Legalizing Won’t “Reduce the Market” AT ALL

The following is my response to the Doomsayers and RCMP spin-doctors within the “California Referendum Could Deal Devastating Blow to BC’s Lucrative Marijuana Export Industry” story – found here:

http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/content/2010/05/03/California-Referendum-Could-Deal-Devastating-Blow-BCs-Lucrative-Marijuana-Export-

Contrary to what the RCMP want you to believe, legalizing cannabis will in fact increase the size of the market while at the same time reducing the price for SOME but NOT ALL kinds of cannabis.

The RCMP are not factoring in the probability of cannabis replacing 10-50% of all pharmaceutical drugs.

“Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, NORML, High Times and Omni magazine (September 1982) all indicate that, if marijuana were legal it would immediately replace 10-20% of all pharmaceutical prescription medicines (based on research through 1976). And probably, Mechoulam estimates, 40-50% of all medicines, including patent medicines, could contain some extract from the cannabis plant when fully researched.”
http://www.jackherer.com/chapter06.html

For a better understanding of the scope of the market:

Chronic Conditions Treated With Cannabis
Encountered Between 1990-2004
http://www.mikuriya.com/cw_icd9.html

http://www.antiquecannabisbook.com/

Let’s estimate just how big the North American pharmaceutical market is, and then find out just how much “10 to 50%” of that would be…

“IMS Health reported today that the size of the global market for pharmaceuticals is expected to grow nearly $300 billion over the next five years, reaching $1.1 trillion in 2014. … Global pharmaceutical sales growth of 4 – 6 percent is expected this year, consistent with IMS’s prior forecast. In 2009, the market grew 7.0 percent to $837 billion, compared with a 4.8 percent growth rate in 2008.”

http://www.thefreelibrary.com/China+%3a+IMS+Forecasts+Global+Pharmaceutical+Market+Growth+of+5-8%25…-a0224447014

This source provided figures of over 300 billion dollars for the North American pharmaceutical market – and that was back in 2007!:
www.imshealth.com/deployedfiles/…/GlobalSalesbyRegion.pdf

So …. 10 to 50% of 300 billion is 30 to 150 BILLION dollars. Remember … that 30 to 150 billion isn’t the size of the pot industry post legalization, it’s the size of the GROWTH of the pot industry post legalization (excluding the export market, which would also probably be substantial). The pot industry is already in the tens of billions, and relegalization is only going to make it bigger.

So what if the price for cheap weed goes down to ten bucks an ounce? Cheap weed has always been around. It’s the expensive stuff that will retain it’s value – right now the difference between average coffee and expensive coffee is a factor of 44 to 60:

“In 2005, however, the coffee prices rose (with the above-mentioned ICO Composite Index monthly averages between 78.79 (September) and 101.44 (March) US Cent per lb).”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_coffee

“If you would like to purchase certified genuine Jamaica Blue Mountain® coffee now from $44.99 per pound (compare in excess of $60 pound in stores, if it can be found) please click here.”
http://www.bluemountaincoffee.simpleindustries.ca/

So if cheap cannabis is 10 bucks an ounce and the average price is 30 bucks per ounce then (if the coffee market is any indication) 45 time 30 is 1350 per ounce, and 60 times 30 is 1800 per ounce – for the best cannabis in the world.

I tend to believe what Marc Emery believes – that “the provincial economy could benefit from industry innovation focused on developing high-quality cannabis strains” … the real money will be in the breeding and the selling of high quality seeds. Growing cannabis will either be about large operations and hash production or “boutique” cannabis grown in greenhouses.

But the market is going to get bigger, not smaller. We activists should make more of an effort to point that out to reporters, or people will have the wrong idea about what relegalization will look like.

David Malmo-Levine

Comments

38 Comments

  1. Anonymous 2 on

    You are very stubborn David and so am I so I will keep trying to make you understand, you also ought to read and consider the points and argument of the other anonymous she/he is very articulate and sure knows the economics of black markets and the possibilities of legalization.

    The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 while still groundbreaking needs many changes wich will come in due time, meanwhile sticking to its proposals we can see the following:

    “(ii) Cultivate, on private property by the owner, lawful occupant, or other lawful resident or guest of the private property owner or lawful occupant, cannabis plants for personal consumption only, in an area of not more than twenty-five square feet per private residence or, in the absence of any residence, the parcel.”

    Hence anyone interested and with the possibilities to do so would be legalilly entitled to grow as many plants as wanted in 25 square feet, how many will people grow will vary when taking into account whether its indoors/outdoors, desired cannabis strain and overall experience. I believe its possible to grow 10 plants that would yield over 2.5 kilograms dry weight (250 grams per plant outdoors) and thats a conservative estimate, considering it would be TOP GRADE most people would only need or want to smoke 1 gram per day so that makes it to 365 grams a year… so the grower would be left with 2135 grams to share or sell if desired as once the “tax act” becomes law it will be virtually unenforceable.

    Also its fair to expect coooperatives or joint efforts (pun intended) to come up to share the costs and reap the rewards (again), following the previous example of harvesting 2.5 kilograms of dried material per person divide this yield by 365 grams per person and you get 6.8, meaning 6.8 persons would be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor, so 7 persons could share the production cost of one crop of TOP GRADE material.

    “(as if we hadnt paid enough)… ”

    Yes I believe drugs users have paid a fuckload of taxes with governments fighting a failed “war on drugs” (a war on users of certain drugs to be more precise), and I mean direct taxes wasted on prosecuting US and indirect taxes on the artificially inflated price of drugs (not related at all to their production cost cannabis being a shining example of it). So yeah fuck schools and hospitals, they should get their money from the government savings on not prosecuting drug users and merchants anymore. I for one will always refuse to pay 1 fucking cent of drug taxes once they become legal, I´ve been a victim of this war and have many friends who also have so do not expect me to bend over and spread my cheeks so the damn government keeps fucking me over, I have had enough and so should everyone who loves freedom and drugs. If anything its the government that owes US cant you see that???, once illegal drugs become legal they should be tax exempt for at least as long as they have been illegal.

    “I would rather compare corn to cannabis ”

    Dude I explained why I prefer that comparison maybe I wasnt clear enough as english isnt my mother tongue so here it goes again: when analyzing the economics of the cannabis market its extremely important to asses its production cost, this among other factors gives the lowest possible cost to the buyer as in a free market economy items are sold with the intention of getting a profit keeping that in mind (do read what the other anonymous posted as its all there) when trying to ascertain the production cost of cannabis its useful to compare it with another crop in this instance I chose corn as I think it has a similar growing cycle (seed to harvest) and dried weight output (seeds in corn buds in cannabis properly grown), im just making a fair estimate anyway. Both are plants and both might take equal effort to grown, im not comparing the price of medicines to food just their estimated production cost wich I gather would be very similar. In any instance cannabis for smoking puposes might even end up being cheaper as less weight product would be needed to reach desired effects hence if production cost are similar but the market demands less of it it should be cheaper.

    Also worth considering is that tobacco is cultivated annually while cannabis isnt, tobacco smokers smoke much more than cannabis smokers, tobacco requires large amount of pesticides, it leeches nutrients from the soil at a rate higher than any other major crop. This leads to dependence on fertilizers. The wood for the curing of tobacco, leads to deforestation, when resources are put into tobacco production, they are taken away from food production (wiki).

    So you can see comparing growing cannabis with comercial tobacco doesnt cut it.

    “what the fuck makes you think you can stop a teen from getting it outside of jail”

    The simple FACT that its much easier for teens to get cannabis than alcohol. Why do you think this is so? teens shouldnt use cannabis or alcohol for very logical reasons some being that being a teen its already difficult enough and another being that the brain is still developing, previously you stated that cannabis helped you pass trough teenhood well congratulations but dont extrapolate that this would happen to all of them. The proposition calls for “it is lawful and shall not be a public offense under California law for any person 21 years of age or older” I believe the age limit should be 18 just like alcohol in most parts of the world. So what makes YOU think that a 14 year old can smoke and not a 10 year old or an 8 year old? an age limit is very neccesary. Ultimately a big foundation of prohibition has been the “protect the kids” scare, any adult who gives drugs to kids deserves my contempt.

    “Are you one of those people who thinks prohibition can work despite all the evidence to the contrary?”

    I think the contrary its quite clear so dont pretend to be a fool unless you wish to be treated as such.

    “What you mean to say is that “I think teens should not have a safe supply – teens should still be forced into a black market”

    Dont assume things you dont know. Drugs arent toys they should be treated with respect and knolewdge teens/kids need time to understand and grow… what difference does it make to wait until 18?, what you are proposing is very counterproductive. Jail should be for those that provide underagers with drugs, not for the moron kids who couldnt wait and decided to fuck it up for the rest of us all. And yeah if you didnt realize this before I think you are old enough to realize it now.

    “Really? “Top grade”? You are sure about that?”

    Hell yeah and you would be too if you had travelled and learned more, the price of cannabis in the US of WAR and industrialized countries is due to the cost imposed on those who deal with it by its PROHIBITION this created a black market and the laws of supply and demand bla bla bla… must I explain this again? you dont seem to be stupid so just read what has been posted already! man its basic economics!

    “Here are some examples of other soft drugs that don’t cure cancer”

    If you want to educate doctors (a very laudable idea) please do start by educating yourself. CANNABIS DOES NOT CURE CANCER!

    “”Top Grade” cannabis will certainly sell for more than top grade chocolate, tea and coffee because it’s so much more valuable and useful. I’ve never seen a poor cannabis dealer in Holland and even if the world legalizes cannabis I don’t think I ever will see a poor pot dealer in Holland.”

    If the other anonymous and my clear and logical arguments havent been enough to make you understand the differences between said commodities nothing else will short of legalization and its consequences, yes im stubborn but not stupid and continuing this argument would be. Here in Mexico its possible to buy 1 kilogram for 1000 pesos (80 dollars for 2.2 pounds) and it is TOP GRADE all the way, and this being ILLEGAL! once its legal and the knowledge about how to grow and the genetics get spread around you really dont think it would be much much lower?.

    “If you wanna make a buck of it youll have to work your ass off, unlike now where the earnings are equal to the risk taken from dealing with it.”

    You still have to work your ass off. Have you ever sold pot before? It’s a job like any other – except you don’t have to pay some obedience-oriented people 20,000 in tuition in order to make enough to be able to afford vacations, dental & children.

    Of course its a job like any other I respect those that put their asses on the line to provide cannabis to the general public, but dont pretend growing a plant and then selling it for almost its equivalent price in gold per weight aint a fucking great deal… not easy money but easier than working yer ass off at a construction site per example, once its legal the gold harvesting will be gone and those in the industry better get outta the way cause freedom shouldnt be held back merely cause a few will have to search for a new job.

    And nope of course I havent sold cannabis its illegal aint it?, and im a law abiding citizen…

  2. Anonymous on

    The Dutch cafes actually provide good reason to believe the price of legal cannabis will be no higher than current prices. While I have not had the pleasure of visiting Amsterdam yet, everything I have read and heard indicates that prices at the cafes are about the same as here in America. This is due to the fact that while small level retailers are ignored, commercial production is still illegal and controlled by the black market. So, first of all, you are wrong that cafes have killed the black market. Maybe cannabis is not on every street corner as it is in the U.S., but the black market producers are not out of business either; they simply sell to the legal retailers who then get rid of it for them. Because of this state of collusion and oligopoly, prices have not been lowered appreciably. It is important to note, however, that neither have they been raised. If producers thought they could get more for their product than they can right now, they would already be charging more.

    You still have not explained why you think legal prices will be higher than illegal. Current prices have remained about the same for a while now because we have just about reached the limit of the cannabis market’s elasticity. This is the concept that people will continue to buy products they consider necessary or highly desirable, regardless of price, up to a point. However, after the price passes a certain point (it varies from product to product) people will simply start buying less because it is too expensive. We have already reached that point with cannabis. When people go from smoking $10 cannabis to $20 cannabis, they usually cut their intake about in half, not because $20 cannabis is so much more potent, but because it is so much more expensive. The intelligent thing to do at this point is freeze prices, or even lower them a little bit, to maintain your customer base and business.

    Not only have we reached the point where demand will become inelastic if prices are raised, but for a legal market to succeed, it needs to undersell the black market. Our black market producers and retailers have been thriving perfectly well charging going prices. If legal prices are not lower than illegal prices, people will continue to buy illegal cannabis, defeating the entire purpose of legalization. Trust me, if the price of legal headies turns out to be something like $1000/oz, the black market will be thriving years from now, still selling $400 – $600 ozs of the same stuff. If legalization is to succeed, we need to make sure the final price of legal cannabis is too low for the black market producers and retailers to efficiently compete. This means prices for all cannabis need to be cut at least in half.

  3. Anonymous on

    The Dutch cafes actually provide good reason to believe the price of legal cannabis will be no higher than current prices. While I have not had the pleasure of visiting Amsterdam yet, everything I have read and heard indicates that prices at the cafes are about the same as here in America. This is due to the fact that while small level retailers are ignored, commercial production is still illegal and controlled by the black market. So, first of all, you are wrong that cafes have killed the black market. Maybe cannabis is not on every street corner as it is in the U.S., but the black market producers are not out of business either; they simply sell to the legal retailers who then get rid of it for them. Because of this state of collusion and oligopoly, prices have not been lowered appreciably. It is important to note, however, that neither have they been raised. If producers thought they could get more for their product than they can right now, they would already be charging more.

    You still have not explained why you think legal prices will be higher than illegal. Current prices have remained about the same for a while now because we have just about reached the limit of the cannabis market’s elasticity. This is the concept that people will continue to buy products they consider necessary or highly desirable, regardless of price, up to a point. However, after the price passes a certain point (it varies from product to product) people will simply start buying less because it is too expensive. We have already reached that point with cannabis. When people go from smoking $10 cannabis to $20 cannabis, they usually cut their intake about in half, not because $20 cannabis is so much more potent, but because it is so much more expensive. The intelligent thing to do at this point is freeze prices, or even lower them a little bit, to maintain your customer base and business.

    Not only have we reached the point where demand will become inelastic if prices are raised, but for a legal market to succeed, it needs to undersell the black market. Our black market producers and retailers have been thriving perfectly well charging going prices. If legal prices are not lower than illegal prices, people will continue to buy illegal cannabis, defeating the entire purpose of legalization. Trust me, if the price of legal headies turns out to be something like $1000/oz, the black market will be thriving years from now, still selling $400 – $600 ozs of the same stuff. If legalization is to succeed, we need to make sure the final price of legal cannabis is too low for the black market producers and retailers to efficiently compete. This means prices for all cannabis need to be cut at least in half.

  4. David Malmo-Levine on

    “Educating Dr.’s about cannabis? Wow, I don’t think doctors are in the business of being ”educated” by pot-smokers, no offense.”

    Doctors used to think homosexuality was a disease, until homosexuals educated them:

    “1973 – The American Psychiatric Association removes homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II), based largely on the research and advocacy of Evelyn Hooker…”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_LGBT_history

    “She became close to one of her students, Sam From, who introduced her in 1943 to the gay and lesbian subculture of the time. He challenged her to scientifically study “people like him.” [1] Despite the social, moral and scientific climate of the post-war period, Hooker became increasingly convinced that most gay men were perfectly socially adjusted and that this could be proven through scientific tests.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evelyn_Hooker

    We can all take turns being the “Sam From” of the pot community.

    “Dr.’s are notorious for despising any kind of education other than the one they have already received.”

    True. I never said it would be easy. But as the homosexuals proved, even doctors can overcome decades of bias when presented with the truth.

    “But, I wish you luck with that.”

    Yeah … thanks, I think.

    “It is not a doctor issue, it is a political issue.”

    Doctors are effective buffers to police raids, as any pot dispensary manager will tell you.

    “As for it being used as a treatment for depression
    and as a sedative, anyone can just say they are depressed.etc.”

    Yep … and they can walk into a doctors office and get a prescription for toxic anti-depressants. Why not non-toxic herbs?

    “What we need is for marijuana to be treated as a substance that we as human beings have the RIGHT to use, whether on a recreational basis, or as a healing tool.”

    Tried that. It failed. Haven’t given up, but I need some money to go all the way and getting doctors involved in helping activists to raise revenue seems logical.

  5. David Malmo-Levine on

    “Once it becomes legal its more likely that it´ll be legal on such a scale as to allow people to have their personal gardens (in order to comopletely destroy the black market it must happen this way)”

    You know you can grow a small garden in Holland, right?

    The rules say “five plants” but my Dutch friends tell me you can get away with a dozen or so if you’re not bothering anybody.

    Has this “destroyed” the black market? No. Allowing people to have cafes is what “destroyed” the street market. But allowing people to garden didn’t destroy the cafes – the cafes are for people who don’t have the time or the ability or the real estate to look after plants. In every place on earth there is a large market like that.

    “(as if we hadnt paid enough)… ”

    1) Schools and Hospitals need a revenue stream – what do you have against healthy pot smokers chipping in?

    2) 9 of every 10 tax dollars is spent on war and corruption – if you’re really worried about paying too much for taxes open up a pot cafe and use it to educate people about the REAL scams going on.

    “I would rather compare corn to cannabis ”

    I bet you would. It’s not apples and oranges, it’s apples and opium – you’re comparing a food crop to a medicine crop. Traditionally, food crops have been worth less than medicine crops.

    “Also I dont think it would or should be available to teens, …”

    Even when you put teens in PRISON they still find a way to get it … what the fuck makes you think you can stop a teen from getting it outside of jail? Are you one of those people who thinks prohibition can work despite all the evidence to the contrary?

    What you mean to say is that “I think teens should not have a safe supply – teens should still be forced into a black market” – well that’s completely fucked up on the surface – whatever you’re worried about with cannabis (red eyes … dry mouth) can’t be nearly half as bad as the black market (or a jail cell for that matter).

    “Top grade cannabis wont cost more than 50 cents a gram…”

    Really? “Top grade”? You are sure about that?

    Here are some examples of other soft drugs that don’t cure cancer and help people survive AIDS and help glaucoma patients see:

    “The most expensive tea in the world is the original Da Hong Pao (Big Red Robe) from Wuyi China. In 2002, 20 grams (about 2/3rds of an ounce) of Da Hong Pao sold for 180,000 RMB, which is approximately $23,000 US.”

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_most_expensive_tea_in_the_world

    In November 2006 Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms, a small cafe in the hills outside Townsville in Queensland, Australia, put kopi luwak coffee on its menu at AUD50.00 (US $33.00) a cup, selling about seven cups a week, which gained nationwide Australian and international press.[7] In April 2008 the brasserie at Peter Jones department store in London’s Sloane Square began selling a blend of kopi luwak and Blue Mountain called Caffe Raro for £50 (US $99.00) a cup.[8]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopi_Luwak

    1. Chocopologie by Knipschildt

    $2,600 a pound The most expensive chocolate that he sells is a $250 dark chocolate truffle which you can only pre-order.

    http://www.infobarrel.com/Top_10_Most_Expensive_Chocolates_in_the_World

    “Top Grade” cannabis will certainly sell for more than top grade chocolate, tea and coffee because it’s so much more valuable and useful. I’ve never seen a poor cannabis dealer in Holland and even if the world legalizes cannabis I don’t think I ever will see a poor pot dealer in Holland.

    “If you wanna make a buck of it youll have to work your ass off, unlike now where the earnings are equal to the risk taken from dealing with it.”

    You still have to work your ass off. Have you ever sold pot before? It’s a job like any other – except you don’t have to pay some obedience-oriented people 20,000 in tuition in order to make enough to be able to afford vacations, dental & children.

  6. Anonymous on

    David, you kind of missed my point, as the second anonymous tried to make you aware. The fact that people enjoy and will continue to enjoy boutique strains of cannabis is irrelevant to the fact that all current cannabis prices are artificially high due to an unofficial state of collusion between players on the production side of the equation. Right now, if you try to get into the market either as a grower or seller, you will charge 10-20/gram because that is the going price and everybody knows it. It’s not that you can’t sell it cheaper; it’s that there is no competitive downward pressure on prices. Producers and retailers do not directly compete among themselves. If we operated in a legal market, retailers and producers would engage in price wars, as happens with every other legal commodity.

    To be completely fair though, it’s kind of difficult to guess the final price of legal cannabis. There is no %100 adequate comparison on the market today. As far as the effort required, it falls somewhere between tobacco/corn and raspberries and other fruit bearing plants. You can utilize industrial farming techniques to an extent, as with tobacco and corn, but growing good cannabis requires attention to individual plants more on a level with fruit plants. However, if you look at the price of fruit, it offers no reason to expect to pay $1000 an oz for cannabis. Look at it this way, the inputs are almost identical. You pay the same for 100 acres regardless of what you plan to grow on it. Soil additives cost the same regardless of what plants they’re intended for. The only strains not likely to offer really good economies of scale are low producing strains such as Lowryder (about 1/2 oz per plant last I was aware).

    Finally, while the price consumers are willing to pay helps determine what retailers can charge, this is true of EVERY commodity known to man. It has no more impact on the cannabis market than on any other market. Consumers are constrained right now by the unofficial collusion between retailers. Retailers operate in an oligopoly and have no incentive to lower prices; if you don’t want to pay the going rate, you don’t have to buy anything. The retailers will make their cash off people who will pay the going rate, and you can go dry until you’re willing to pay. Competition takes different forms in black markets than in open markets. In open markets, competition results in price wars, which benefit consumers because they are basically a race to get closest to production costs without going bankrupt. Competition in a black market may result in wars, but it isn’t going to be a price war, and it won’t be beneficial to consumers.

  7. Anonymous on

    Educating Dr.’s about cannabis? Wow, I don’t think doctors are in the business of being ”educated” by pot-smokers, no offense. Dr.’s are notorious for despising any kind of education other than the one they have already received. But, I wish you luck with that. It is not a doctor issue, it is a political issue. As for it being used as a treatment for depression
    and as a sedative, anyone can just say they are depressed.etc. What we need is for marijuana to be treated as a substance that we as human beings have the RIGHT to use, whether on a recreational basis, or as a healing tool.

  8. Anonymous on

    It seems like you have a really hard time accepting other people have much better and logical arguments than you do.

    The cost of cannabis once its legal will be directly related to the supply and demand thats basic economics and im sure you must have at least heard of them.

    Once it becomes legal its more likely that it´ll be legal on such a scale as to allow people to have their personal gardens (in order to comopletely destroy the black market it must happen this way), its fair to assume those users with the land space will go for it, why? because its an easy plant to grow and those that have growed KNOW and aprecciate the pleasure of smoking the fruits of your labor so do substract a considerable amount of people from the emerging market, because this people will be able to grow much much more than they´ll be able to consume hence they will give away for free part of their production to friends and family and/or sell for a much lower price than “official retailers” selling and PAYING cannabis taxes (as if we hadnt paid enough)…

    The PRODUCTION COST of cannabis is extremely low as anonymous 0 tried to make you understand when comparing tobacco with cannabis, I would rather compare corn to cannabis (per plant outdoors in certain strains) in their dry weight output, and grow-harvest time lenght. I gather that the production cost of these two would be very similar so the END COST towards FINAL CONSUMERS wouldnt be that different this considering the laws of SUPPLY and DEMAND this being so because the producers wouldnt want to be kept holding tons and tons of material just because its “boutique” material and their greed too big for consumers to willingly accept, wich in the end wouldnt really make that much of a difference considering theres top grade material (not boutique) and “normal” consumers probably wouldnt need to smoke more than 1 gram day wich makes it to 365 grams a year, some of the people would smoke more wich I doubt would be more than 25% and some would smoke less so lets imagine ALL consumers end up smoking 1 gram a day multiply that for and educated calculation of actual consumers and you get the total material dried weight needed to satisfy the old and new consumers of the U.S of War I assure you there would be much more material than needed hence the price would go way down for smoking needded cannabis altough the surplus would find its way into the new cannabis industry (all products).

    Also I dont think it would or should be available to teens, thats just wishful thinking on your part, besides notwhitsanding what prohibition propaganda has made you believe teens do not constitute a large segment of the market.

    Top grade cannabis wont cost more than 50 cents a gram and thats already expensive, especially considering how the world will follow suit once it becomes legal the market will be literally flooded with strains from all over. My guess is it will cost 10 cents a gram.

    Cannabis will be free and we will be happy. If you wanna make a buck of it youll have to work your ass off, unlike now where the earnings are equal to the risk taken from dealing with it. What I mean is that the current absurd price is directly related to prohibition once that is gone well I guess we will see soon enough.

  9. David Malmo-Levine on

    As you point out in this sentence:

    “Considering the investment required to even get anything back, let alone make a profit, coffee should be as expensive or more expensive than cannabis is now, and the most expensive boutique strains of cannabis should cost about as much as coffee does today.”

    The price of a drug plant is not only dependent upon the investment but also what people are willing to pay for it.

    Tobacco may require similar inputs and investment, but coffee is similar to cannabis in that it’s not associated with lethality and will be available to teens to buy, and thus requires a different – more inclusive – distribution model. It will involve strain selection like the coffee model – only the smallest percentage of tobacco users smoke boutique tobacco … many more coffee users drink boutique coffee – with cannabis’s medicinal uses it the pressure for variety and quality will be greater than on the other two drugs.

  10. David Malmo-Levine on

    “Anything else?”

    Yes … why do you consider me a “self-perceived know-it-all”? Is it because I write about many different topics? Or do you actually have an example of me claiming to “know it all”? Writing on many different topics isn’t a bad thing … if I didn’t I’m sure you would attack me as “single minded”.

    I think you have no examples of me calling myself a “know it all” and that you are just another one of my lying detractors who do nothing but make shit up. Prove me wrong.

  11. David Malmo-Levine on

    David isn’t in the mood to go back to jail, which is why David isn’t selling cannabis at the moment.

    But after David is done his next educational project – educating doctors about cannabis’s use as a sedative and anti-depressant – there will be new opportunities for regular users to gain legitimacy and for David to distribute cannabis without any fear of being raided.

  12. Anonymous on

    Yes, on my own time I do

    ”this stuff”, David.

    Anything else?

  13. Anonymous on

    There are many people who ”don’t” know the right people, the answer to that is network till u find a good product.
    Takes a little work. I think David knows ALL the right people, ask David.

    He knows ALL the right people.

  14. Anonymous on

    Cannabis would be different because cannabis and coffee are NOT equivalent commodities. One of the biggest differences is that if you put a seed of the right strain of cannabis in the ground today, you could harvest a pound in a matter of months. Do the same thing with a coffee bean, and you’ll wait something like a decade before you can harvest a pound. To put it another way, if you bought two hundred acre farms and devoted one to cannabis and one to coffee, which would turn a profit the first year? Cannabis. Second year? Cannabis. Coffee won’t give you anything back for years. Considering the investment required to even get anything back, let alone make a profit, coffee should be as expensive or more expensive than cannabis is now, and the most expensive boutique strains of cannabis should cost about as much as coffee does today. Tobacco is a much better comparison in terms of how much effort and how long it takes to grow.

  15. one12alpha on

    Got some of that cambodian kush?….you know it 😉

  16. UncleBob100 on

    Cannabis helped me to detox from an 8 year long daily prescription of 320 mg Oxycontin, and 16 mg Dilaudid. I medicate with the herb to treat a severe form of Osteo-Arthritis, in my neck, back, pelvis/spine, knees and feet. Cannabis also helps me with a bad bladder problem…pain and discomfort and frequent urination. I became the 34th person in Canada to win a ministerial exemption 56 from the Health Minister 12 years ago. Without this wonderful panacea…I would not be here to tell you about it today. I thank Jah every day for his perfect gift of such a beneficial plant to mankind. Herb people are some of the nicest and well-centered people I know. Blessed are the peacekeepers…for they will inherit the earth.

  17. David Malmo-Levine on

    …. it sounds like you just don’t know the right people … it’s not like there’s no good cannabis in the entire province of BC, or no bad cannabis in the entire West Coast of the United States.

  18. Anonymous on

    Actually here in Washington we boycott bc crap bud. Maybe some idiot in Alabama thinks its good, but I for one dont wanted prescreened smashed semi mold smelling bud. West coast USA USA bud is the best.

  19. David Malmo-Levine on

    … I just claimed to know something about tobacco.

    And I see that you haven’t questioned any of my facts so it appears that I do.

    Are you a paid attactivist? Or do you just do this stuff on your own free time?

  20. Anonymous on

    Seems you are ”FULLY AWARE ” of everything David, even when you’re not.
    This often happens with a self-perceived know-it-all like yourself.

  21. The BallyHoo on

    Perhaps marijuana makes YOU disoriented, paranoid and stupid, but for the majority of smokers it is a soothing balm of well-being and joy, so I don’t know what the fuck YOU are talking about, so why not shut the fuck up?

    Asshole.

  22. Brian S on

    “Considering the fact that we allow teens to use caffeine, why is it a problem if we allow them to use cannabis?”

    i heard that! i had a friend die from a caffeine O.D. when we were in middle school. he bought ‘No-Doze’ and high power energy drinks from a local convenience store and consumed them all within a short time and it was too much… has anyone been killed or even harmed by cannabis?

  23. Anonymous on

    so your saying it literally costs even 70% (allowing for 30% profit)of $400 per ounce of plant material… you would have to invest $280 per oz…. that doesn’t seem real likely to me. profit is huge. to get it cheap, you would have to legalize PERIOD

    unless you can provide a breakdown of at least (approx) $280 that is put toward the production of just one Oz. of good cannabis

  24. David Malmo-Levine on

    I’m fully aware there are many strains of tobacco. The point I was trying to make was that currently 95-99 of tobacco consumed in North America and Europe is Virginia tobacco for cigarettes. You can’t say that about cannabis … even the most popular strain at the moment – kush – has in itself a dozen different sub varieties and only takes up about 30 percent of the local market.

    I’m also fully aware that tobacco has medicinal benefits. I do believe many people self-treat with tobacco for mental illness. However, there are currently no “compassion clubs” with tobacco medicine researched and explored in the same way that cannabis is being explored today. As well, there’s only one medicine that we know of in tobacco – nicotine – and there are hundreds of cannabinoids, terpinoids, flavinoids and volatile oils within cannabis.

    I’m glad you grow organic tobacco. It’s been my understanding that the reason people die of tobacco smoking is the radioactive metals in the chemical phosphate fertilizers. Here is some of my research on that:

    http://www.cannabisculture.com/v2/articles/2673.html

    http://www.cannabisculture.com/articles/2221.html

    http://www.acsa2000.net/HealthAlert/radioactive_tobacco.html

  25. ray christl THC Ministry Cambodia on

    David M_L dear brave soul. Yes on Hawaii Public Television debating the DEA with “kids on pot” as the subject. I talked about Bob Marley’s children who received me at there home in Kingston Ja (h).Stated on statewide tv these were the smartest children i…and i’D ever been around.They as common discussion talked about their CIA analysis on hard drug smuggling to promote addiction and cannabis as thier sacred right.Well…. SHIT HIT THE FAN. Yet as a Father and Pastor we must not bias our mush loved progeny, to our unfinished business and our subjective destiny. Support Marc and his family as the organizers of our global family.Ohana aloha

  26. Anonymous on

    Great rebuttal, David!

    I didn’t believe the ‘California Referendum’ article at all, claiming that cannabis would plummet to such low prices and BC would lose a massive amount of cannabusiness. BC will always be a mecca for Cannabis culture and an forefront of responsible decriminalization. BC Bud has become a trademark and nobody can take that away.

  27. Anonymous on

    I’ve grown my own organic tobacco for a few years now. You are mistaken, there are many different tobacco strains. I’m growing 6 different varieties right now. Also, it does have some medicinal uses and health benefits, believe it or not.

  28. David Malmo-Levine on

    Coffee is legal – it’s not used as a medicine for the sick – and yet it can still fetch over 45 bucks a pound for the best quality … why would cannabis be any different?

    Tobacco only has one strain and the stuff you were growing for 70 cents a pound wasn’t “boutique” … don’t you think at least some strains of cannabis will get treated like fine cigar tobacco (not cheap at all)?

  29. Anonymous on

    Yes it would be good to get some nice sativa from cambodia.

  30. Stephen Payne on

    I grew up on a 400 acre farm we grew tobacco one of the most expensive crops in the world to grow and far more difficult then marijuana our farm got 70 cents for every pound and i believe if marijuana became truly legal and approved by the federal government it would for sure be worth even less and the black market and home grown operations would be a thing of the past cause commercial farmers would be growing the weed for about 70 cents a pound and those farmers would be doing very well at that price…… But if you just do like Holland did and decriminalize and keep it on the books as a crime well then the legal farmers will not join in and the black market will still run the industry and for the most part the prices would never change really from where they are now…

  31. Anonymous on

    Looks like you might be paranoid from the propaganda… and addicted to pharmaceuticals but kids can down a bottle of cough syrup and get a speed (mini meth) buzz. Screw the Kids, their parents are responsible for them, not the rest of us. As for kids using, you can’t deny the fact that there are several award winning top of the class students who are high as a kite in the classroom everyday! The ones who are dedicated to cannabis are the survivors and achievers. But we all inhale auto exhaust everyday!

  32. David Malmo-Levine on

    “Once its legal kids won’t be selling to kids any longer. No profit motive. See? Not a very difficult concept to grasp huh?”

    I’m having difficulty. There will still be a demand once it’s legal, and unless adults bring kids out of the black market (highly unlikely in this day and age of being irrationally fearful of teen cannabis use) then there will still be a black market for teens.

    I started using cannabis at 14 and it helped me survive. Considering the fact that we allow teens to use caffeine, why is it a problem if we allow them to use cannabis?

  33. David Malmo-Levine on

    …. people who go to compassion clubs give up their pharmaceuticals all the time….

    …and none of them are “disoriented, paranoid and stupid”.

    Kids who choose cannabis instead of caffeine and other harder drugs have an intelligent preference for a safer and more effective stimulant/relaxant/euphoric … don’t call them stupid, they’re actually quite smart and autonomous. It’s “OK” to try because it’s actually OK – no overdose deaths and no withdrawal symptoms.

  34. moldy on

    Uninformed people like you spew out this crap about the kids all the time. Get over it! You are part of the problem using that logic. Our kids do just fine until laws are made that increase value of said product. DAH! What intelligent child wouldn’t see a “need” for supplier of cannabis right in his school? He’s got the market (high demand in school), the insane margins of profit, and returning customers. That’s why it’s easier to get than booze or smokes for kids. There is always someone smart enough to take advantage of government price supports. Once its legal kids won’t be selling to kids any longer. No profit motive. See? Not a very difficult concept to grasp huh?

    You also need to look up the affects of cannabis instead of relying on your own facts which you are not entitled to. You seem to overlook the side effects of LEGAL substances. They can kill you dummy!

  35. Jack on

    Amen!!!

  36. ray christl THC Ministry Cambodia on

    Can’t be an adult because you must think of the children?So like the last entry we think with a childish logic.Marc is correct–not logic,but pathos drenched in martyrdom can move cruelty of govt.to freedom.Dipsomaniacs push drinking,yet young people clearly reject this false glamour. Surely the same would apply with cannabis.We must have an ethos to both praise and wisely use hemp to save our species and heal our damaged ecology.Our personal character is important and our movement has been overly respectful of a system that continues to deny basic liberty to our sacrament. Pastor Ray [email protected]

  37. replacenot on

    If you think once its legal people are going to all give up their (often life addictive) medicines in order to experiment with a drug which makes you disoriented,paranoid and stupid you’re sadly mistaken. people who are going to use it are the ones who are already using it aside from kids just learning about the world who will think its okay to try because its all over television and its become legal so it must be acceptable. stop thinking about yourself and think about the kids who arent able to think for themselves yet.

  38. Anonymous on

    Cannabis is actually not easy to process and would probably always need human workers to do it. The market didn’t dry up in Amsterdam after all those cafes opened up either. It was the same prices as always. To get it cheap you would have to import it from poor countries.