If you were 'normal times' backpacking deep into the Sierras and you wanted something for pot hunting that was really light and more powerful than a .22LR, the .17Mag is probably a good way to go.
For such activity a Chipmunk child's rifle that weighs about 2.5lbs and chambered for the round is a good choice. These little rifles are very popular with backpackers for their light weight, their ruggedness, and their excellent accuracy. The Chipmunk can be had in .17HMR, .22mag, and .22LR.
The majority of the weight of rimfire ammo is the bullet. Pound for pound, the .17HMR smokes the .22LR in both light weight and power. For instance, a .22LR high velocity round with a 36gr hollowpoint weighs 51gr total, with 15gr being the casing and the powder. The .17HMR can be had with a 17gr and a 20gr bullet.
In power there is no comparison. The .17HMR ammo doesn't weigh more than a .22LR but it is WAY more powerful.
In a situation like that were you need to be as light as possible and all the ammo you have or will get is what you bring with you, the .17HMR makes a lot of sense.