Dank and Duckets

Andrew Binion writes:

There’s been much ink spilled lately over the scourge of the “green, leafy substance,” how it can unleash the specter of mental illness and that a single joint of high-quality marijuana can drive a middle-class, classically trained violinist with an eating disorder to suicide.

Democrats vying for their party’s presidential nomination have vowed to keep federal agents from raiding medical marijuana clinics in state’s that have approved the drugs use for treatment of various ailments, and two Republicans running to be their party’s standard bearer have done the same. (story here)

As for your average marijuana-smoker, who probably won’t devolve into a schizophrenic stupor, won’t go on a murder rape rampage and doesn’t smoke pot to help with their “glaucoma” they will certainly lay down some cold, hard cash.

But how much? Not including bail, court costs, lawyer fees and fines if they get busted, how much does the county’s booming cash crop cost?


Cops and Courts Reporter Josh Farley shed some light on the clandestine drug economy Aug. 4, noting that prices for methamphetamine has increased, requiring addicts and would-be addicts to make tough decisions between getting high and … well, who are we kidding. (Read Farley’s story here)

But what about pot, man?

“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime estimates the total value of the global marijuana market to be valued at $141.80 billion, with 162 million people using the product.” (read story here)

A recent study estimated that in 2005 more than $35 billion worth of marijuana was produced in the United States, with California leading the way. (read story here)

Again, though, that’s at the top levels. A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon we’re talking about real money.

And most marijuana users, whether they are Al Gore’s son or not, buy smaller quantities

Here in Kitsap County, a typical consumer amount is an ounce, said Bremerton police Special Operations Group Sgt. Randy Plumb.

And depending on the quality, and whether the dealer got a “screaming deal,” ounce prices range from $200 to $375.

An ounce is about 28 grams, and a gram can be sold for $20.

Sometimes grams are cheaper. On Sept. 5, Bremerton police arrested a suspected pot dealer who was found with 21.5 grams in his car. Officers estimated the street value of his stash at $210.

A gram can yield roughly 2.5 average joints, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, which, strangely enough, has keep records on average joint sizes from 1988 to 2000.

How the heck do they know that? Wouldn’t you like to know.

One thing I would like to know is how much you spend on marijuana, if you spend at all. You can write to me at andrew.binion@kitsapsun.com.

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