LCA Database Results
Fuel, Pollution and the Environment
Monday 14 Aug 2000
From The Report
of the FCDA Europe: "Everything which is derived
from hydrocarbons can also be derived from carbohydrates"
Cellulose provides both the hydrocarbons and the carbohydrates of
fuel. Cannabis is the most prolific of all low-moisture, herbaceous
woody plant species. Approximately 80% of the biomass of cannabis is
composed of cellulose."
Biomass is the name given to the bulk of a living organism. It can be
broken down under pyrolysis to produce charcoal, methanol and other
These fuels, when they are burned, merely release into the atmosphere
water and carbon dioxide.
By contrast, when coal or oil is burned, sulphur dioxide is released,
along with other noxious compounds.
Of the various options, cannabis biomass-derived fuel is the only one
that is not open to radical ecological objections.
Nuclear fuel is extremely dangerous to transport and use, while the
waste materials dumped on land or at sea will constitute a lethal hazard
for tens of thousands of years.
Petrol and coal are 'safer' oils; nevertheless they pollute our towns
and cities, our traffic-crammed streets, the air we breathe and the sea
that surrounds us (recurrent spillage of crude oil at sea are
devastating to our coastline and its wildlife).
Because of oil, wars are fought. It was for this reason that Iraq, at a
huge cost ultimately in human life, invaded Kuwait.
All this could be avoided if we grew our fuel.
Not the most sensational but certainly the most familiar problem that
engages us all, in this context, is the problem posed by the car.
To dissuade people from private transport and so reduce pollution is an
honorable tactic, but unworkable. The limiting factor for the number of
cars is the usage and size of the roads. So long as we build roads, and
more roads, there will be more cars. So long as we do not ban cars (and
banning them is a project entirely utopian), there will be pollution -
unless the fuel is changed.
Whether public or private, transport fuelled by cannabis would pollute
the environment far less and proportionately improve health. This is
because, when burned, cannabis-derived fuels produce only water and
carbon dioxide, in roughly the same proportion as absorbed during the
growing season. In cannabis-fuelled cars we could drive without
Henry Ford's first Model T, it should be remembered, was designed to run
on cannabis fuel. (Most of the bodywork was made from cannabis too.)
However, the petrochemical industry soon put an end to that scheme. It
collaborated in the prohibition of hemp throughout the USA and thereby
made huge profits.
So we shouldn't be surprised when (not uncommonly) we're asked to
believe that increased use of cannabis would cause the number of road
accidents to rise. In keeping with the prohibitionist tactic of
misusing statistics, Government (and other) literature is apt to claim
that approximately 30% of blood samples taken from drivers killed in
road accidents showed traces of cannabis (along, usually, with alcohol
and other drugs), suggesting that cannabis was a major contributing
The scientific studies conducted on actual driving skills under the
influence of cannabis, in Holland and in Australia, have revealed that
there is no reason to worry about cannabis drivers. If anything they
were seen to be driving more slowly and with greater care!
From "MARIJUANA AND ACTUAL DRIVING PERFORMANCE", U.S. Department of
Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (DOT HS
808 078), Final Report, November 1993:
"This program of research has shown that marijuana, when taken alone,
produces a moderate degree of driving impairment which is related to the
consumed THC dose. The impairment manifests itself mainly in the ability
to maintain a steady lateral position on the road, but its magnitude is
not exceptional in comparison with changes produced by many medicinal
drugs and alcohol. Drivers under the influence of marijuana retain
insight [into] their performance and will compensate where they can for
example, by slowing down or increasing effort. As a consequence, THC's
adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small."
CANNABIS: LEGALISE AND UTILISE
A MANIFESTO AND INFORMATION DOCUMENT 2000
Produced and published by:
The Legalise Cannabis Alliance
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