I say 'proliferation' because what's in view here is not whether or not marijuana is criminalized, decriminalized, or legalized. It's whether or not it is, and whether or not its growth increases.
Mother Jones is a liberal news website. Consider that these statistics are taken from there, in an article that criticizes marijuana, ironically, for being super bad for the environment. It's a classic case of leftist political causes (climate change, drug legalization) clashing with each other.
Credit: The following images are from Mother Jones.
More information at the link, but these three are what interested me. As a Christian, I believe humanity in general but believers in particular are stewards of the environment. This doesn't mean we prioritize the preservation of land or animals or forests to the exclusion of people, but it means that in our ongoing project to use the world we live in for the best benefit of humanity, we shouldn't be careless or irresponsible in doing so. We shouldn't make a mess, and we shouldn't be wasteful with resources.
Is drug legalization really so important of an issue that the marijuana grown in CA should take 1/3 of the water that a large city uses? Considering that various regions of CA have problems with drought, severely impacting other crops such as wineries, it may very well become a public policy issue of deciding which intoxicant is more important to consumers and the economy.
The electricity usage for marijuana plants (which need a lot of light) is extremely high, though indoor grows may be partly a "thing" because it's been hitherto illegal to grow it outdoors, so perhaps this problem would decrease. Nevertheless, CA has in various cities (LA, I think) instituted "rolling blackouts" where they have to shut off power to different locations at certain times of day, so that they can't use air conditioners in summer heat, for example, for the simple reason that their electric grid can't produce enough power to match the consumption. Again, could this have been solved by people being responsible and not sucking power to grow illegal plants?
My mind reels imagining what problems could have been prevented in the first place if people were responsible enough to not think "me first" and seek to get high, or profit from people wanting to get high, over being a civic minded individual.
Just a different angle to an already existing issue. For your consideration.
~ Rak Chazak