Pubdate: Wed, 08 Apr 2009
Source: Hi-Desert Star (Yucca Valley, CA)
Copyright: 2009 Hi Desert Star
Author: Scott Logan


It costs $2 to grow a pound of pot, which sells for about $4,000.
Around 37 million people live in California. Around 3.5 million admit
using marijuana. Around 10 percent of those are medicinal users.
Around 70,000 of those 3.5 million were arrested in 2007, or roughly 5

Now let's crunch some numbers. Medical marijuana users admittedly
consume at least one pound per person per year at a cost of between
$870 million up to $2 billion, generating a potential tax base of $70
million to $120 million. Factor in the remaining 90 percent of
recreational users and you have about $13 billion already being spent
with a potential tax base in the low billions of dollars.

Instead, the whole amount goes straight to the black market and

* In response, California spends about $160 million to interdict,
arrest, prosecute and incarcerate marijuana "offenders," who
constitute the bulk of all drug arrests. The net result of that
expenditure is a whopping 95 percent failure rate!

No one needs an economics degree to figure out how massive a failure
this is.

Sadly, what should be a matter of compassion at least and freedom to
choose at best has boiled down to cold, hard economic fact. Had
California considered the moral and economic high ground years ago, we
may have remained solvent. We can reconsider our options, now that we
are faced with disaster, or we can continue to pursue a failure of
mammoth porprtions with a net gain of zero. Either way, marijuana and
its consumers will remain.

Scott Logan

Morongo Valley
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin