EarthTalk: Would Legalizing Pot Be Good For The Environment?

Dear EarthTalk: I heard someone say that legalizing pot – as Californians considered doing last year – would benefit the environment. How would that be?

– William T., Portland, Oregon

It is well known that legalizing pot could have great economic benefits in California and elsewhere by allowing the government to tax it (like it now does on liquor and cigarettes), by ending expensive and ongoing operations to eradicate it, and by keeping millions of otherwise innocent and non-violent marijuana offenders out of already overburdened federal and state prisons. But what you might not know is that legalizing pot could also pay environmental dividends as well.

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