Marijuana Top US Cash Crop, Analyst Says

Marijuana Top US Cash Crop, Analyst Says
Posted by CN Staff on December 18, 2006 at 13:45:49 PT
By David Alexander
Source: Reuters
Washington, DC -- 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.Marijuana Production in the United States (2006) -- Reuters (Wire)Author:  David AlexanderPublished: December 18, 2006Copyright: 2006 Reuters LimitedRelated Article:Pot is Called Biggest Cash Crop
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on December 19, 2006 at 06:46:33 PT
Group Calls Marijuana State's Top Cash Crop
December 19, 2006Tennessee's biggest cash crop isn't cotton or soybeans or corn.It's marijuana. 
State officials have known this for years and responded with an ever-escalating war on the drug — patrolling the skies, searching remote mountainsides with heat sensors, sending in the National Guard, burning the crops to the ground and casting a wide net to catch the drug as it moves across the state.Using law enforcement's own records of marijuana seizures, a group dedicated to the legalization of marijuana has released a new report, ranking Tennessee number two in the nation in marijuana cultivation."You have a very big state that's also very rugged," said the report's author, public policy expert Jon Gettman. "The climate lends itself to cultivation, and marijuana thrives in marginal areas like fence lines, mountainous areas, places that don't get a lot of heat and light."Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #11 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 19, 2006 at 06:39:21 PT
The Constitution Cannot Defend Itself
This seems so applicable to our quest for justice in the marijuana laws that I thought it would be an informative article to consider:"We occasionally receive comments expressing strong “difference of opinion” sent in by readers of our updates. We expect them and are certainly not troubled by them, especially when they contain constructive criticisms. However, every now and then someone will send us an exasperating message claiming, “The Constitution is dead.” We just received such a message in response to our article about the pamphlet “Democracy or Republic; Which Is It?” The message ended with the words, “The whole fraudulent system is kept in place by a corrupt judiciary. Good luck telling the troops they live in a Republic.” This “Constitution is dead” message came from one of many who apparently sit in their living rooms moaning and complaining about the state of our affairs of governance, but who remain too afraid or too lazy to get off the sidelines and join the team on the field, or to even cheer the team on from the stands. Anyone who says the Constitution is dead is a quitter. Those who are committed to the cause of Freedom know well that although it is under attack and suffering abuse, our Constitution guarantees a republican form of government and is not dead. Couch-bound critics such as the one who sent us this message know full well they have a copy of the Constitution somewhere within their reach. They also consciously choose not to reach for it or ponder the state of our Constitution too deeply because after further reflection, it would be clear that it is not a “corrupt judiciary” that is the root cause of these evils, but rather the person they see in the mirror that has, by simply doing nothing, allowed our Constitution to wither.After fully grasping that the words of the Constitution manifest the protections of the most precious gifts of our Creator -- Life and Liberty -- and realizing that the Constitution cannot defend itself, our critics are left pondering a most disturbing question: If it is not I who will step forward to fight in defense of the Constitution, is it I who have allowed it, and the Divine gifts it protects, to die? A tough question, indeed - one that forces each American to grapple with his own character, his priorities in this life, and his commitment to the cause of Liberty.  In the end it's simply reprehensible for citizens to be standing on the sidelines pretending to be Patriots, yelling at those on the field that the game is lost, when in fact the game has just begun. We know the courts are corrupt. So what if the striped-shirt referees are government agents? That's no excuse for the team to walk off the field or for anyone to encourage the players to do so. The fact that the referees have such a conflict of interest is good to know, for every solution is only as good as the definition of the problem. Their “fixed” game will be exposed and dealt with in due course."Source:
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on December 18, 2006 at 18:07:23 PT
It really was good. Tucker is getting more mellow and so is Joe Scarborough. I like the both of them and I like Keith Olbermann too.
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Comment #9 posted by freewillks on December 18, 2006 at 18:03:41 PT
 when will the Republicans stop taking money from numbers games, cigaretes and achohol.... pricelessPopped his ballon in a hurry.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on December 18, 2006 at 17:57:50 PT
I watched Tucker tonight and he really did defend marijuana. He most definitely knows about marijuana. He talked about Mexican pot with stems and seeds and even Buchanan said marijuana will be legalized because that is the way we are headed. He wasn't upset about it either. Good news.
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Comment #7 posted by freewillks on December 18, 2006 at 17:49:17 PT
Tucker Carlson: Why not ash in on marijuana crops?
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Comment #6 posted by freewillks on December 18, 2006 at 16:54:12 PT
The shot heard around the world!
I can't wait for Walters to be grilled by the world press on this. How will he justify the condemnations of other countries when he can't even control the production of marijuana in his own country.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on December 18, 2006 at 16:37:21 PT
Another Related Article from The UK
High Times for Farmers as Cannabis is Named America's Biggest Cash Crop ***By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles Published: 19 December 2006 Marijuana is the most valuable cash crop in the United States, worth more to its growers than corn and wheat combined, according to a new report by a leading American drug reform lobbyist that cites the US government's own figures. Decades of government efforts to crack down on both the cultivation and consumption of pot have had a counter-productive effect, since even the most conservative government estimates suggest domestic marijuana production has increased tenfold in the past 25 years. It is the leading cash crop in 12 states, and one of the top five crops in 39 states.The report's author, Jon Gettman, says it is "larger than cotton in Alabama, larger than grapes, vegetables and hay in California, larger than peanuts in Georgia, and larger than tobacco in South and North Carolina".California accounts for almost a third of all US production. It is a major economic force in the state, especially in the redwood forests in the north, where the smell of weed wafts unmistakably down the streets of several towns.Complete Article:
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 18, 2006 at 16:32:06 PT
Related Article from The UK
All-Time High for Homegrown as Pot Becomes Top Cash Crop in US***Dan Glaister in Los AngelesTuesday, December 19, 2006Marijuana is now the biggest cash crop grown in the US, exceeding traditional harvests such as wheat, corn and soy beans, says a new report.The study shows that 10,000 tonnes of marijuana worth $35.8bn (£18.4bn) is grown each year; the street value would be even higher. This dwarfs the $23bn-worth of corn grown, $17.6bn-worth of soybeans and $12.2bn-worth of hay. Marijuana is the biggest cash crop in 12 states, with the value of pot grown outstripping peanuts in Georgia and tobacco in North and South Carolina. In California, the biggest producer, it is worth $13.8bn.Complete Article:,,1974906,00.html
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Comment #3 posted by freewillks on December 18, 2006 at 16:14:05 PT
ABC News Top story! ye Baby!
"It's not these cute mom-and-pop bong shops anymore," Courtney continued. "It's violent drug-trafficking groups that are doing all these grows." If it was legal the violence goes away and so does your job!Local marijuana growers, he says, are the tentacles of international drug-trafficking organizations that bring weapons, violence and a slew of other drugs into the market.If you make it legal the profit from black markets go away. You also provide a means to solve a dispute in a legal manner in a court of law."You can't tax a Mexican drug trafficking group," Courtney explains. "That's the side a lot of people don't focus on." Thats what we have been saying for years. The only people who do not focus on it is the DEA. They almost get it!
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on December 18, 2006 at 15:41:53 PT
re: He said
He said that he prefers to keep the "system" the way it is, where young people who try marijuana, should be placed into treatment facilities, by the way, those treatment facilities are also known as "incarceration", yes young people, also known as our "children" have seen the arresting officer, the judge and whatever goes through those young minds.Then when 'you look around, you have so many enemies of the state, maybe your own children, have not understood you, your kind heart and your best intent, there is a clock that is ticking, it measures our time in this place, 
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on December 18, 2006 at 15:02:27 PT
Great Job DEA & ONDCP
He (Tom Riley) 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.That's because more American teens smoke marijuana more than all other drugs combined. Thank God for marijuana prohibition.
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