Many cannabis consumers are guilty of this habit. You’ve just finished your joint and you’re ready to move on. But, there’s no trash can around. What do you do? Instead of tossing your leftovers, there are plenty of good reasons to save your stub until you can properly toss it in the trash or compost.
Here’s why you should think twice before throwing your roach on the ground:
Fires are the number one reason why you should think twice before throwing away your roach. This is especially true in dry regions, which carry a higher risk of wildfires. Those in legal states like California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, and eastern Washington need to be especially cautious.
A reported study conducted in Australia found that on a 80.6℉ (27℃) day, cigarette butts loosely thrown onto the ground succeeded in starting a bushfire four percent of the time. The study included 75 trials. In the lab, researchers were able to ignite hay with discarded cigarette butts 33 percent of the time.
Unfortunately, wildfires are becoming increasingly easier to ignite. According to the 2014 National Climate Change Assessment, temperatures have increased by up to 1.9 degrees since 1895. 80 percent of these changes occurred in the last 44 years. While it may not sound like much, it’s enough to extend the lengths of heat waves, increase draughts worsen the severity of storms, and many other factors.
Already, the number of major wildfires have been steadily increasing. Research published in Science in 2006 found that large wildfire activity in the western United States increased “suddenly and markedly” in the mid-1980s, the same time that warming took a giant leap forward. With worsening climate conditions, it may be worthwhile to safely put out and compost your roach.
It’s a common courtesy to properly discard or pocket your roach when near playgrounds, residential neighborhoods, and places often frequented by children, adolescents, and teens. Cannabis affects children and teens differently from adults since young brains have more plasticity. This means that they are more excitable and can easily adopt habitual behaviors.
Even though rolling papers and cannabis flower are both biodegradable materials, there are still some very good reasons to avoid throwing your roach on the ground. Too much litter on the ground is bad for both plants and wildlife, especially if thrown near a water source.
According to the Nature Conservatory, an estimated 40 percent of surveyed lakes and rivers in the U.S. are too polluted for swimming or fishing. While throwing in a roach may not seem like a big deal, it certainly adds up overtime.
Further, tossing a spliff or a blunt on the ground can introduce unnecessary toxins to the local environment. Nicotine is toxic to animals. While the lethal dose is likely higher than that found in the remaining contents of a roach, cannabis mixed with tobacco can still make an animal sick. Ingesting cannabis and charred paper alone may also give animals some trouble.