble hippy bus. Get it right, bourgeois pigs!


April 19th, 2011
11:33 am

@ daniel, stoned again and not true…the general rule is 100 watts per square foot. So adequate, ideal lighting for a 4 x 4 space would be 1600 watts. 4ft x 4ft = 16sq ft. 100w per sq ft = 1600 watts. now with some mylar or reflective material in a space that small, you could easily settle with 1000w as long as you made sure you rotated your plants to get the most light possible. I personally use cooler, florescent grow lights in an enclosed cabinet (roughly 2′ x 3′) and a 200 w light is more than ample. I grow fruits and vegetables both indoors and outdoors so I don’t use much electricity on grow lighting.


April 20th, 2011
11:03 pm

Watts up with these weed haters!
I’m shocked to learn of volt I see is an current widely held distortion!


April 21st, 2011
8:04 am

While the energy use to grow an illegal product should not be a major factor in legalizing it, there are truly no reasons marijuana/hemp should be illegal. It is no more dangerous than alcohol or cigarettes. It has proven medical benefits. All you Republicans whining about the welfare state that has taken over people’s lives should get on the bus for legalization!


April 21st, 2011
8:08 am

Quit, TRUE CHRISTIAN, or some idiot Republican who believes Steven Colbert is a true conservative will think you’re actually serious!