Pubdate: Tue, 14 Jul 2015
Source: Sacramento Bee (CA)
Copyright: 2015 The Sacramento Bee
Author: Ellen Komp


Re "It's past time to regulate medical marijuana" (Editorials, July 
3): We at Cal NORML recognize that there are serious localized 
problems surrounding marijuana growing and its water use, and have 
been working again this year for the regulation of commercial-sized 
cannabis farms at a state level.

However, statewide, the amount of water being used for marijuana is a 
drop in a bucket compared to the 35 million to 45 million acre-feet 
used for agriculture in California. We calculate that cannabis, licit 
and illicit, uses only 12,000 acre-feet of water yearly, which is in 
line with the Emerald Growers Association's estimate. Researcher 
Keith Humphreys of Stanford notes that, while the USDA data show that 
936,000 acres are devoted to growing almonds, the marijuana 
consumption of the entire U.S. population could be cultivated using 
only 1 percent of that acreage.

Let's be sure that we are looking at all possible solutions to the 
very real issues we face, instead of scapegoating a familiar, 
headline-grabbing one.

Ellen Komp, Sacramento
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom