Of course, outdoor farming is probably not the most likely outcome. Suppose all of the 5,000 metric tons were provided by indoor growing with a yield of 546 pounds per house. Such domestic production would require about 20,000 houses (or less since the indoor production would mostly be sinsemilla, whereas most of the 5,000 metric tons would be commercial grade). 20,000 houses is a lot of houses, but there are about 75 million owner-occupied houses in the U.S., so 20,000 is just 0.027% of the total; widespread indoor marijuana cultivation would not exacerbate homelessness or solve the hang-over from the recent housing crisis. Indeed, a recent news article reported that there were 200,000 vacant homes in the U.S. just among those that had been constructed recently.
It is harder to speculate about possible spill-over effects on Mexico, if California-based production induced crop substitution there, but these calculations suggest that environmental considerations would be a relatively minor factor in an analysis of the social-welfare effects of marijuana legalization.
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