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Old 4th April 2008, 03:04 PM   #1
The Atheist
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America's #1 Cash Crop? Cannibis!

Greater than wheat and corn combined, with US cultivation worth more than US$35bn!

Mind boggling link.

Quote:
It is the leading cash crop in 12 states, and one of the top five crops in 39 states.... 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
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Old 4th April 2008, 03:40 PM   #2
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And you're surprised?
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Old 4th April 2008, 03:45 PM   #3
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Here's some more breaking news that may boggle The Atheist's mind: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!
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Old 4th April 2008, 03:53 PM   #4
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Yeah, it's been that way for some time. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that indoor growing has become more popular over the last few years, but I don't have any statistics.

I, for one, am proud to contribute to the economy of my country.

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Old 4th April 2008, 03:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Greater than wheat and corn combined, with US cultivation worth more than US$35bn!

Mind boggling link.
But think about this: This plant is very easy to grow. It's basically a weed. It grows just about anywhere, with very little cultivation, and is grown by a lot of folks with not too much intelligence, skill or expensive tools and equipment. What do you imagine the value of it would be if it were legal?
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Old 4th April 2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Yeah, it's been that way for some time. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that indoor growing has become more popular over the last few years, but I don't have any statistics.
Well the high-grade indoor stuff is certainly easier to come by these days.




So I hear.
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Old 4th April 2008, 03:57 PM   #7
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There are many locales here that that the DEA does not, and never will, visit. Officially, anyway.

Besides, doesn't entrepreneurship promote economic growth?
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Old 4th April 2008, 04:20 PM   #8
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And this is why I advocate the death penalty for possession.
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Old 4th April 2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
And you're surprised?
I'm surprised. Maybe I wouldn't be if I had thought it through, but if someone had just asked me out of the blue what America's most valuable crop was, I wouldn't have even thought of Mary J. I would have guessed corn, wheat or soy.
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Old 4th April 2008, 08:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I'm surprised. Maybe I wouldn't be if I had thought it through, but if someone had just asked me out of the blue what America's most valuable crop was, I wouldn't have even thought of Mary J. I would have guessed corn, wheat or soy.
Has been for quite awhile!!
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Old 4th April 2008, 09:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
And you're surprised?
Actually, I was!

I don't take much notice of marijuana statistics in USA - or anywhere else for that matter - and even with the price disparity of dope and tobacco, I really would have thought that 'baccy would be bigger for starters.

I guess Seppo tokers must smoke lots! (Or sell it all to Vancouver?)

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Here's some more breaking news that may boggle The Atheist's mind: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!
And WildCat's still a dick!

Originally Posted by godless dave View Post
Yeah, it's been that way for some time. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that indoor growing has become more popular over the last few years, but I don't have any statistics.

I, for one, am proud to contribute to the economy of my country.
It surprised me that so much was grown outside, actually. USA must be the last bastion of outdoor dope - referred to by hydro connoisseurs contemptibly as "bush".

Originally Posted by Region Rat View Post
But think about this: This plant is very easy to grow. It's basically a weed. It grows just about anywhere, with very little cultivation, and is grown by a lot of folks with not too much intelligence, skill or expensive tools and equipment. What do you imagine the value of it would be if it were legal?
Yes, I am well aware of all that - it's so much a weed that in the easy-grow outdoor conditions here it's grows wild in some parts.

The total value of the crop would drop quite considerably if became legal. I imagine a legally-supplied price would be set at probably $50-100 an ounce - loads of revenue and too low for criminals to bother with.

Originally Posted by Drudgewire View Post
Well the high-grade indoor stuff is certainly easier to come by these days.

So I hear.
I haven't even heard of anyone smoking bush in Auckland for probably 5 years at least.

Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I'm surprised. Maybe I wouldn't be if I had thought it through, but if someone had just asked me out of the blue what America's most valuable crop was, I wouldn't have even thought of Mary J. I would have guessed corn, wheat or soy.
Like me, you're obviously some kind of naive guy. Did you know Franco was dead?
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Old 4th April 2008, 10:38 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Like me, you're obviously some kind of naive guy. Did you know Franco was dead?
I knew that. But this, you realize, means that the US and post-Taliban Afghanistan have something in common. The top crop is an illegal drug.

If this isn't proof that prohibition is a counterproductive policy, I don't what would be.
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Old 4th April 2008, 11:42 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
(Or sell it all to Vancouver?)
Now you're being deliberately thick. That's like importing coal to Newcastle, or the French buying Danish wine.

British Columbian pot is world-famous (at least according to the Dutch, since that was the main thing being advertised last time I was in Amsterdam).
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Old 5th April 2008, 03:40 AM   #14
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Am I the only one who read the thread title as "America's #1 Cash Crop? Cannibals!"?

I thought this was going to be an Albert Fish or Ted Turner thread.
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Old 5th April 2008, 07:41 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Actually, I was!

I don't take much notice of marijuana statistics in USA - or anywhere else for that matter - and even with the price disparity of dope and tobacco, I really would have thought that 'baccy would be bigger for starters.
If you don't live in the US and don't follow the issue it's understandable you'd be surprised. I do live here and I do follow the issue, and marijuana has been the US's biggest cash crop since at least the 1980s; it gets reported in the mainstream news once in a while and is mentioned in "High Times" and by NORML pretty often.

I suspect we don't export any of it. We import outdoor-grown from Mexico and even some indoor-grown from Canada, and we consume that in addition to what it grown here. There are almost 300 million people in this country and a lot of them smoke weed.
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Old 5th April 2008, 10:29 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It surprised me that so much was grown outside, actually. USA must be the last bastion of outdoor dope - referred to by hydro connoisseurs contemptibly as "bush".
What makes you think most of it is grown outside?
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Old 5th April 2008, 01:27 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I knew that. But this, you realize, means that the US and post-Taliban Afghanistan have something in common. The top crop is an illegal drug.

If this isn't proof that prohibition is a counterproductive policy, I don't what would be.
Don't get me started on prohibition! I thought there was sufficient proof left over from the prohibition of alcohol to figure that out.

Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
Now you're being deliberately thick. That's like importing coal to Newcastle, or the French buying Danish wine.

British Columbian pot is world-famous (at least according to the Dutch, since that was the main thing being advertised last time I was in Amsterdam).
Actually, it was an attempted joke because you're a Canadian, aren't you? I have a pothead nephew lives in Vancouver, so I know all about their weed.

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
What makes you think most of it is grown outside?
Ah, I see I was right with the first reply to you. Where did I ever say "most of it was grown outside"?

Clearly, lots of it is grown outside - or at least in the mind of whoever wrote the article, which says:

"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."

See that? Grown in the forests? I doubt too many hydro operations would be set up in a forest - much easier to protect and hide inside. A few plants in the forest won't look out of place, but I susepct sealed cabinets with a generator for power supply would do.
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Old 5th April 2008, 04:42 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Actually, it was an attempted joke because you're a Canadian, aren't you?
That possibility (of a joke, not the possibility of my being Canadian) did eventually occur to me, but I liked the Danish wine analogy enough to leave it posted.

I remember being shocked about a year after I moved to BC, when someone walked past me smoking a cigarette, and I could smell tobacco. I had forgotten that people still smoked that stuff.
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Old 6th April 2008, 12:59 AM   #19
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Imagine if it was the best plant for BioFuel! That would be a riot!
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Old 6th April 2008, 09:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Ah, I see I was right with the first reply to you. Where did I ever say "most of it was grown outside"?

Clearly, lots of it is grown outside - or at least in the mind of whoever wrote the article, which says:

"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."

See that? Grown in the forests? I doubt too many hydro operations would be set up in a forest - much easier to protect and hide inside. A few plants in the forest won't look out of place, but I susepct sealed cabinets with a generator for power supply would do.
So now because some is grown outside in California, that somehow means most is? Are you really that thick? Apparently, you are.

Because Americans don't grow indoors...

Next time you jump to half-assed conclusions you might want to use that matter between your ears you apparently don't think you have any use for.
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Old 6th April 2008, 10:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
It is the leading cash crop in 12 states, and one of the top five crops in 39 states.
Hmmmm, 39 + 12 = 51

According to the NZ Herald the USA has 51 states. This is quite the reliable source. Maybe it's the number 1 crop in their office
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Old 6th April 2008, 11:23 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
So now because some is grown outside in California, that somehow means most is? Are you really that thick? Apparently, you are.

Next time you jump to half-assed conclusions you might want to use that matter between your ears you apparently don't think you have any use for.
You're a riot!

I'm not sure why you decided to come and make a complete fool of yourself by accusing me of saying something I demonstrably did not say, but thanks for playing!

Read this really slowly and you might begin to understand - this is a direct quote of what I said earlier, check it out:

Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It surprised me that so much was grown outside, actually.
I even made it easier for you the first time you erroneously claimed I said anything about "most marijuana", when I asked:

Originally Posted by Me again
Where did I ever say "most of it was grown outside"?

Clearly, lots of it is grown outside - or at least in the mind of whoever wrote the article, which says...
Now, you come in and call me thick for saying "most dope is grown outside"!



Mate, you are simply awful at this.

For you to call me thick and use it as an attack, it is incumbent upon you to use my actual words. Making things up to put them into my mouth so you can attack me for it is a bit silly, isn't it?

Are you an emergent user of English, maybe? If so, you need to be aware that "so much" is no relation to "most".

Either way, I really do suggest keeping your fingers off the keyboard until you understand what is actually being said, because charging off and calling someone "thick" really does have a nasty tendency to rebound when you have clearly got it completely wrong.

Run along now...
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Old 6th April 2008, 11:30 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by The Painter View Post
Hmmmm, 39 + 12 = 51

According to the NZ Herald the USA has 51 states. This is quite the reliable source. Maybe it's the number 1 crop in their office

Oops!

Not in the Herald office, but maybe in yours?

This is actually quite simple and has nothing at all to do with 12+39 - I'll run you through it carefully:

In 39 states, dope is one of the top five cash crops. Got that?

In twelve of those 39 states, it is the number one cash crop.

Do you see how that works now? If it's number one in a state, that means it obviously has to be in the top five in that state.

Statistics can be a little confusing for the uninitiated, but the Herald has made no comment on the other eleven states.

Always glad to help.
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Old 6th April 2008, 12:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
You're a riot!

I'm not sure why you decided to come and make a complete fool of yourself by accusing me of saying something I demonstrably did not say, but thanks for playing!

Read this really slowly and you might begin to understand - this is a direct quote of what I said earlier, check it out:



I even made it easier for you the first time you erroneously claimed I said anything about "most marijuana", when I asked:



Now, you come in and call me thick for saying "most dope is grown outside"!



Mate, you are simply awful at this.

For you to call me thick and use it as an attack, it is incumbent upon you to use my actual words. Making things up to put them into my mouth so you can attack me for it is a bit silly, isn't it?

Are you an emergent user of English, maybe? If so, you need to be aware that "so much" is no relation to "most".

Either way, I really do suggest keeping your fingers off the keyboard until you understand what is actually being said, because charging off and calling someone "thick" really does have a nasty tendency to rebound when you have clearly got it completely wrong.

Run along now...
Awww, did someone get caught expressing amazement that pot is actually grown in America, and is the biggest cash crop? Something that's been well-known for the last 25 years or so...
Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
It surprised me that so much was grown outside, actually. USA must be the last bastion of outdoor dope - referred to by hydro connoisseurs contemptibly as "bush".
How much is "so much"? Do you have a number? Surely, you must have a number in mind, you wouldn't just stuff your foot in your mouth like that would you? Why, of course you would! Because you misread the article and thought it meant that outdoor-grown marijuana was the number 1 cash crop. You could put on your big-boy pants and admit you goofed, but instead you revert to the clueless Kiwi asshat role you've worked so hard to cultivate here.
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Old 6th April 2008, 12:07 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
And WildCat's still a dick!
There's some sig material! Nothing screams "defeated" like an ad-hom right off the bat...
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Old 6th April 2008, 02:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
There's some sig material! Nothing screams "defeated" like an ad-hom right off the bat...
Well, if that's the case, you'd need to look at your first post in the thread.

And "hissy fit"? Dear, oh dear. I was just pointing out the obvious. Thanks for putting it in your sig, though. I have nothing in this thread to defend and I'm very happy to let people see how the "discussion" has progressed.

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Awww, did someone get caught expressing amazement that pot is actually grown in America, and is the biggest cash crop? Something that's been well-known for the last 25 years or so...
Well, as I've noted already, since I don't live in USA, or know anything about dope-smoking statistics, I have no problem to admitting ignorance on the subject. Interesting that other people who do live in USA weren't aware of the issue as well. Maybe you know more about dope-smoking than many of your countrymen? Having made the statement about marijuana being the biggest cash crop for 25 years and that the fact is "well-known", I imagine you'd be able to back that up with actual evidence?

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
You could put on your big-boy pants and admit you goofed, but instead you revert to the clueless Kiwi asshat role you've worked so hard to cultivate here.
Glad to see you continuing down the same fallacious trail, trying desperately to defend your initial fallacy by adding a few more.
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Old 6th April 2008, 02:41 PM   #27
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Goddam. Yanks are so ignorant of what goes on inside their own country! Not only posters in this thread found the news to be news, but so do the following, all of which have reported the fact about the size of USA's marijuana crop value in the past 18 months:

ABC December 2006

Reason.com April 2007*

Encyclopedia.com December 2006

Guardian, UK December 2006

*This will make an interesting comparison for the "25 year-old news", since Reason.com cites Jon Gettman of Bulletin of Cannibis Review as claiming the crop harvest increased tenfold in the past 25 years.
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Old 6th April 2008, 09:20 PM   #28
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My wife called me a few weeks ago, as I lay sleeping in an Indianapolis motel room, to tell me our house in Tucson had been broken into. As I recall one of the first things I asked was had she checked the second drawer of the bedroom dresser.

That's where I'd left half a roach of some very very nice marijuana along with a spot of high-quality homemade hash. She told me that she thought it was gone.

Got home about a week later and saw the police report from the Pima County Sheriff's Department where a deputy had left it on that very same dresser.

Immediately checked the second drawer. Guess what I'm smoking now? HAHAHAHAHA
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Old 6th April 2008, 09:27 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Goddam. Yanks are so ignorant of what goes on inside their own country! Not only posters in this thread found the news to be news, but so do the following, all of which have reported the fact about the size of USA's marijuana crop value in the past 18 months:

ABC December 2006

Reason.com April 2007*

Encyclopedia.com December 2006

Guardian, UK December 2006

*This will make an interesting comparison for the "25 year-old news", since Reason.com cites Jon Gettman of Bulletin of Cannibis Review as claiming the crop harvest increased tenfold in the past 25 years.
Hmmmmmm...
Quote:
Estimated Agricultural Crop Values In The United States, 1985

Crop $ Value of Production

1 Marijuana* 18,600,000,000
2 Corn for Grain 18,582,500,000
3 Soybeans 10,183,500,000
4 Hay 9,980,500,000
5 Wheat 7,256,500,000
6 Sorghum 3,820,500,000
7 Cotton 3,705,100,000
8 Tobacco 2,744,800,000
9 Potatoes 1,363,400,000
10 Rice 1,014,000,000

Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture - Crop Reporting Board,
Agricultural Prices, Washington, D.C., October 31, 1985.

Keep digging that hole, maybe you can escape out the other side!
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Old 6th April 2008, 09:39 PM   #30
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Yadda-yadda... mine was free. Twice!
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Old 6th April 2008, 09:55 PM   #31
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Quote:
4 Hay 9,980,500,000
Wow. Maybe that shouldn't suprise me either, but it kind of does.

I'm a little amused that this has turned into a flame war.
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Old 6th April 2008, 10:32 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by President Bush View Post
Immediately checked the second drawer. Guess what I'm smoking now? HAHAHAHAHA
Is there a thumbs-up smiley somewhere? Seems like most of the sales here are done in small tinfoil-wrapped bits for $20, which makes about 3 joints?

Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Keep digging that hole, maybe you can escape out the other side!
OMG! At last I found one funny enough to not be able to convey it by smiley! Honest to god, when I checked the link, I had tears streaming down my cheeks I was laughing so hard. I was only pointing out that lots of major organisations saw the fact as news recently, but your link was indeed a winner.

Tip, WildCat: When failing miserably, it's not the best link to figures which say the following:

Estimated Agricultural Crop Values In The United States, 1985

(You do know what "estimated" means, eh? You struggled with "so much", so I'm just checking.)

And who, pray tell provided the estimate?

Why NORML, of course!

Do you do religion at all? That's kind of like KuriousKathy linking to the Creation Institute to prove her point.

Classic!

Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I'm a little amused that this has turned into a flame war.
Flame? Barely simmering, I would have said. Gimme some opposition, fer chrissakes.
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Old 7th April 2008, 05:20 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I'm a little amused that this has turned into a flame war.
Seriously. This wouldn't happen if we just rolled one up and passed it around.
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Old 7th April 2008, 09:50 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Estimated Agricultural Crop Values In The United States, 1985

(You do know what "estimated" means, eh? You struggled with "so much", so I'm just checking.)

And who, pray tell provided the estimate?

Why NORML, of course!
Excuse me for jumping in, but you've hit on a key point. For most of our cash crops we know the annual value to a good degree of precision. For marijuana its an estimate - a very rough estimate depending on the source.

It appears the US Gov't estimate is based on their estimate of the street price and another estimate of volume. Thats a straight forward PXQ, except we have no evidence of how they estimated either the P or the Q. 25 years ago when I used to work for a NORML attorney the standard line was that in drug busts the government ALWAYS increased their street value estimate by an order of magnitude for publicity purposes. I wonder why we don't take that into consideration with government estimates of the overall annual value? Does someone here have an axe to grind?

I'm sure there is a large dollar value on the overall marijuana market in the US, but I don't trust the data as quoted/used in the story.
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Old 7th April 2008, 10:37 AM   #35
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I think Madurobob makes a very good point.

In Gettman's report:
http://www.drugscience.org/Archive/b...eport_2006.pdf

Mr Gettman makes several assumptions, and I cant figure out where he got his numbers.

He makes a value assumption of $1606/lb

He states a 7 oz/per plant harvest assumption, but then the numbers he shows represent the DOJ's assumption of 1 lb/plant.

He states that seizures of outdoor cultivated marijuana represent only 8% of all outdoor cultivated plants, and that indoor cultivated plant seizures represent by 2% of all indoor plants, but then makes an overall production estimate of 10,000 metric tons, which jibes with the DOJ estimate (based on a 30% eradication rate).


The department of Justice report 2007
http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs22/224...86p/22486p.pdf

DOJ statistics show 6.3 million plants eradicated in 2006

DOJ assumes 1 lb per plant, which then comes to 2825 metric tons of pot destroyed (which, if that represents 30% of total cultivated comes to 9478 metric tons)

DOJ indicates that eradication programs destroy between 30-50% of all cultivated marijuana

DOJ estimates overall production from 5650 to 9417 metric tons

DOJ quotes prices as $700 - $750 per lb for outdoor cultivated pot
high potency indoor cultivated sold for $2500 - $6000 per lb

From Norml's website: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4444
Quote:
It should be noted that law enforcement's model when estimating marijuana's weight and value differs from the above paradigm. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials have long argued that a typical marijuana plant grown to harvest yields one pound (454 grams) of marijuana. However, most experts argue that this estimate is highly unrealistic. For example, data gathered by the United States Sentencing Commission supported the conclusion that the actual average yield of marijuana plants is 100 grams. [1] Government-sponsored studies conducted at the University of Mississippi calculated the amount of dry, smokable material at a maximum of 177 grams for an indoor marijuana plant and 412 grams for an outdoor plant. [2] The ten ounce estimate used by The NORML Foundation in this report reflects this data as well as the premise that most U.S. marijuana is densely grown in gardens of nine square feet or less. Under such conditions, DEA publications admit that one marijuana plant will likely yield approximately 224 grams of marijuana.

so... trying to work some of the same numbers

If 6.3 million plants eradicated represents 30% of total cultivated, that comes to around 20.9 million plants total cultivated.

20.9 million plants at 7 oz/plant (Gettman's figure) harvested = 7.3 million pounds = 3310 metric tons
7.3 million pounds x $1606/lb = $11,723,800,000 ($11.7 Billion)

20.9 million plants at 10oz/plant (Norml's figure) = 13 million pounds = 5924 metric tons
13 million pounds x $1606/lb = $20.8 Billion

Of course, the figures aren't really true, because 30% or more of the crop was actually destroyed. Assuming it was 30%, the actual "cash crop" for 2007 was around 14.6 million plants worth somewhere between $8.2 billion and $14.5 billion

According to http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=aSVTuzqlzaEQ
Quote:
Corn is the biggest U.S. crop, valued at a record $52.1 billion in 2007, followed by soybeans at $26.8 billion. Wheat was in fourth place, behind hay, with a value of $13.7 billion.

So, in conclusion, pot isn't really the number one cash crop. It's actually third or lower, depending on how you value it. Not so much headline worthy, really.
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Old 7th April 2008, 11:02 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by meg View Post
So, in conclusion, pot isn't really the number one cash crop. It's actually third or lower, depending on how you value it. Not so much headline worthy, really.
Clearly "50 percent of all statistics can be made up" is alive and well both with NORML and the DEA.

I'm still a bit bugged by Gettman's argument that because cannabis is the number one cash crop it should be legalized. Really? Thats the best he can do? I'm in favor of at least some liberal decriminalization, but least among my arguments is "because everyone is doing it".
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Old 7th April 2008, 11:06 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Madalch View Post
And you're surprised?
When I saw the thread title, that's exactly what I said.
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Old 7th April 2008, 11:19 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by meg View Post
So, in conclusion, pot isn't really the number one cash crop. It's actually third or lower, depending on how you value it. Not so much headline worthy, really.
Good on you, Meg - thanks for all that.

I had wondered briefly where the details all came from as I don't imagine dope-growers file returns.
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Old 7th April 2008, 11:42 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by madurobob View Post
I'm still a bit bugged by Gettman's argument that because cannabis is the number one cash crop it should be legalized. Really? Thats the best he can do? I'm in favor of at least some liberal decriminalization, but least among my arguments is "because everyone is doing it".
Yup, I agree. It doesn't make much sense.

If you look at the DOJ report, a big chunk of pot seized was planted by Mexican and Asian drug trafficking organizations. And much of it was planted and grown on US public land. Why would one assume that legalization of marijuana would automatically make these people/organizations want to go legit? If they're making billions now without owning any land or paying taxes on the crop, what incentive would they have to buy their own land and pay taxes on the future crop?

Legalization would probably reduce the amount of $$ for DEA personnel and programs, so it would be even easier for these folks to just keep doing what they're doing now.

And, if it were to be legalized and anybody could grow it, which I think is what Norml wants, I think it would be safe to assume that the price would dramatically decrease per pound, and any tax moneys received would also decrease accordingly. Again, his $35 billion cash crop quote would mean absolutely nothing.
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Old 7th April 2008, 02:20 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by meg View Post
Legalization would probably reduce the amount of $$ for DEA personnel and programs, so it would be even easier for these folks to just keep doing what they're doing now.
You might well be right - as I see it below, I don't think the revenue would be that much after all.

Originally Posted by meg View Post
And, if it were to be legalized and anybody could grow it, which I think is what Norml wants, I think it would be safe to assume that the price would dramatically decrease per pound, and any tax moneys received would also decrease accordingly. Again, his $35 billion cash crop quote would mean absolutely nothing.
The price would certainly decrease, but I think you're wrong on the number of people who would actually grow it. Growing dope isn't just throwing a few seeds in the ground any longer - well, not if you want to end up with any kind of smokeable weed, because the THC content of cannibis nowadays is so high that a home-grower may not even get high on his own gear.

Hydroponic growing is the only successful way and the costs involved are reasonably high - power usage is high and so are supervision/maintenance levels. Accordingly, a well-organised and taxed legal system would work simply due to economies of scale.

Just trying to get some numbers into a demand perspective, let's say that 15 million users in USA smoke marijuana daily, with an average daily dosage of two joints. That is - at street values - worth $3-4. Annually, that makes a total market value around $16-17 billion, which is about halfway between your figures and the reported ones. Either way, it's a very big number, but if the price fell by 80%, it would mean a market somewhere in the 1-6 billion range, depending which set of figures you start with. I think that if the price were forced higher, then there would be an incentive to home-grow, but if the total revenue is only a billion, then the available tax isn't that high.
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