I’d have to say marijuana is less harmful to, and better for, the environment than cigarettes. Marijuana is a finished crop when it is cut, tobacco, on the other hand, needs to be manufactured into cigarettes, which include other additives like nicotine, and all of this takes its toll on resources and the environment. Marijuana is simply a harvested crop and has little direct effects on the environment. This is beside the facsts that marijuana is overall a more useful plant than tobacco is, and it can do more good than harm to the environment if used to its full potential.
Marijuana is most likely to be better for the environment. It does not undergo the same processing, refining, and packaging that cigarettes do. All the steps of producing a cigarette use energy or material resources. Also, cigarette butts do not decompose because they are primarily made of plastic and will take many years to break down. When butts end up in beaches, nature trails, gardens, and public parks, animals mistake these small objects for food. When animals ingest the cigarette butts, they can become poisoned by the chemicals. Cigarettes contain benzene, formaldehyde, ammonia, acetone, and tar.
Another reason that marijuana is probably better for the environment is that people smoke it a lot less than cigarettes. When people smoke cigarettes they smoke several a day, which generally is not the case for marijuana. Also, cigarette butts litter the earth almost everywhere, whereas evidence of marijuana can rarely be found.
Marijuana is probably better for the environment because, besides being a harvested crop, there is no processing or packaging that goes into marijuana production. Growers grow marijuana plants — often indoors, where there is no need for pesticides — and sell the product. Because of the underground nature of the marijuana industry, the product is often local, and there is little packaging involved (and it is not packaged in a factory). Tobacco growers grow tobacco (with pesticides, most likely) and then have to process the tobacco with other chemicals and toxins, add cigarette filters and wrappers, package the cigarettes in plants, and ship the cigarettes — all of which has a negative impact on the environment.
Thousands of harmful chemicals are present in cigarettes. The butts are only part of the problem – the smoke emitted into the air also adds to air pollution. The Clean Air Act is helping to reduce the harmful effects caused by cigarette smoke.
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