Could a $1.50 MJ Joint Doom Prop 19 in California?

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  Could a $1.50 MJ Joint Doom Prop 19 in California?

Posted by CN Staff on July 11, 2010 at 06:23:30 PT
By Patrik Jonsson, Staff Writer  
Source: Christian Science Monitor 

California -- High-powered marijuana that now costs $300 an ounce could drop in price by as much as 80 percent if Californians legalize recreational use by passing Prop. 19 in November, meaning Golden Staters could purchase the recreational drug for as little as $1.50 per joint.That finding by the RAND Corporation, a California think-tank, is likely to perk up the ears of some 15 million Americans estimated to be regular marijuana users, 13 percent of whom live in California.
But it could also doom the prospect of Prop. 19 passing, as it's likely to foment opposition to the potentially deleterious effects of a proposed law that's already starting to lag in statewide polls.Rock bottom prices and high availability, RAND researchers say, could increase usage by up to 150 percent even in a state where medical marijuana is available for those who can claim a wide variety of ailments as reasons why they need marijuana from state-certified dispensaries.If Prop. 19 is successful, California would become the first state to legalize recreational use of marijuana, though the US Supreme Court likely would need to weigh in before it could be put into action.The Field Poll, a statewide survey, indicated Friday that support for Prop. 19 had fallen since May: 48 percent of likely voters now oppose the idea and 44 percent support it. Not surprisingly, the poll found that a majority of young people and Democrats support the idea while a majority of older people and Republicans oppose it."History suggests that chances aren't good when you start out behind," said Mark DiCamillo, the director of the poll.To address flagging polls, California NAACP president Alice Huffman says support could increase if proponents are able to appeal to minority populations by casting Prop. 19 as "a prison reform measure, and a fight against unfair police treatment," citing the effect of the “war on drugs” –especially on poor and marginalized Californians.African-Americans now oppose Prop. 19 by a 52-40 margin while whites oppose it by 48-43, according to the Field Poll.The RAND report said it's hard to tell whether the estimated $1.4 billion a year in new tax revenue for a state that's $19 billion in the red would hold up if Prop. 19 passes.If Amsterdam-style pot tourism takes hold in California, that figure could go far higher. But researchers also warn that the current illicit market could attempt to compete with lower prices, thus reducing potential tax revenues."There is considerable uncertainty about the impact that legalizing marijuana in California will have on consumption and public budgets," Beau Kilmer, the study's lead author, said in a statement."We believe consumption is going to increase, but it is unclear how much," Mr. Kilmer added, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. "[Legalization] could change the stigma. There could be more promotion. There could be more advertising…. There also will be a drop in the … price that can influence behavior."Source: Christian Science Monitor (US)Author: Patrik Jonsson, Staff Writer Published: July 10, 2010Copyright: 2010 The Christian Science Publishing SocietyContact: letters csmonitor.comWebsite: URL:  -- Cannabis Archives

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Comment #21 posted by herbdoc215 on July 13, 2010 at 00:13:01 PT
the story and also the lengths desperation makes
Possible...But since I am typing on my phone it is not very legible...but $39 oz medicine is as possible as justice being had in USA these days? These theories being tossed around these days are pure sophistication spin I my opinion. Peace, Steve
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Comment #20 posted by EAH on July 12, 2010 at 20:34:34 PT:
Who are you responding to? 
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Comment #19 posted by FoM on July 12, 2010 at 11:25:24 PT
Storm Crow
I think you are correct.
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Comment #18 posted by Storm Crow on July 12, 2010 at 11:20:41 PT
And I grow cannabis in my closet...... 
For two medical users, for about $25 per month! That's a "fair" difference in price- $25 vs $2,400! And natural cannabis simply works better than pure, synthetic THC! With the wide range of ailments that cannabis can treat, no wonder the chemical pharmaceutical industry is quaking in their boots over legalization! Every cannabis plant grown is $2,400 lost from their coffers!Paper companies would have to retool their factories, which would cut into their profits. But they will come around eventually, and enjoy savings by eliminating the many chemicals needed for wood pulp paper, and end up producing superior hemp paper. The oil industry would dry up! And there's WAY fewer oil spills with cannabis supplying fuel and plastics! Legalization will change the face of America!
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 12, 2010 at 06:24:57 PT

To be more precise we receive from a VA Pension about half the cost of a script for Marinol a month. That's why I am so shocked by the high price.
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on July 12, 2010 at 05:04:05 PT

I guess I look at income versus cost of just trying to live. We don't make anywhere near the cost of Marinol. 
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Comment #15 posted by herbdoc215 on July 11, 2010 at 23:18:30 PT

you would be suprised what can afforded if life
Is on it? I have afforded it plus some when I couldn't for so long I forget. Markets set prices, not moaest is like saying I can write words so nobody should get paid more than minimum wage to write any book or movie or paper. I have been traveling to dozens of clubs all over west coast last month and 99% of them could use a hookup with that "quality" you speak of cause they sure cannot produce it now even at big dough? Peace, Steve
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on July 11, 2010 at 17:24:28 PT

In my wildest imagination I cannot figure out how anyone can afford to pay $2400 a month for any drug.
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Comment #13 posted by konagold on July 11, 2010 at 16:57:52 PT

Marinol; now thats expencive
A family member was recently prescribed Marinolthe non-generic cost $2400 per month from K-Mart
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 11, 2010 at 16:44:06 PT

I have always said if people could grow their own cannabis and share it with friends it would be fair for everyone. People share garden vegetables and can share home brewed beer I think. Why does everything have to make people a lot of money? Greed never is a good thing in my opinion.
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Comment #11 posted by EAH on July 11, 2010 at 16:17:02 PT:

FOM excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol are a very low percentage of the "value". They have to be in order to not create a strong incentive to avoid them.
It keeps retail prices low enough that it isn't worth it to anybody to produce it themselves or work in a black market. The economics are that only properly scaled enterprises can make producing work out financially. For cannabis the best legal comparable model
is grape growing/wine production. The cheapest is produced by large businesses
and the best is produced by much smaller ones who can charge more and get it
if consumers think it is worth it. Even then valuation is low enough to discourage a black market.Excise taxes on tobacco and alcohol get brought up from time to time by those seeking to financially punish "sinners" or extract money in return for the "costs to society" from abusers. The industries lobby and fight these tax increases and usually win. There is no way cannabis taxes would do what is 
talked about. Too high and avoidance will be rampant, set at the appropriate low level and they won't make anywhere near the kind on money they are talking about. The tax will also only work if it on THC content, not weight.
Otherwise how will they tax different quality flower products and concentrates and eatable products fairly?Because of how bureaucracy works, ending prohibition in a functional way with cannabis is going to be almost impossible. Different interests are going to fight hard over every aspect of it and getting to the "right" thing will mean 
ridiculous turf battles and tugs of war on how it all should be done, if we can even get that far. It shouldn't be hard, the thing to do is copy the beer and wine model. The problem is that model doesn't work for most of today's players because the market would change so dramatically. 
But, it would work for society generally and end users. These days those interests are the least and last to have a say. If the end model could be agreed upon
the transition could be made, but there's SO MUCH ignorance and fear and then also greed that just like so many other optimum solutions to tough problems, it won't happen. America really no longer seems to be able to 
work together to make good things happen. We would not be the leader of the free world today if we had always been this paralyzed and divided.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 11, 2010 at 13:34:21 PT

I agree. I never see a great emphasis on how the price will collapse if cannabis was fully legal everywhere but it would. Anyone that understands economics should see that as a fact. There will always be better cannabis around but with the future of our economy being very shaky people will be happy to get really good cannabis at a very inexpensive price. Tax won't be great unless they put a tax figure on an ounce which they are trying to do. Not just a percentage of the sale price. 
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Comment #9 posted by EAH on July 11, 2010 at 12:48:04 PT:

Unlimit production.
The ONLY reason it's expensive now is prohibition. The cost has everything to do with constrained supply. Even now, "legal" medical production is severely constrained. Regulators are so concerned about keeping a tight lid on production that they create a situation that guarantees high prices. Until there's unrestricted, unlimited outdoor production, prices will remain high. Apparently, many policy makers seem to believe it must be grown indoors. This idea works for certain interests, those who want it to remain expensive and those who want to keep it as tightly constrained as possible. Cannabis exists in such a bizarre Alice In Wonderland world. Voters have been willing to allow a medical exception, but policy makers have put in place regulations that force high prices. At the same time, those who insist on continuing prohibition are the ones who freak out at anyone "profiting" from cannabis. Right now, the directly involved interest groups have an interest in high prices because of where the status quo has been for so long. Prohibition and restricted MMJ keep prices high. That works for cops, politicians, illegal growers and distributors and dispensary operators. The only people it doesn't work for are end users, and of course, everybody else. 
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Comment #8 posted by MaryjaneDaly on July 11, 2010 at 12:15:31 PT:

paper or plastic? "Plastic please"

What about the millions that will be generated by the Industrial Hemp boom sure to explode if 19 passes? Putting farmers back in the fields and reopening abandoned manufacturing plants to process hemp products (made in the USA and biodegradable) It's a win win for the green scene. comment #14THE POWERS THAT BE DO NOT WANT CANNABIS LEGALIZED BECAUSE IT WILL COMPETE WITH THEIR OIL. ( We should be subsidizing hemp - not crude oil or corn! )#YESON19
 MaryjaneDaly on Twitter
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Comment #7 posted by ekim on July 11, 2010 at 11:16:02 PT

The National Geographic Channel is doing Drugs, Inc., Sunday, July 11, at 8:00 PM Eastern and 9:00 PM Pacific.found at

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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 11, 2010 at 10:16:29 PT

Just a Comment
So many people know how to grow superior cannabis that when it finally is legal it will be really inexpensive. When it is top quality and cheap no more crime will happen which is what I hope for in the not to distant future.
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Comment #5 posted by dongenero on July 11, 2010 at 09:25:22 PT

You can buy a $1.50 cigar or you can buy a $50 cigar.You can buy a $3 bottle of wine or a $300 bottle of wine.
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on July 11, 2010 at 09:10:51 PT

I can see why they'd want to keep cannabis expensive, it's the sacrament of competing religions.Right now their sacrament, alcohol, is $3.00 a bottle.
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Comment #3 posted by GeoChemist on July 11, 2010 at 08:46:05 PT

What about
all of the money that WILL be saved on enforcement and the like? Wouldn't that be MORE for the coffers? Just saying....................
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 11, 2010 at 08:01:34 PT

You said: Beer is cheap...why can't a joint be?I definitely agree. 
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Comment #1 posted by nooitsmee on July 11, 2010 at 07:59:41 PT:

Not as bad...
$1.50 for a j is going price depending on what part of the country you live in, anyway. I don't believe that dealers will drop their prices even lower to compete with the market because they really don't profit THAT much as it is. I think it's a good thing for the prices to start out as low as suggested. Beer is cheap...why can't a joint be?
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