Proposition 19 likely to decrease marijuana costs, increase consumption

July 7, 2010

A new report suggests that if Proposition 19 passes in November, the cost of marijuana in California could drop as much as 80 percent, and consumption would rise. [LA Times]

Researchers at Rand’s Drug Policy Research Center issued a new, detailed, analysis predicting that the cost of marijuana could drop from the current $300 to $450 per ounce, to as low as $38 per ounce. The savings comes from eliminating the expense of compensating suppliers for operating in the black market.

The expected increase in usage could fall anywhere between 5 and 50 percent, researchers said. Meanwhile, state revenues from the legalization of marijuana could become as high as $1.49 billion.

“California voters and legislators face considerable uncertainty because it is very difficult to estimate how much more marijuana will be consumed in the state or how the change will affect tax revenues, criminal-justice costs and healthcare costs,” the study concludes. The 54-page report, with 14 pages of footnotes, is called “Altered State?” and was paid for by Rand., based in Santa Monica.

The report could not offer any conclusions about whether or not smoking marijuana might lead to an increase in drugged driving accidents, or increase use of hard drugs, such as cocaine.


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4 Comments

  1. BIGRIC says:

    Go Cal. Just like prohibition in the thirties the Country was broke and desperate for income and it didn’t ruin the country. Decriminalization will put a lot of heavy duty drug dealer out of business and put Californias biggest cash crop on the tax roles. No estimates of the income to the state even touch the potential income
    While there could be an expected jump in initial usage it will settle down to just slightly more than buy it illegally now.. It’s more than just income it is an opportunity to redirect an enormous amount of money currently used to eradicate weed (5 billion a year), and a great waste of Police resources chasing moonshiners off the hill. then there is the large number of people in jail for drug charges. We need to go get the serious drug problems like meth, heroin, etc. So let’s quit sending our users to a criminal to purchase something they could grow.
    This is not as scary as opponents think they are just to conditioned and prejudiced to open their eyes and see that this is not an evil thing that will take over our country. This more of an adjustment to our laws to catch up with the times and refocus our law enforcement efforts

    (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
  2. calvertworthington says:

    A bit of simple logic. Decriminalizing marijuana will reduce the income to organized crime ( La Famlia, and other narcos that now run Mexico, based largely upon weed grow & sell to U.S.). It would also reduce the infamous ‘gateway drug’ effect, as the consumer could purchase from a legal sources vs. seed dealers looking to up sell to meth etc. Best of all, the tax revenue generated from weed sales would help offset the damages wrought by the Wall-Street, the banks, and the home-loan crowd.

    (20) 22 Total Votes - 21 up - 1 down
  3. standup says:

    I don’t think this will pass as many of the people who voted for prop 215 for medical use may not support this new law. In addition, the feds aren’t just going to sit around and let 7-11 sell pot. It will be strange though as the state wants its money from the taxes but the feds won’t let it happen. The fed needs to at least allow medical use nationwide before the state tries for full legalization

    (-10) 14 Total Votes - 2 up - 12 down
  4. Bill Harris says:

    There was a spike in alcohol use for a couple years when prohibition ended, but usage soon normalized. When drug tests are no longer a condition of employment, probably a lot of users will get jobs. Before I retired, I only smoked on weekends. Marijuana use could actually drop if employment opportunities increase, because users will be too busy pursuing careers.

    (10) 12 Total Votes - 11 up - 1 down

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