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Marijuana Top U.S. Cash Crop at $35 Billion
NewsMax ^ | Dec. 18, 2006 | Reuters

Posted on 12/18/2006 2:00:49 PM PST by kddid

U.S. growers produce nearly $35 billion worth of marijuana annually, making the illegal drug the country's largest cash crop, bigger than corn and wheat combined, an advocate of medical marijuana use said in a study released on Monday.

The report, conducted by Jon Gettman, a public policy analyst and former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, also concluded that five U.S. states produce more than $1 billion worth of marijuana apiece: California, Tennessee, Kentucky, Hawaii and Washington.

California's production alone was about $13.8 billion, according to Gettman, who waged an unsuccessful six-year legal battle to force the government to remove marijuana from a list of drugs deemed to have no medical value.

Tom Riley, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy, said he could not confirm the report's conclusions on the size of the country's marijuana crop. But he said the government estimated overall U.S. illegal drug use at $200 billion annually.

Gettman's figures were based on several government reports between 2002 and 2005 estimating the United States produced more than 10,000 metric tons of marijuana annually.

He calculated the producer price per pound of marijuana at $1,606 based on national survey data showing retail prices of between $2,400 and $3,000 between 2001 and 2005.

The total value of 10,000 metric tons of marijuana at $1,606 per pound would be $35.8 billion.

By comparison, the United States produced an average of nearly $23.3 billion worth of corn annually from 2003 to 2005, $17.6 billion worth of soybeans, $12.2 billion worth of hay, nearly $11.1 billion worth of vegetables and $7.4 billion worth of wheat, the report said.

Gettman said the 10-fold increase in U.S. marijuana production, from 1,000 metric tons in 1981 to 10,000 metric tons in 2006, showed the country was failing to control marijuana by making its cultivation and use illegal.

"Marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the economy of the United States," he said. "The contribution of this market to the nation's gross domestic product is overlooked in the debate over effective control."

"Like all profitable agricultural crops marijuana adds resources and value to the economy," he added. "The focus of public policy should be how to effectively control this market through regulation and taxation in order to achieve immediate and realistic goals, such as reducing teenage access."

Riley said illegal drug use was a "serious part of the economy," but he rejected the notion of an economic argument for legalizing marijuana. He said marijuana use was an "inherently harmful activity" with serious physical and mental health consequences. He said more American teens were in treatment centers for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: druggies; mrleroybait; potheadproblem; problem; stoners; stupiddopesmokers; wedeservewhatweget; wodlist
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35 BILLION! Dude, I thought it only $1.00 for a doobie.
1 posted on 12/18/2006 2:00:52 PM PST by kddid
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To: kddid
No wonder so many Americans fall for the most ridiculous nonsense such as human caused global warming or 9/11 conspiracy theories.
2 posted on 12/18/2006 2:02:53 PM PST by BenLurkin ("The entire remedy is with the people." - W. H. Harrison)
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To: kddid

Imagine if it was taxed like tobacco.

Probably $100 Bil in tax revenue.


3 posted on 12/18/2006 2:03:10 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: kddid

"marijuana dependency"


No such animal!


4 posted on 12/18/2006 2:04:03 PM PST by wolfcreek (Please Lord, May I be, one who sees what's in front of me.)
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To: kddid

Whoa Dude!

5 posted on 12/18/2006 2:04:24 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Heads up, people! The Nazis are back. They're more numerous and gearing up with atomic weapons.)
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To: kddid

What's a dime bag going for these days?


6 posted on 12/18/2006 2:06:18 PM PST by Risha (Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God)
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To: kddid

"He said more American teens were in treatment centers for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined."

Where they will graduate with a whole new set of connections for other, harder drugs. Sending a kid to rehab for pot is like demanding they meet more drug users and find out about harder drugs.


7 posted on 12/18/2006 2:06:55 PM PST by L98Fiero (The media is a self-licking ice-cream cone)
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To: kddid

I s'pose them country boys is still a-settin' on that sack of wildwood flower seeds!

Hoo-ray for American initiative!


8 posted on 12/18/2006 2:08:27 PM PST by headsonpikes (Genocide is the highest sacrament of socialism.)
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To: kddid
ALRIGHT Way to go America! We beat the foreign competition coming from Central and South America! And people are worried about America competing in a Global Market... WHOA WHOOO AMERICA #1 ... . .USA USA USA USA
9 posted on 12/18/2006 2:09:23 PM PST by 11th Commandment
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To: kddid

UH what?


10 posted on 12/18/2006 2:09:33 PM PST by badpacifist (I want you, I need you. But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you. So don't be sad.)
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To: kddid

Dave's not here, man!


11 posted on 12/18/2006 2:12:55 PM PST by isthisnickcool (If you can't light a fire in the vacuum of space what's the deal with the Sun?)
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To: kddid

Can you imagine if it was actually legal to grow marijuana? Each field would need to be surrounded by a 10 foot razor wire fence. It'd be as if beer grew on trees.


12 posted on 12/18/2006 2:13:43 PM PST by T.Smith
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To: kddid

bump for later


13 posted on 12/18/2006 2:14:05 PM PST by SouthTexas (Stop global warming---eat beef!)
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To: L98Fiero
"He said more American teens were in treatment centers for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined."

Oh please.

And what % of those in "treatment" are there as a result of a court order? Probably close to 100 ...

LEGALIZE IT ALREADY!

14 posted on 12/18/2006 2:14:30 PM PST by bassmaner (Hey commies: I am a white male, and I am guilty of NOTHING! Sell your 'white guilt' elsewhere.)
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To: kddid

Boy that ol WOD thing is really working ...


15 posted on 12/18/2006 2:14:41 PM PST by clamper1797 (Kerry does support the troops ... just not ours)
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To: kddid

I imagine if marijuana were legalized, the price per pound would plummet, which could significantly reduce the $35B figure.

Just an observation.


16 posted on 12/18/2006 2:15:14 PM PST by DemforBush
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To: kddid
I thought most of the grass was imported because the U.S. grown wild variety doesn't produce enough of the whoopie on its own.

In other words, perhaps the author of the study was a little toked up when he knocked it out.

17 posted on 12/18/2006 2:15:27 PM PST by Zakeet (Be thankful we don't get all the government we pay for)
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To: kddid

Now if I could only remember wut I did with it.


18 posted on 12/18/2006 2:15:59 PM PST by yobid (A world without Islam is a world with peace)
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To: 11th Commandment

"We beat the foreign competition coming from Central and South America!"

We don't make cocaine here.


19 posted on 12/18/2006 2:16:25 PM PST by L98Fiero (The media is a self-licking ice-cream cone)
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To: T.Smith

Home Brew, Home Grown, Home Slice.


20 posted on 12/18/2006 2:17:33 PM PST by battlegearboat
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To: MeanWestTexan

If it was taxed like Tobacco, it would be more like a couple hundred billion dollars.

Tobacco cost only contributes about 10% of the price of a cigarette, and taxes are about 60% of the total cost of the cigarette. So if the marijuana crop has a value of 35 billion, the total cost to the consumer if it was like tobacco would be 350 billion, of which about 190 billion would be taxes.


21 posted on 12/18/2006 2:20:58 PM PST by CharlesWayneCT
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To: kddid

Drug warriors can't comprehend supply-and-demand.


22 posted on 12/18/2006 2:21:39 PM PST by Extremely Extreme Extremist (Why can't Republicans stand up to Democrats like they do to terrorists?)
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To: isthisnickcool

It's Dave man, let me in!


23 posted on 12/18/2006 2:21:42 PM PST by razorback-bert (I met Bill Clinton once but he didn't really talk , he was hitting on my wife)
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To: kddid

That's so pathetic. I hate humanity.


24 posted on 12/18/2006 2:21:58 PM PST by Tolsti
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To: isthisnickcool

outstanding tag line! cheech and chong would be proud!


25 posted on 12/18/2006 2:22:37 PM PST by bobby.223
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To: T.Smith
"Can you imagine if it was actually legal to grow marijuana? Each field would need to be surrounded by a 10 foot razor wire fence. It'd be as if beer grew on trees."

HA!!

To think.
We'd raid gardens on nights we camped out (in the backyard) during summer vacations, stealing cucumbers.

The times.

...they are'a changin'.

26 posted on 12/18/2006 2:22:55 PM PST by Landru (That does it, no sleep number for you pal.)
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To: kddid
geeze...I know the Politicians of both partied would love to tax that....... and in fairness it would pay for a lot in tax dollars that I wouldnt have to...... ............to bad it causes psychotic episodes in too many people....and is not the harmless herb that the Fabulous Furry Freak Brother types claim it to be.
27 posted on 12/18/2006 2:23:18 PM PST by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
If it was taxed like Tobacco, it would be more like a couple hundred billion dollars.

Except tobacco is actually a difficult to grow plant. Any idiot can grow smokable marijuana if they have the right seeds.

28 posted on 12/18/2006 2:24:54 PM PST by shempy (EABOF)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

"of which about 190 billion would be taxes"

Then the cutting of law enforcement/prison/courts --- probably gets us up to $250/billion a year.

That's a balanced budget, or at least a hell of a big dent.


29 posted on 12/18/2006 2:27:18 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: kddid

Imagine if all that Law Enforcement were directed at enforcing our immigration laws...


30 posted on 12/18/2006 2:27:19 PM PST by DTogo (I haven't left the GOP, the GOP left me.)
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To: T.Smith

As I understand it, that's one of the problems with eradicating it..."Weed" IS a weed.


31 posted on 12/18/2006 2:27:33 PM PST by Bat_Chemist (Ecclesiastes 10:2, NIV)
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To: L98Fiero
Where they will graduate with a whole new set of connections for other, harder drugs.

I was going to say that's a lot of bunk. But, I went to the rehab hospital for alcohol and ended up hooking up with a cute little cokehead and winding up all whacked out on cocaine before having to go back for more treatment. Not that I'd never done all that stuff before, but it makes it hard for me to argue with you.

32 posted on 12/18/2006 2:27:38 PM PST by ichabod1 (After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.)
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To: shempy

Hell, tax that, too.


33 posted on 12/18/2006 2:28:10 PM PST by MeanWestTexan (Kol Hakavod Lezahal)
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To: T.Smith
It'd be as if beer grew on trees.

It all makes sense now.

34 posted on 12/18/2006 2:28:11 PM PST by Hoplite
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To: Zakeet

No. That used to be the case but improved methods of cultivation have lead to far better domestic varietals. Also, the mexican drug lords etc. don't like to transport marijuana if they can transport coke instead because it's so much less bulky.


35 posted on 12/18/2006 2:29:44 PM PST by ichabod1 (After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.)
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To: Zakeet
I thought most of the grass was imported because the U.S. grown wild variety doesn't produce enough of the whoopie on its own.

No, the opposite is true. The indoor stuff is probably the best due to the quality control issues.

36 posted on 12/18/2006 2:30:45 PM PST by glorgau
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To: Vaquero

You say 'psychotic episodes' like they're a bad thing.


37 posted on 12/18/2006 2:30:55 PM PST by ichabod1 (After the attacks of 9/11, profiling Muslims is more like profiling the Klan.)
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To: ichabod1

Ha!


38 posted on 12/18/2006 2:31:32 PM PST by Vaquero ("An armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: bassmaner

"And what % of those in "treatment" are there as a result of a court order? Probably close to 100"

I wonder how many of those "treatment centers" kick back to the judge?


39 posted on 12/18/2006 2:33:19 PM PST by dljordan
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To: ichabod1
ended up hooking up with a cute little cokehead and winding up all whacked out on cocaine

Bet you had fun for a few weeks, thoough.

-ccm

40 posted on 12/18/2006 2:33:39 PM PST by ccmay (Too much Law; not enough Order.)
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To: kddid

I think we're winning the War on Drugs! ROTFL


41 posted on 12/18/2006 2:36:18 PM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: kddid

Reminds me of the old Bloom County cartoon:

Frame 1:
Senator Befellow: A farmer! A man of the earth! My heart bleeds for good folks like you. Going through hard times, are you?

Farmer: Nope, doin dandy.

Frame 2:
Senator Bedfellow: Good! This is an excellent batch of corn you have here...

Farmer: 'Taint corn. It's dope.

Frame 3:
Senator Bedfellow: Pardon?

Farmer: Here, take some home to the wife.


42 posted on 12/18/2006 2:37:22 PM PST by dfwgator
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To: kddid
price per pound of marijuana at $1,606

I remember $25/lb and they talk about gasoline prices going up!

43 posted on 12/18/2006 2:38:43 PM PST by SouthTexas (Stop global warming---eat beef!)
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To: kddid
He said more American teens were in treatment centers for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.

Yeah they might be in those joke money machine treatment centers, but doing what? Attempting to break a psychological addiction. Hahahahaha!

44 posted on 12/18/2006 2:38:49 PM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: MeanWestTexan

$100 Billion in tax revenue on $35 Billion dollar industry???? Some interesting math, there.


45 posted on 12/18/2006 2:43:56 PM PST by TheBattman (I've got TWO QUESTIONS for you....)
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To: TheBattman

On a product that can be produced at home by a consumer more easily than tobacco or beer.

That'll work just fine.


46 posted on 12/18/2006 2:50:08 PM PST by cryptical (Wretched excess is just barely enough.)
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Comment #47 Removed by Moderator

To: kddid

No wonder there is a class disparity in the USA.....someone's spending all their money on this....


48 posted on 12/18/2006 2:53:57 PM PST by goodnesswins (I think the real problem is islamo-bombia! (Rummyfan))
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: kddid
Legalize it... then tax the hell outta it!!
50 posted on 12/18/2006 3:09:28 PM PST by fhlh (Liberal (noun): A person so open minded, their brains have fallen out of their head.)
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