Marijuana is U.S. Top Cash Crop

The number one cash crop in America is now marijuana.

The report, "Marijuana Production in the United States," by marijuana policy researcher Jon Gettman, concludes that despite massive eradication efforts at the hands of the federal government, "marijuana has become a pervasive and ineradicable part of the national economy."

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    Rock on.... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:27:06 AM EST
    Grow on my fellow Americans...grow on!

    This black-thumbed purveyor of your crop thanks you for taking the risks associated with growing this glorious vegetation.

    May its seed be sown everywhere!

    This is hardly news (none / 0) (#1)
    by SeeEmDee on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 08:59:30 AM EST
    Cannabis has been the number one cash crop in America for decades. This is just the latest admission of that. Hardly nes at all.

    The main problem with the thrust of the message here, as always, has been not just the message but the messengers; no matter how factual the information or how sane the voice that imparts it, the prohibitionists always point to that voice and decry its' 'partisanship'.

    (As if said prohitionsits aren't, by several orders of magnitude, far more guilty of that than their opponents; after all, who has more to lose should cannabis become legal again than they do?)

    In Nevada in September 2003, while during one of his junkets using Federal taxpayer funds to derail local drug law reform initiatives, DrugCzar John "Pee" Walters declared that a public debate was needed on the wisdom of continuing cannabis prohibition. Bruce Mirken from the Marijuana Policy Project accepted the DrugCzar's gracious offer...which prompted immediate silence and then several months of backpedalling, culminating in a statement by Walters that there wasn't any need to debate anything because the Gub'mint had all the answers. Except, of course, for why this latest study, one of a long list of them performed year after year, decade after decade, makes a mockery of his and his predecessors efforts.

    Income (none / 0) (#2)
    by peacrevol on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:03:11 AM EST
    A 2005 analysis by Harvard visiting professor Jeffrey Miron estimates that if the United States legalized marijuana, the country would save $7.7 billion in law enforcement costs and could generated as much as $6.2 billion annually if marijuana were taxed like alcohol or tobacco.

    I wonder if, when taking those estimates into account, they considered that legalization would likely bring down its value. If it's legal and a lot of money can be made from its production and sales, it stands to reason that there should be a rush of supply, driving the price down. It seems that demand might go up slightly, but I doubt that demand would be effected as much as supply. However, they are talkinga bout a potential $13.9 BILLION swing in revenue and expenses in the positive direction. If we save only that $7.7 billion, that's still a decent amount of money. But of course, we wouldnt be saving all $7.7 billion in expenditures b/c it wont be free to regulate it, and there would still be a few renegades out there that dont go through the process to legally produce and distribute it. Taking that into consideration, it makes you wonder if it would make it easier or harder initially for our youth to acquire pot for their use. So initially, perhaps if they're planning to legalize and tax, they should go into it with a gradual decriminalization to make it a smoother transition. Of course, I dont think we'll really see any decriminalization of pot any time soon.

    They? (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:57:31 AM EST
    I wonder if, when taking those estimates into account, they considered

    The "they" that are earning the $13,900,000,000.00 think that there are too many zeros in the above number to legalize weed.

    Guess "they" have some might in the fight.

    F*#k the consumers. I guarantee you though, if weed were not so easy to grow, the Corporate America would have the prohibition laws changed in a second.


    kdog (none / 0) (#4)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 09:45:31 AM EST
    We're gonna be rich, man!! ;-)

    Full legalization is coming, it's inevitable (none / 0) (#6)
    by Aaron on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:19:50 AM EST
    The great thing about living in a capitalist country is that no matter how morally degenerate the users of a natural herbal remedy have been portrayed in the past, if there's enough money in it, at some point those who control market forces in this country will begin working to reverse that trend, because the money to be made is just too enticing.

    Once marijuana is legalized, and it will happen make no mistake about that, the demand will increase 50 to 100 fold in a very short time, because once the segment of American public who have never tried grass begin to do so, it will quickly become the most popular drug of choice on the legal market, cutting heavily into the tobacco and alcohol markets.  Farmers in the South who make a pittance growing tobacco, cotton and other crops will immediately begin changing over to high-grade marijuana.  Farmers in the Midwest who grow corn, soybeans and wheat which are almost worthless in today's market, costing more to plant, cultivate and harvest than they return, will add marijuana to their crop rotation forthwith.  It'll be the biggest boost for small farming in the United States since the soybean was introduced.

    As a result, America as a nation will become a much more laid-back nation.  We will see immediate reductions in violent crime, domestic abuse, child abuse etc. because finally there will be a legal drug on the market that helps people relax and enjoy life, as opposed to drugs which promote production at the cost of over stimulating the brain, the way nicotine and caffeine do.  Alcohol abuse will drop drastically, just as the number of the drunk driving deaths and injuries will fall off precipitously. Distillers across the country will be quick to get in on action by producing cannabis liqueurs and whiskeys to offset the drop in their market share.

    Soldiers in the US military will be given marijuana rations, much the way the Royal Navy gives its sailors an ale ration.  The military will recognize the value of helping its soldiers unwind after a hard day of lopping off heads in the Third World.  At some point US presidents will be required by law to smoke marijuana daily in an attempt to curb the number of unprovoked wars they'll be willing to embark upon.

    Teenagers will hang around outside the 7-11 trying to get adults to buy them a pack of marijuana cigarettes.  Teen marijuana use will skyrocket and as a result young people going through the stress and trauma of adolescence will finally have a drug which helps them cope with those difficulties.  Child therapists and psychiatrists will be handing out marijuana prescriptions the way we see Ritalin prescriptions handed out today.  Young people will have a lot more sex, and be much less prone to violence as a result.

    Rastafarian churches will spring up all across the United States, seriously threatening the dominance of Christianity by the 22nd century.  Priests, pastors and ministers will once again be referring to ganja as the devil weed in sermons, in a vain effort to turn their parishioners away from marijuana use.

    Politicians who continue to demonize marijuana and marijuana users will quickly see their political careers dry up and die on the vine, because marijuana use will cut across all political, class and cultural lines.

    Simply put, the United States will be a much calmer, gentler, friendlier, less judgmental place, a better America for all concerned.

    The power of this one little plant will change the face of America for ever.

    Remember where you heard it.  :-)

    Dream on Aaron (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:26:01 AM EST
    Tobacco, Alchol, and other indulgences that we have available to us via corporate america are really tough for users to produce. Weed is a weed and anyone can grow it.

    Heck if it were legal I would have a crop of all the wonderful varieties nature gave us, wouldn't you?

    More $$ is to be made keeping it illegal


    Heck... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:41:58 AM EST
    if I didn't rent my pad from a very nice old lady, I'd be trying to overcome my black thumb right now.

    But I could never allow the feds to get their greasy paws on my nice landlady's house if I should get pinched.  You know they would try to steal it from her. Another reason it will never be legalized....asset forfeiture is big bucks.  The powers that be are banking on the fact that these laws will always be broken, so they can legally steal.


    It's (none / 0) (#10)
    by aw on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:49:02 AM EST
    rigged every which way, isn't it?

    Kdog (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 11:51:23 AM EST
    Can't seize rented property.  

    Thanks... (none / 0) (#16)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 01:52:17 PM EST
    I learned something today.

    Follow-up question...if the local LE agency really wanted to seize the house, could they try and prove the landlady knew what was going on and get it that way?


    Really, who says so? (none / 0) (#17)
    by squeaky on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 02:10:02 PM EST
    The law changed in 2000, and gave the non-involved property owner some rights. But to say that the government cannot seize rental property is ludicrous, it is just not as easy as it was before the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000

      The government must now inform people of its intent to seize their property. A property may not be seized if the owner can prove by a preponderance of evidence that they were unaware of any illegal conduct or, upon learning of the illegal conduct, did all that could reasonably be expected to terminate the illegal conduct on the property. By way of example, reasonable steps by a landlord include telling the local law enforcement agency about a tenant's illegal activities and seeking eviction of the tenant.



    So basically... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Patrick on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 03:38:54 PM EST
    They can't seize it if the owner didn't know.  I could have been more clear, but I assumed from Kdog's post the landlady wasn't an involved party.  

    A little overzealous? (none / 0) (#8)
    by peacrevol on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 10:34:18 AM EST
    Though some of what you said makes good sense, these quotes from your passage

    Soldiers in the US military will be given marijuana rations...

    ...US presidents will be required by law to smoke marijuana daily in an attempt to curb the number of unprovoked wars they'll be willing to embark upon.

    Young people will have a lot more sex, and be much less prone to violence as a result.

    Rastafarian churches will spring up all across the United States, seriously threatening the dominance of Christianity by the 22nd century.

    make me wonder if you are baked right now...

    Otherwise, I agree that it would have a big impact on our nation. I also agree that it will happen sooner or later, but most likely later. One thing that bothers me that you brought up is that teen mj use will skyrocket. It might. And I dont think that's a good thing. Teens, as a whole, are already terrible decision makers. They dont need pot, alcohol, excessive presription drugs, narcotics, or anything else to make them even worse decision makers. Of course, I'm sure we'd all rather see them smoke some pot instead of getting into meth, which is a big problem right now. But I'm not sure that teen use would go up. It's already pretty high (no pun intended) and regulation of its sale might hinder its availability to youngsters. If pot is legalized or decriminalized, the result will most likely be more similar to when prohibition of alcohol was repealed back in the day.


    Soldiers and Marines more than anyone (none / 0) (#13)
    by Aaron on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 12:46:20 PM EST
    That's who needs to get stoned at the end of a long hard day of turning human beings in a hamburger and watching your friends get turned into hamburger in turn.  Trust me on that one.

    Read my rewrite over at kos, I think I did a better job of making my point.


    No doubt about that (none / 0) (#14)
    by peacrevol on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 12:53:58 PM EST
    Soldiers and Marines do see some pretty fast-paced close quarters combat that can be really hard to deal with. And sometimes that's exactly what we needed, but the govt would never jump for board with something like that.

    And sometimes that's exactly what we needed (none / 0) (#15)
    by peacrevol on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 12:55:01 PM EST
    sorry, that didnt come out as clear as it should have - a good high was exactly what we needed after combat.

    A recent study said that teen use of... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Bill Arnett on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 03:22:23 PM EST
    ...pot had actually dropped in states where medicinal pot is allowed, which kinda blows that teen use will increase argument right out of the water.

    See THIS.


    Analogy to alcohol (none / 0) (#20)
    by peacrevol on Wed Dec 20, 2006 at 09:28:22 AM EST
    I think the best way to predict what might happen is to compare it to alcohol use. If we set a specific age for pot sales (let's say 21), then youths cant go buy it in stores, but they can get somebody to do it for them...not legally, but they will. However, it might make it harder for them. I dont think it will lead to more of them wanting to smoke, b/c if they're going to want to, there's nothing we can do about it. But if it's harder for them to get, it might be tougher. As of right now, the people that they're getting it from are not the kind of people that care how old they are and they're not regulated by the govt. So as long as they know 1 dealer, they've got a hookup anytime they want...unless there drug dealer is out, in which case, it'll only be a few days at the most b4 they can get some more. I dont know if it would make it easier or harder for them to get, but I think that is the main driver as to whether or not teen use would go up or down.

    The rewrite (none / 0) (#12)
    by Aaron on Tue Dec 19, 2006 at 12:41:17 PM EST
    too much to gain (none / 0) (#21)
    by cassidy7782 on Mon Dec 22, 2008 at 09:32:34 PM EST
    For youth today it is easier to get marijuana then it is to get alcohol, atleast with alcohol there is someone at the counter to check that you are old enough to buy and consume the product. Do you suppose that all the drug dealers out there are doing the same? I didn't think so. First of all, the legalization of marijuana would only help this country in these harsh economic times, but it needs to be done in the proper way. For the people in control to accept this we need to stop trying to promote the fact that anyone can grow it. Of course anyone can grow it; its a weed for crying out loud, but why would anyone go through the trouble of growing and drying and waiting and paying all the electricity bills when they could just go to the liquor store and buy a pack of joints. Second we need to get the government to control it completely( I know this scares some of us)but thats the only way that it will ever happen, there should be a government agency specific to the growth of marijuana. Kind of like the DMV if you will. Cutting out the middle man and not just making the money from taxes but the country itself would make every penny, not to mention the sales tax once the government sells it to local merchants and cannibus "coffee" shops. Once we have the budget deficit caught up we can start investing all this money in other ways to benefit our country, such as helping the homeless by hiring them to work at the harvest facilities, where they would become government employees and productive members of society. Another thing we could invest all this money in is a mass transit system that not only spans from town to town but from state to state, eliminating our dependency on foreign oil. I agree that there should still be harsh consequences for those who try to grow and smuggle marijuana because in the end they are really cheating the country out of money that it deserves. You will never hear me say that marijuana is not bad for you but I believe that as american citizens we should have the right to choose for ourselves. Which is why I feel that we need to ask the federal government for a 6 month to 1 year grace period to experiment with these ideas. And if in the end no real good comes of it then things can go right back to the way they have always been.