- 741 million acres of forest have been destroyed for cocaine production since 2001
- In 2019, the area under opium cultivation in 3 m 37 thousand football fields is 23 times larger than Paris.
The worldwide market for drugs is growing rapidly. Large quantities of cocaine are being produced. Opium has also been in trend for the past decade. In addition, the market for synthetic drugs is growing in the Netherlands, and cannabis is being legalized in some countries. According to the United Nations, 269 million people worldwide were using drugs in 2018. Now everyone knows that drugs harm our health. But few people know that drugs can seriously affect the environment.
Marijuana production in the United States costs 1% of the country’s total energy
- The number of marijuana users in 2018 was 19.2 crore and if tobacco and alcohol are eliminated, this intoxication is also the most popular worldwide. Efforts to legalize marijuana in the United States are also under way. Its market in the country is worth billions of dollars. However, most of the country’s resources are spent on its production. According to one estimate, 1% of the country’s total energy is spent on marijuana production.
- Indoor production of marijuana in the United States has emitted 15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide within a year, according to a report by the University of California, Davis. This is equivalent to emissions from 3 million vehicles each year.
Water is also being used more for drugs
Cannabis plants need a lot of water. These plants need twice as much water as tomatoes or grapes. About 70% of the marijuana used in the United States is produced in California alone. In such a large farm, each plant needs 22 liters of water per day. Scientists at the California Department of Fisheries and Wildlife estimate that this illegal farming has lowered water levels in many places.
Forests are being cleared for cocaine drugs
- According to the United Nations, Colombia had the capacity to produce 1120 tons of pure cocaine in 2018. More than 3 lakh hectares (about 741 million acres) of forests have been cleared since 2001. According to fresh satellite data from geographer Paulo Sandoval at the University of Oregon, 50,000 hectares of coca are being grown in the Amazon region of Columbia.
- Coca leaves are not only grown in the forest. It is also being produced in an intelligence lab. Many hazardous chemicals are used in this work, such as ammonia, acetone and hydrochloric acid. Scientists estimate that millions of liters of material are dumped into soil and rivers. According to a 2015 EU report, very few plants and animals survive in such polluted waters.
- However, the Colombian government is fighting Coca. High concentrated herbicide glyphosate was sprayed by the plane during the expedition. This is how most of the coca crop has come to an end. But it has also damaged nearby forests and farms.
MDMA drugs was also named in the ongoing drug controversy in Bollywood
- The alleged drugs party has become very popular in recent years. Belgium and the Netherlands are hotspots for synthetic drugs. One kg of MDMA production produces 10 kg of toxic waste. Such wastes may contain sodium hydroxide, hydrochloric acid, and acetone. These items are usually disposed of by wearing a protective suit.
- The Dutch Water Research Institute (KWR) estimates that in 2017, about 7,000 tons of material was either dumped into drums or dumped into rivers. A report from Dutch public broadcaster NOS stated how dangerous this liquid could be. In the report, the scientists dipped the chicken legs in yellow sodium hydroxide solution. After two days the meat melted completely and only the bones were left.
Water levels in Afghanistan are falling
- According to the UN, in the year 2019, opium was being cultivated on 3 lakh 37 thousand football fields in the world. The area is 23 times the size of Paris. The main producers of opium are Myanmar, Mexico and Afghanistan. These countries grow 84% of the world’s opium.
- Poppy fields are more widespread in the southwestern regions of Afghanistan. In the 1990s these areas were nothing but deserts. But now about 1.4 million people are running their own households by cultivating opium and others. A big hand in greening the area is the 50,000 solar-powered water pumps.
- A report by socio-economic David Mansfield found that the groundwater level in the area is falling by as much as 3 meters per year. In addition, farmers use chemical fertilizers and strong pesticides to control weeds. Groundwater tests have shown that nitrate content is high here. This increases the risk of Blue Baby Syndrome, which can lead to heart problems and even death in newborns.