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.