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If Marijuana is the U.S.'# 1 Cash Crop, what would happen to our economy if we legalized it?

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posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 06:23 PM

What would happen to our economy if weed was legalized?

What would happen to the workforce?

What would the negative effects of it be?

I think it would be a boost to our economy by adding to our gdp, increasing our labor pool(allowing pot heads to compete for jobs) and at the same time save many from incarceration, thus saving the tax payer money.

The negative effects would be that people would probably initially smoke more than they did before. Also, it might become more available for kids to get ahold of. It would be nearly impossible to regulate the taxation of it because you can grow it anywhere.

Personally, I am for legalization of Marijuana in the state that I reside, which is California, if I could vote for the state of Utah I would probably vote against it. Too bad state's rights are a thing of the past and the fed can do whatever to whoever whenver they want. Finally, I disagree with the article's opinion because anyone who knows anything about weed knows that you don't want to buy Mexican weed and that it's probably better to save your money instead of buying it because it sucks anyways.

[edit on 18-12-2006 by Low Orbit]

posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 07:19 PM
I support the legalization of Marijuana as well. The US government would probably tax the sales of Marijuana which would help to undermine any economic gains that would be made from the legalization of Marijuana.

posted on Dec, 18 2006 @ 10:53 PM
What they fail to acknowledge is that the fact it is illegal is the reason these cartels can make money on it, and probrably the reason it is still illegal...

If you legalize it, anyone can grow it (and a few will); however, you will have a few people who make a very good product that is cheaper and more easily accessed than what people can grow themselves...

"How many pot heads does it take to grow a hundred kilos of pot? Who knows, you can't get them off the couch..."

Easily accessible and legally available supply would make the expense of growing it and smuggling it over the border too expensive...

And that would take away any money that black market profiteers can make on it...

"You can't tax drug cartels that are broke..." would be the best response to the rhetoric.


posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 02:56 AM
Skittles is pretty close to the mark. The cost of marijuana is a function of its illegality.

Illegality means growing in smaller, less efficient operations, often smuggling it, then having to pay higher markups to each person who handles it because of the inherent risk of the trade.

How much tobacco is in a cigarette? About a gram? (thats what I came up with based on some not entirely reliable accounts from a site on hand rolling, but I haven't got anything to weight a cigarette with so I'll use that)

What's that make tobacco per once? 7 bucks for the high end stuff already rolled and taxed to hell and gone? like 4 bucks to buy about an ounce and a half to roll yourself according to my source.

So when you get right down to it, we're talking about legal pot costing maybe 1/10th of what it does as an illegal drug, which means it would fall right out of the cash crop list the minute it became legal, even if nobody grew their own.

Then you're going to have the research to render it more addictive, same as cigarettes, and it's got an enhanced public bad as compared to cigarettes, which means higher taxes, but which means the eventual development of a black market and putting us right back to square one, with a bigger pot problem than we started with.

I've got a better idea for making marijuana a cash crop: end prison sentences for it and place strong fines on it instead.

I've been around plenty of drugs in my life. I'm just about the only person in my family who has never been either an addict or a dealer of any controlled substance. I know marijuana gets a bad rap from some people who know little about it but I also know that I don't want a pothead working for me and I don't want somebody operating a vehicle or other dangerous equipment anywhere near me under the influence.

I know that some potheads think it's harmless, or even that it somehow empowers them to do better, but the person I hear that from the most caused four car accidents the first year he had his driver's license. You'd have to tax the holy hell out of pot to make up for that kinda stuff.

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 03:42 AM
Well this is a big calculation as to pros and cons. I would think there are millions and millions to be saved by not putting people in jail for it. Redused drug-crime, more people being able to work and increase the gdp rather than being in jail and costing society millions.

The drug cartels and organized crime and whatnot would lose their main source of income, which would reduse crime in this sector as well.

Better control of quality is also an issue. If it were legalized and regulated we would have high quality weed for a fraction of the cost, as has already been pointed out. This also makes it safer to smoke it, as we won't allow poisonous chemicals to be used. This is assuming it won't turn into what the tobacco industry is doing, adding all kinds of poison to keep you hooked... I think the stuff pretty mush sells itself if it's high quality.

Look at Holland for instance. While they had a slight increase in use right after it was legalized it's pretty much been stable if not decreasing ever since. Most dutch don't smoke it. It's the tourists who blaze the most
They have also pretty much stopped the recruitment to the heavy drugs like heroin. The number of people using heroin now is roughly the same as 10 years ago, but the average age of the user has increased by 10 years. So it's the same people who were using it 10 years ago. Just keeping heroin addicts alive for 10 years is an accomplishment if you ask me!

Alchohol and cigarettes kill more people than pot, crack, coc aine, heroine and all the other drugs combined - times about a 1000 - each year, so I don't expect a sudden increase in drug-related deaths either. I do agree that there should be limitations though. Similar to with alcohol. You can't drive or operate heavy equipment while stoned. Makes perfect sense. But you shouldn't go to jail for 20 years either. You haven't hurt anyone by smoking it, so why should you be punished. If you crashed your car while drunk and killed someone, you would be punished accordingly for being irresponsible. Should be the same with pot and other drugs. But being punished for recreational use of ANY drug is downright crazy if you ask me...

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 10:34 AM
Vagabond if you are right about the price of weed dropping if it is legalized, then why is it still so damn expensive in British Columbia and also Amsterdam? Please explain, because I think you're wrong.

In those places where weed is either legal or close to it prices are still close to the same as they would be in places where the drug is illegal.

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[edit on 20/12/2006 by Mirthful Me]

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 12:41 PM

Originally posted by Low Orbit
Vagabond if you are right about the price of weed dropping if it is legalized, then why is it still so damn expensive in British Columbia and also Amsterdam? Please explain, because I think you're wrong.

Simple really. Supply and Demand. Demand remains very high because the surrounding areas have not legalized it, and supply remains lower and continues to entail a great deal of overhead because the demand while high isn't widespread enough to justify large scale and more efficient farming.

If a larger area legalized marijuana, thus making it possible cultivate it more efficiently and distribute it without any precautions against the law (bearing in mind that in the Netherlands it's legal but any product not completely originated there or in another decriminalized area would still entail some costs) the supply would grow considerably and the price would go down until demand caught up or until taxes were implemented. The fact that price differences can be observed between the South West US and North East US bodes well for my assertion that moving an illegal product necessarily increases costs.

I'd also be interested in seeing some documentation on prices in the Netherlands to back up your claim.

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 01:49 PM
In a theoretical reality this would be true, however in order to grow good weed, one needs to put some time into it, one needs to watch it like a bonsai or something.

What you want to do is throw a bunch of seed in a field and have a lot for a little, congrats you just made Mexican weed.

The reason it is still expensive, is because of the expensive and laborous treatment the weed gets in order to be quality.

Finally, why would you ever think of trasporting it to over state's boaders, doing that is an invitation to be locked up.

[edit on 20-12-2006 by Low Orbit]

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 03:32 PM
We had a vote in Nevada this year, to legalize it.
I voted yes.

It did not pass

We also had a vote, to increase funding of the Jails..More police, more prison guards (which is where the new county cops start out, as guards)
I voted no.

It did not pass either.

My feeling is that if the first one had passed, the second one would not have to be on the ballot. Thats representative of the economics, I beleive.

Whats funny is that the marijuana question has been on the ballot before.
And right before election time..There are all the sudden marijuana busts, all over the county. I guess to show us, how bad we have it here..

One lady, was arrested, for having one tiny plant, in her house..they said it was a large amount, but they weighed it wet, and with the root ball still attached. Her face was all over the papers, and on the news, for a day or two.

Many were upset, and suggested that the cops spend more time going after Meth labs..I agree with that.

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 04:38 PM

Originally posted by Low Orbit
one needs to put some time into it, one needs to watch it like a bonsai or something.

Why do I suddenly get the impression that you're under the influence?
We're not talking about pruning a bonsai tree. We're talking about causing a plant to grow in the manner that its genetics dictate. In an optimum climate, good soil and/or appropriate fertilizer, and appropriate watering levels, any plant will meet its potential. Choosing the right strain of any plant is also important.

I know from first-hand, non-illegal experiences that there are plenty of other plants which grow in "dirt" varieties which are of lower quality. Oranges are a great example. Bad soil, light, and temperature equal bad oranges. Does sunkist have to grow them hydrophonically in a climate controlled building under UV lights to make them good? No. They plant them in the right place at the right season and get the right nutrients in the soil. As a matter of fact, if you live in the right place, all you've really got to do to get the best oranges you ever had is wait till your pet dies and bury him under the tree.

The operative word in dirt weed is dirt- as opposed to rich soil.

Finally, why would you ever think of trasporting it to over state's boaders, doing that is an invitation to be locked up.

Number 1, it is obviously done, so it is a factor in the pre-legalization economics of this proposed cash crop.

Number 2, ATS forbids discussion of illegal activity- this thread only hopes to maintain legitimacy in that it is a policy discussion. Hence we are not discussing the merits of narcotrafficking but rather are discussing how legalization would change the economics of pot as a cash crop. In other words, it wouldn't be illegal to transport it in the scenario we are projecting, and it would be an integral part of efficiency in the industry, thus this must be considered as part of the projection of marijuana's laughable cash-crop potential.

As for the ad misericordiam argument featuring the little old lady with a drug problem, there are plenty of other policy solutions which would be both socially and economically more sound than legalizing weed, so she hardly moves the issue.

Taking away prison sentences for marijuana use need not be a package deal with legalizing it- we can stop giving prison sentences for that without legalization and use fines instead and put that money towards helping our police go soley after dealers and traffickers (who often enough deal in more than just weed) thus using a punishment that fits the crime to bolster our efforts against meth, which I agree is a bigger problem.

The economics of legalization are less than compelling. The social issues are where the weight of the argument lies.

On the one hand, legalizing marijuana will necessarily make it more accessible and thus likely increase overall useage, which will carry a certain cost to the general public in terms of productivity and marijuana involved accidents of various kinds, nor will it necessarily destroy the black market if demand and taxation don't stay at a level which reduces prices below current street prices.

On the other hand, keeping it illegal leaves us with a black market problem which does fund criminal activity, among other things.

Thats a tradeoff that's been debated for some time, it seems to me to be a fair topic for debate, and I'm not necessarily predisposed to conclude one way or another, but you certainly can't skip neatly around that with a poorly thought out economic claim that just doesn't seem to hold up to scrutiny.

[edit on 20-12-2006 by The Vagabond]

posted on Dec, 20 2006 @ 04:55 PM
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