UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACT

Use the interactive map below to learn about how the choices of cannabis businesses are connected to the health and wellbeing of our environment and communities, what makes up Just Good Score, and why these things matter.

Weed Grow

Indoor cannabis farming is extremely energy intensive and results in high C02 emissions that contribute to climate change. Chemicals and pesticides are heavily used, which can be harmful to workers, consumers, and surrounding communities. Local water systems can become contaminated, which endangers wildlife habitat and threatens other crops and the livelihood of rural communities dependent on farming.

Weed Shop

There are several hundred cannabis stores across the state, and their business practices range from terrible to terrific, but mostly a lot in between. Owners have a lot of choices with respect to how they treat and compensate their workers, how they relate to the communities that they operate in, and how they do business. We exist to bring transparency to these decisions because it matters: when companies pay poverty wages, it impacts whole communities.

Drought Stricken Orchard

Industrial cannabis farming can divert local water sources that other agricultural crops, and thus workers, businesses, and communities, rely upon. Additionally, increases in climate change have led to record-high heat and record low rainfall, which has led to increases in drought conditions across the Pacific Northwest and around the world.

Rural Community

Rural communities can be particularly vulnerable to heavy industrial agriculture, as the runoff from pesticides and chemicals can cause serious short and long term health problems.

Polluted RunOff

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of legal pesticides and chemicals are used in cannabis farming each year. These can contaminate local water systems for people and wildlife, and there have been no studies on the long term health impacts of exposure to many of these regularly used products.

Transport Impact

Cannabis is frequently transported varying distances from where it is grown, and again to where it is processed, and then again to where it is sold, which contributes additional C02 emissions, which results in climate change.

Dams

Cannabis farming can be extremely energy intensive. Most of Washington’s energy is generated from 4 hydro-electric dams on the lower Snake Rivers, making Washington’s energy one of the cleanest in the nation. However, the dams are also systemic salmon killers, and the Columbia/Snake Chinook and Sockeye populations are in record decline. The dams need to be removed in order to preserve PNW salmon and all of the other entities that depend on them for survival, such as the thousands of tribal and non-tribal fishermen, Orca whales, black bears, and the forests. While we need to reduce our energy consumption and reliance on dams for energy, much of the new cannabis market is moving us in the wrong direction.

Plastic Waste

A vast majority of legal cannabis products are packaged in single use, non-recyclable plastic, which in the best case scenario goes into a landfill, but is oftentimes littered. This makes its way into ecosystems, where it is often mistaken as food by animals.

Dead Salmon

Salmon have been the foundation of the PNW economy for thousands of years. They are increasingly threatened by environmental contamination, and by our heavy reliance on hydro-electric dams for power, which the cannabis industry is adding to. This makes it difficult for salmon to return upstream to spawn, thus resulting in their declining numbers. Salmon fishing sustains thousands of living wage jobs and is a crucial link in the food chain for larger animals, such as bears and orcas, and for the health of our forests.

Orcas

The Puget Sound Orca whales were documented in June 2016 to be starving as a result of scarcity of salmon, their primary food source. The intensive energy use required by the hundreds of industrial indoor cannabis farms is increasing the demand for energy, which mostly comes from our hydro-electric dams, which are the biggest contributor to the declining salmon population. Yes. Cannabis farming is contributing to hungry (endangered) orcas, and all of that needs to change.

CO2

Carbon-dioxideis a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change by increasing the atmospheric temperature, through deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal. Climate change endangers all life as it exists on planet earth and is already demonstrating catastrophic consequences, such as unprecedented rise in global temperatures, droughts, heat waves, rising sea levels, and the decline of glaciers, to name just a few.

The Sun

The cleanest, most powerful energy source we have, and it’s free.

Prisons

A vast portion of cannabis prisoners are non-violent offenders, who have served or are serving time for simple possession, while tens of thousands more have lasting criminal records for what is now entirely legal, thereby making many people and the state a lot of money. Those convicted and incarcerated for cannabis are disproportionately blacks and Latinos, despite use at the same rates as whites, and those currently making money in cannabis are mostly white.

Forests

Forests are the single most efficient way we have of removing pollution from the air, sustaining regular rainfall, and stabilizing climate. They are also the vital habitat for wildlife and are essential for biodiversity.

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