The $35-billion market value of U.S.-grown cannabis tops that of such heartland staples as corn and hay, a marijuana activist says.
SACRAMENTO — For years, activists in the marijuana legalization movement have claimed that cannabis is America’s biggest cash crop. Now they’re citing government statistics to prove it.
A report released today by a marijuana public policy analyst contends that the market value of pot produced in the U.S. exceeds $35 billion — far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay, which are the top three legal cash crops.
California is responsible for more than a third of the cannabis harvest, with an estimated production of $13.8 billion that exceeds the value of the state’s grapes, vegetables and hay combined — and marijuana is the top cash crop in a dozen states, the report states.
The report estimates that marijuana production has increased tenfold in the past quarter century despite an exhaustive anti-drug effort by law enforcement.
from the Los Angeles Times
The continued easy availability and increasing potency of domestically produced marijuana is both a testament to American ingenuity and the utter futility of attempting to prohibit a weed that can be grown just about anywhere, indoor or out.
According to our informants in the drug underground, back in the "heyday" of hippie-era pot consumption, most of the marijuana consumed in the United States was imported from Mexico, Jamaica, or Colombia. Hashish from Nepal, Afghanistan, Morocco, Turkey, Lebanon, and Pakistan was also widely available (according to our sources).
Today, in a complete turn-around running directly contrary to economic trends in almost every other field, production, processing, packaging and distribution are now over 90% domestic! Think of all of the jobs created by this $35 Billion industry. Imported jobs! Insourcing! A rare American success story, in terms of freeing the US from a dangerous foreign dependency. If only the energy industry could follow suit!
How long will venal politicians be able to ignore this colossal source of potential revenue? Of course, the current pot policies do generate some revenue from fines and seized property but this pales in comparison to the costs of enforcement and incarceration. For the past 50 years pot prohibition has been an invaluable tool of social control, a convenience handle to weed out troublemakers and put the screws to that creative underclass whenever they start whining about things like due process or pointing out inconsistencies in the official version of how things were going down.
But now that the majority of our potential presidential candidates have at least a passing acquaintance with the evil weed, and there are so many other tools available to the forces of law and order, and if the members of Congress were subjected to the same drug testing policies as baseball players they would have trouble reaching a quorum, perhaps the day is coming when the costs of this particular front in the war on drugs will so obviously and overwhelmingly outweigh the benefits that some kind of equitable truce can be declared.