As stoners toke today, April 20 — on what has become an unofficial holiday celebrating all things marijuana-related — there’s good news and bad for those who smoke weed.
The good? Support for marijuana legalization has risen steadily since 1990, when only 16% of participants in the General Social Survey supported adding buds to Budweiser on the national menu of legal intoxicants. Now, 45% of the public agrees — and the percentage in favor of freeing the weed only gets higher in younger members of the population.
(More on TIME.com: “Why Pot Smokers Are Paranoid”)
The bad? New research by a scientist who works for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that growing indoor cannabis consumes about 1% of the nation’s energy — making reefer is not exactly a green indulgence. In fact, in terms of emissions of planet-destroying greenhouse gases, it’s the bad-tripping equivalent to the annual emissions of 3 million cars. Also, despite being illegal, marijuana is believed to be America’s largest cash crop, valued at $40 billion annually.
The ugly? There’s still a legal requirement that every news story on this subject contain bad pot-related jokes. No word from our editorial masters as to when this edict will be lifted.
(More on TIME.com: “Medical Marijuana Sales Grow to Rival Viagra’s: New Report”)
BTW, if you want to know the origins of “420,” check out this great piece by the Huffington Post’s Ryan Grim. Hint: the Grateful Dead are involved, police codes are not, and it has nothing to do with Hitler’s birthday.