National Politics

GA Congressman Says Marijuana Legalization Would Pose Threat to U.S. Energy Grid

A Congressman from Georgia spearheaded the initiative to pen a letter to the Biden administration this week, joined by a colleague who says that nationwide marijuana legalization poses a threat to the nation’s energy grid.

Rep. Buddy Carter, a pharmacist from Georgia’s 1st congressional district, wrote the letter with Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado. The duo argued that there are “serious concerns regarding the energy and resource-intensive nature of marijuana cultivation.” The letter also said the practice would pose a threat to the nation’s environmental goals.

Addressed to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Information Administration Administrator Joseph DeCarolis, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan, the letter calls for more research, noting that “marijuana cultivation alone accounts for 1% of nationwide energy consumption and uses twice as much water as maize, soybeans, wheat, and wine grapes.”

In the letter, members of Congress refer to the California Independent System Operator and Midcontinent Independent System Operator, who echo their concerns, warning that “the potential for capacity shortages and blackouts only rises” if marijuana is legalized nationwide.

“As Congress debates whether to advance marijuana legalization, the American people must have a better understanding of the environmental costs of this rapidly growing industry. If the Administration seeks to reduce emissions and protect our environment as aggressively as it has previously committed, we must have a comprehensive view of where emissions and other pollution occurs, as they will likely only grow.”

The letter is backed by the political group Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a self-proclaimed opponent to marijuana legalization on the basis of preventing another ‘Big Tobacco’ crisis.

The Congressman also asked for a series of questions to be answered by November 30, 2022, including:

  • How does current marijuana legalization impact state energy consumption and emission levels?
  • How would federal legalization of marijuana affect national energy consumption and emission levels?
  • What is the anticipated growth of energy usage and emissions from the marijuana industry?
  • How will growing energy demands from the marijuana industry affect the reliability of our electric grid?
  • What impact do illegal marijuana growing operations have on the country’s water supply?
  • What harms do illegal marijuana growers’ use of various fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides pose to wildlife, habitats, and humans in the United States?

The reference to ‘nationwide marijuana legalization’ is seemingly misleading based on the current proposals pending before lawmakers. Last month, Senate Democrats unveiled their proposal for marijuana legalization, which effectively leaves the matter to the states after removing the drug from the Controlled Substances Act. The measure would also:

  • expunge all prior federal criminal convictions related to marijuana,
  • create funding for law enforcement agencies to crack down on the illegal cultivation of marijuana,
  • direct the DOT & HHS to research the effects of cannabis on driving for the purposes of creating legal limits on the substance,
  • establish grants for small businesses seeking to enter the industry, and
  • restrict marketing so it does not target minors.

You can read the full letter below.

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Jessica Szilagyi is Publisher of The Georgia Virtue. She focuses primarily on state and local politics as well as issues in law enforcement. She has a background in Political Science with a focus in local government and has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Georgia. Jessica is a "Like It Or Not" contributor for Fox5 in Atlanta, a commentator on the 'Let Me Tell You Why You're Wrong Podcast,' and she has two blogs of her own: The Perspicacious Conservative and "Hair Blowers to Lawn Mowers." Sign up for her weekly newsletter:

1 Comment

  • Robert Henry Oliver lll September 29, 2022

    California is only backing this stupidity because they make billions being the most liberal weed place in the US. Georgia knows the potential for ALL races, especially black people, to be wealthy legally which will stop the flow of us into the legal slavery that they call “correctional facilities” that poison the well before we can develop “responsibility” and morals that make us the great father’s and role models that we are capable of. Decriminalization is already making people look at black people look less”criminal”! Especially with the internet praising all the medicinal discoveries and letting everyone know of the agenda of over criminalization to hurt the black and brown communities. Now Kemp gives a card that can only be used to enrich ,the mostly, white dominated big business by saying it is a “cash card” that not one person can get cash for.

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