Study Sees Pot of Gold in Illegal B.C. Crop

Study Sees Pot of Gold in Illegal B.C. Crop
Posted by CN Staff on June 09, 2004 at 06:25:16 PT
By Rod Mickleburgh
Source: Globe and Mail 
Vancouver -- The grass really is greener in British Columbia, to the tune of $7-billion a year, according to a landmark study by the Fraser Institute.In fact, so much, so-called "B.C. bud" is harvested illegally in the province, with police efforts to stem the growth almost totally futile, study author Steve Easton says that the time has come to legalize, regulate and allow governments to tax marijuana.
"Police resources should be deployed elsewhere," the Simon Fraser University economics professor contended yesterday. "Marijuana is too easily produced . . . and the return on investment sufficiently great that for each grow-up demolished, another takes its place. There is a perpetual, lasting supply of people willing to do it [grow marijuana]."If Prof. Easton's $7-billion estimate of the annual worth of cannabis cigarettes produced in B.C. is correct, marijuana has become one of the most valuable commodities in the province.It would trail only forestry, which contributes about $8.9-billion annually to the provincial economy. The latest figures for tourism indicate a $5-billion economic contribution, while construction accounts for $5.3-billion.The report by Prof. Easton estimates there are as many as 17,500 marijuana grow-ops in the province.Yet few of those busted by police face serious punishment in British Columbia courts.Prof. Easton found that only 13 per cent of possession cases result in actual charges, compared with 60 per cent in the rest of the country. Further, looking at statistics from Vancouver, 55 per cent of those charged with running a grow-op receive no jail time, while 13 per cent were given sentences of one to 31 days."While police resources are spent to destroy nearly 3,000 marijuana growing operations a year, the consequences are relatively small for those convicted," Prof. Easton says in his comprehensive report.Despite this, police task forces continue to kick in doors and dismantle individual operations. One jaded police force recently headlined its continuing efforts in a press release with: "Another day, another grow operation."Grow-ops have been found in the most exclusive neighbourhoods in posh West Vancouver, on the same premises as daycares and even on a rented property belonging to former premier and provincial attorney-general Ujjal Dosanjh.The bourgeoning industry is so widespread that the B.C. Real Estate Association now requires sellers to indicate whether their property has previously been used as a marijuana grow operation. Prof. Easton said the scale of the marijuana industry is not surprising, despite its illegality. "There's a good rate of return. It's a profitable business."In his report, he sketched the return for a "modest," 100-plant grow-op. That should produce 13 kilograms of marijuana sold in pound blocks "out the back door" at $2,600 a pound, amounting to a harvest of close to $20,000, he said."With four harvests per year, gross revenue is nearly $80,000."He set production costs at about $25,000, yielding a return on investment of around 55 per cent.Canada would be much better served if marijuana were legalized and taxed, he said, noting that 7.5 per cent of Canadians currently smoke marijuana.Based on the current price of marijuana cigarettes, he calculated a resulting annual tax benefit of more than $2-billion."As it stands now, growers and distributors pay some of the costs and reap all of the benefits of the multibillion-dollar marijuana industry, while the non-marijuana-smoking taxpayer sees only costs," Prof. Easton says in the report.He likened the current situation to the era of alcohol prohibition in the early 20th century that spawned a huge increase in organized crime with little benefit to the public. "I don't think it's a good thing to do to smoke marijuana. I'm an economist. But we should treat marijuana like tobacco and alcohol." Note: Governments advised to tax, regulate $7-billion marijuana harvest.Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)Author: Beth KaplanPublished: Wednesday, June 9, 2004 - Page A11 Copyright: 2004 The Globe and Mail CompanyContact: letters globeandmail.caWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Cannabis News Canadian Links Institute Says Gov't Should Cash in On Pot It, Ex-Cop Tells Hill Pot Rally -- Canada Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by E_Johnson on June 09, 2004 at 14:57:52 PT
Then there's the cartel effect
Perhaps like the food cartels find it more profitable to serve up cheap processed carbohydrates than real whole food, the drug cartels find it more profitable to serve up cheap processed weed instead of real whole buds.
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Comment #14 posted by afterburner on June 09, 2004 at 14:37:27 PT
Make your own Signs
Idea from Cannabis Culture Forum: recycle expired election signs and add your own slogans to the back, for example:
"Politicians against Legalization Support Organized Crime"
"Stop Drug Crime - Legalize Marijuana"The author of these slogans has given tacit permission to use these slogans.Resist.
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Comment #13 posted by BigDawg on June 09, 2004 at 14:03:38 PT
Mexican weed
It is simply easier to grow in quantity than quality when you have the room and relative saftey to grow outdoors.Bricking the stuff before it is completely dry causes it to degrade thru the heat it generates as it decomposes. And the bricking process itself destroys many of the trichs where the THC is located causing it to be less potent.You can bet there ARE those who have caught on tho :D
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Comment #12 posted by Cannabis Enthusiast on June 09, 2004 at 13:44:06 PT
Why don't Mexicans grow hydro / sinsemilla?
Why is Mexican weed so shitty? I mean, how hard could it be for Mexicans to separate the male cannabis plants from the females so they export quality bud instead of their crap they move into the U.S. now?
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Comment #11 posted by Cannabis Enthusiast on June 09, 2004 at 13:37:39 PT
Cannabis helps with arthritis!
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Comment #10 posted by Virgil on June 09, 2004 at 13:19:30 PT
Overgrown and outnumbered
The people of Canada do not support the failed policy of cannabis prohibition. The Liberals have held a majority government for 11 years but have blown it as the elections of June 28th will prove.An explanation of the Canadian system for AmeReagan citizens-
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on June 09, 2004 at 12:26:37 PT
The efforts of the prohibitionists are not only futile, they are counterproductive. The once humble cannabis plant has become the "cadillac" of all plants! Since forced indoors, the art of cannabis cultivation has evolved into a highly specialized science - ensuring the survival of the cannabis plant for millenia to come. Thank you, prohibitionists. If it weren't for you we would probably still be smoking our "parent's weed"!!! The way out is the way in...The Explosion of the 9/11 Truth Movement -- U.S. Media's Dirty Little Secret: Growing 9/11 Truth Movement: airport confirms mystery flight: now verifies flight of Saudis - The government has long denied that two days after the 9/11 attacks, the three were allowed to fly:"Fahrenheit 9/11" gets industry "thumbs up"§ion=newsMESSAGE FROM MICHAEL MOORE:
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Comment #8 posted by tokenitallup4162 on June 09, 2004 at 10:57:21 PT:
 I am glad to see this sativex meds work, at least for now, anyway. my dr is looking into using this meds if and when it gets an approval here in the US OF A. for what its worth, I do think we have a positive step here, but lets face it, just legalize the stuff and we want need the snythetic stuff,and i would like to add that this has become a good website for marijuana,medicinal or not!!!
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Comment #7 posted by Richard Paul Zuckerm on June 09, 2004 at 10:43:47 PT:
             I.As if you people have not heard, the C.I.A. Director recently quit, followed by one other C.I.A. supervisor. There appears to be a growing Bush Administration coup going on. Please log on to for the scoop?              II.I voted at the Primary Election, yesterday. I voted for Dennis Kucinich and "write in" for everybody else. This morning's Home News Tribune,, wrote that John Kerry "easily" defeated Dennis Kucinich and others in this Primary Election.              III.On Monday, June 7, 2004, I faxed my letter to Dr. Rath supporting his complaint of genocide by the pharmaceutical industry,; and I implore all of you people to send Dr. Rath a letter supporting his complaint. Dr. Rath would forward your letter to The Hague. Have you ever wonder why the people of this country pay more for health care than any other industialized nation, yet receive effective treatment in less than 60% of the time, with Tort Law Reform on the rise restricting our ability to recover damages in court, and a pending Bill in the United States Senate which restricts our access to natural remedies? Please read the complaint of Dr. Rath, then fax and mail him a letter? His address is: Dr. Matthias Rath, 2901 Bayview Drive, Fremont, CA, 94538, (Fax number)(510) 490-3891. Richard Paul Zuckerman, Box 159, Metuchen, New Jersey, 08840-0159, (Cell telephone number)(908) 403-6990, richardzuckerman2002
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Comment #6 posted by Jose Melendez on June 09, 2004 at 10:00:25 PT
let's force enforcement of existing antitrust laws
I'm thinking of organizing a boycott / slowdown, where we tie up border crossings and fuel stations, by purchasing, say $0.02 worth of gasoline, and appearing at the border with the minimum amount of paperwork.Any ideas? - - - from: pioneering cannabis-based medicine designed to treat multiple sclerosis has helped reduce pain in arthritis sufferers, it was announced today.
 Trials of Sativex, produced by drugs company GW Pharmaceuticals, showed that the mouth spray reduced pain and improved the quality of patients’ sleep.
 The company is currently waiting for regulatory approval to use Sativex to treat multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain.
 Dr Philip Robson, director of GW’s Cannabinoid Research Institute, said this was the first controlled trial of a cannabis-based medicine on arthritis.
 He said: “This exploratory trial provides further strong support to our belief that cannabis-based medicines may offer therapeutic potential across a range of medical conditions.”
 GW tested the mouth spray on 58 rheumatoid arthritis patients and found that it significantly improved pain and the quality of sleep.
 Side effects were minimal and none of the patients dropped out of the tests.see also: Russian oil giant can sell cannabis vodka 
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Comment #5 posted by goneposthole on June 09, 2004 at 09:19:50 PT
I gerfot 
Let's not lets. It's like its, as opposed to it's, for 'it is'.
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on June 09, 2004 at 09:11:16 PT
An economist, eh?
I wonder if he drinks alcohol? He must be pickled on the sauce to make statements such as not smoking pot because he's an economist. He must be drunk.It would take an army to bust down 17,500 grow-ops in British Columbia.If the US military can send 135,000 military personnel to Iraq, they can send 135,000 soldiers to British Columbia, too. Lots of resources in British Columbia. The US could own British Columbia under search and seizure laws. All under the guise of combatting the marijuana scourge that plagues the land of the free suckers and brave, clueless fighting fools.There hasn't been enough trees cut down yet in British Columbia.Lets invade British Columbia, too. Just too good a deal to pass up.
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Comment #3 posted by E_Johnson on June 09, 2004 at 09:07:38 PT
escapegoat this is how scientists are
Is there some kind of DARE program in university economics classes these days? :)*************************************************How did the Soviet Union manage to build up such a huge stable of obedient scientists?When the Soviet Communist Party ordered the Soviet Academy of Sciences to expel Andrei Sakharov for his human rights activities, only a handful of members had the courage to vote against the measure.Scientists tend not to have independent personalities, it is very rare to see a scientist challenge authority directly.Dr. Russo is a doctor who supervises science, that is why his personality is different. Doctors tend to be more individualistic than scientists.The one place where scientists are willing to stake a stand is in their research, and only the stand they really take is to protect its integrity.This is why you see this guy cannot take a stand against the marijuana laws in his own life but he is willing to take that stand in his research if his data adds up to point him that way.This is how scientists are. I graduated from a science school so I have lots of data on this.
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on June 09, 2004 at 07:40:45 PT
I Think He's Got His Economics Backward
One of the reasons people smoke cannabis instead of eat it is to economize, due to the high price, inflated by prohibition. Otherwise, his logic of legalization of a "bourgeoning" resource in high demand is another voice of reason in an often too emotional debate.
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Comment #1 posted by escapegoat on June 09, 2004 at 07:04:23 PT
"I don't think it's a good thing to do to smoke marijuana. I'm an economist."Is there some kind of DARE program in university economics classes these days? :)
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