Study: Marijuana sales booming

A new study concludes medical marijuana is booming business.

The national debt is growing faster than hydroponic weed.

The national debt is growing faster than hydroponic weed.

Medical marijuana, legally sold in only seven states, already has the revenue ($1.7 billion) of Viagra, a drug available everywhere there are men who like sex. The study says legal marijuana sales will likely be much higher in 5 years –up to $8.7 billion.

The study, by See Change Strategy, was released Wednesday.

You can buy a lot of Spreewells with that kind of change.

I have no idea what the market would be for legalized non-medical marijuana, but it would have to dwarf $8.7 billion, even if prices declined with increased urban farmer production.

Stephen Easton, writing for the Fraser Institute, estimates if the government sold marijuana at the current inflated street price ($10 per gram), an extra $100 billion in taxes could be sucked out of consumer pockets.

Elected officials could upgrade their $60,000 SUVs, that’s for sure.

Or, if Congress used that $100 billion a year prudently, the U.S. could pay off its national debt in just 140 annual payments.

37 comments Add your comment

LifeCrystalKid

March 23rd, 2011
8:09 pm

I’m definitely not a smoker… but if there is a HUGE economic benefit, creates jobs, and can reduce the deficit (as soon and as drastically as you say), then I’m all for it!

Jman

March 23rd, 2011
8:27 pm

I’m all for it.

C'est la vie

March 23rd, 2011
8:27 pm

Jimbo

March 23rd, 2011
8:33 pm

But here’s the deal–people with a corporate job can’t smoke it cause we might get tested and fail and get fired. Somebody has to find a way to determine, did someone smoke pot THIS MORNING before coming to work? Or did they hang out with friends last Friday night and hit a doobie? There should be no law on smoking a little, but until someone figures how to test pot like you can with alcohol, the business won’t take off TOO MUCH.

killerj

March 23rd, 2011
8:35 pm

Tree of knowledge,found in shamans graves over 4 thousand years ago,to deny it as medicinal is a lie, just ask cancer patients.Go Tea Party.

JRev

March 23rd, 2011
8:36 pm

Duh. Supply vs. Demand. People want to smoke and they will get it no matter what the gov’t does. Why not reap the profits instead of giving it to the black market? I mean, we’re talking about a drug that is so much less harmful than alcohol here. I’ve never heard an intelligent argument for keeping it illegal. Unless you want prohibition of alcohol as well, you should be for legalization of marijuana. I heard one argument is that the healthcare costs for marijuana usage outweigh the taxes. Um, sorry, but since people are going to smoke anyway, that’s a strawman argument. Does anyone have a real reason that isn’t based on your own idea of morality and imposing that morality on others? I didn’t think so.

KW

March 23rd, 2011
8:41 pm

Who are the manufacturers of these drugs? Any of them publicly traded?

JRev

March 23rd, 2011
8:42 pm

Jimbo, there are ways to determine marijuana usage more accurately than “sometime in the last month”. I believe hair/blood tests do this more accurately than urine tests. With such a huge boom in the market, these tests would become cheaper. Most companies just do urine testing because it is cheaper.

legalize it

March 23rd, 2011
8:48 pm

weed should be 100% legal—alcohol is much worse and that’s legal so the govt should legalize weed to smoke whenever I want, including at work and at sports events.

Tim

March 23rd, 2011
8:56 pm

KW there is a company, formerly called the Amergence Group(AMNG) that is publicly traded.
The company has a new name this month called ALTITUDE ORGANIC CORPORATION.
Their stock is a penny stock right now sold OTC(over the counter). It is in the dumps right now.
Why I don’t know, however here is today’s closing price : $0.0043
So one could hypothetically buy quite a few shares for a very little money. Of course it could also go belly up.

headzup

March 23rd, 2011
9:07 pm

What are Spreewells?

Cutty

March 23rd, 2011
9:18 pm

Spreewells??? Really???

bigdawg88

March 23rd, 2011
9:20 pm

If legalized I think it would probably be the same as alcohol… if you don’t act like an idiot at work then you don’t get tested. Mary doesn’t really hang around that long in urine tests. I once smoked and tested clean a couple of days later. If you came to work sloppy drunk you’ll get tested, but if you come to work and don’t make a fuss (even if you’re drunk) nobody says anything.
So either abstain before work, learn your limits, or NEVER LET THEM SEE YOU SOBER!**

I worked for years high. It actually makes boring work doable. Honestly though, I wouldn’t recommend it and haven’t smoked in years. But I’m in favor of legalization, with high taxes.

**Honest John said it first

x1134x

March 23rd, 2011
9:29 pm

Yeah, the total of all law enforcement both state and federal throughout the nation doesn’t even add up to 1% of the total cannabis trafficked in america. Not even 1%. Since the “victim” IS the “perpetrator” there will be no report to police of the “crime” and all but the most negligent of activity WILL go undeterred, piping BILLIONS of dollars into the hands of drug cartels rather than going to legitimate american busineses as it would without prohibition. Either way, prohibited or not, the activity will continue in almost the exact same level as it would without the prohibition. The failure of alcohol prohibition has taught us this. Because we have the 4th amendment and do not quarter police or soldiers in citizen’s homes, prohibition will always be unenforceable on all but the most negligent of users.

Realizing this, our predecessors wisely regulated and taxed the allowable, responsible, adult usage of alcohol and have mitigated the ills to the smallest they can possibly be. Prohibition cannot make them less, it can only cause MORE ILLS. This has been PROVEN by trial!

There is a veritable river of money that flows to cartels for cannabis that cannot EVER be stopped bay ANYTHING other than the legalized production by american growers that is regulated.

bigdawg88

March 23rd, 2011
9:29 pm

I wonder about the taxes though… as high as the taxes are on cigarettes, has there been a huge black market for cigarettes? If taxes are too high would that keep growers from going legit?

I also wonder if the government should set a limit on how much THC and/or cannaboids (sp?) are in the weed. I hear the weed today is insane. Still, should be legalized, but smoking it in public should not be allowed.

I bet the snack food companies (and late nite restaurants) can’t wait for weed to be legal! As soon as it is legalized I’m buying stock in Pepsico and Krystal’s (darn, Little Debbie’s owned by a private company!) and retiring to the Bahamas!

fred

March 23rd, 2011
9:40 pm

everbody’ i know toke up

Winfield J. Abbe

March 23rd, 2011
9:44 pm

The war on drugs is a dismal failure. Our towns and cities are now war zones. Our police, district attorneys and judges are corrupt, on the take, but operate in secret provided by the armed, military force of Georgia government. Many of the horrible effects of illicit drugs are from improper manufacturing methods. Legalizatio would end this problem.
Read the article “Let Those Dopers Be” by Norm Stamper, Los Angeles Times, Oct., 2005. Norm Stamper is a 34 year police officer who ended his career as police chief Seattle, WA. Other high police officials support legalization. The only people who don’t want legalization are those making so much secret money from illegal drugs.
There is no other solution: Legalize and tax and regulate drugs. We learned nothing from history.

tater tot

March 23rd, 2011
10:00 pm

Legalize it asap. I’m ready for some good times. I meant High Times.

djs_nc

March 23rd, 2011
10:06 pm

no matter how many states legalize it, it is still a class 1 yes ONE felony by federal law. the feds have backed off a little, but they can still bust all these medical pot places..and as long as the feds keep it illegal companies will drug test for it. and it can stay in your system for 30 days in a urine test. the pharmeceutical companies will fight it tooth and nail because it will keep a lot of people from using their wonderful addicting legal drugs that are such a huge crime problem now.

James

March 23rd, 2011
10:07 pm

Ok, think back to your worst hangover ever. And think back to the worst time you ever had smoking pot (if you ever have).

Do they even remotely compare? Mine sure don’t. The worst weed experience I ever had was falling asleep during Inception.

interested party

March 23rd, 2011
10:09 pm

$100 billion a year, but you should also factor in the money saved (billions, but I couldn’t put a specific number on it without further research) by not having to spend so much on law enforcement efforts to fight marijuana production, sale, and use. Marijuana is by far the most widely used illegal drug in this country, and therefore most of the taxpayer money that goes to fight “drugs” goes to fight marijuana, as opposed to cocaine, heroin, meth, etc. Of course, this is a big factor in why law enforcement groups want to keep it illegal; they would stand to lose jobs, money, and spiffy para-military equipment.

@bigdawg: while there is a black market for cigarettes (from what I hear you go to indian reservations, where they don’t impose the high taxes, buy in bulk, and then come back to your home area and sell illegally for less than the corner store), don’t forget that you can also always grow your own tobacco, cure it, and smoke it. It’s a slightly complicated process, but is completely legal as far as I know, so long as you’re not growing it to sell your own cigs. However, since it is legal to buy at the Citgo, people who must smoke are generally just going to suck it up and pay the higher cost for the convenience of not having to farm their own smokes.

Same with alcohol: I can brew my own beer or distill my own whiskey at home if I want to, for personal use. As long as I’m not not selling it to other people, I’m completely within my rights. But when I can just go buy a sixpack down the street, why bother?

With marijuana legalization, the same should apply: you can grow your own for personal use. And it’s a much simpler process than tobacco, since you don’t have to cure it or do anything to the plant besides water it, just pick the mature buds right off the plant and smoke away (or make brownies, or whatever). And honestly, that’s what a great many people would do, just grow a couple of their own plants in the back yard for their use. That’s what I would do. Sure you’ll have commercially available marijuana cigs and other pot-based products, which will certainly bring in tax revenue. But the real savings would be from not having to spend the exorbitant amounts of taxpayer dollars that we currently do on law enforcement and the military fighting a losing battle with illegal producers, distributors, and users. We can use that money elsewhere, or (radical idea!) give it back to the taxpayers.

Sadly, alcohol prohibition was so long ago that we’ve forgotten the lesson it taught us. As well, we still have too many religious Talibaptists in places like Georgia who can’t even bear the fact that we’re allowed to drink; no way they will let us responsibly consume the demon weed, in spite of the glaring fact that it is a less dangerous substance than alcohol in every possible way.

James

March 23rd, 2011
10:11 pm

Bigdawg 88,

You have good points. I think I would say that there is no black market for cigarettes because cigarettes just are not that great. Whereas marijauna posses numerous proven fun- and health-improving qualities. (:

Also I have heard the notion about marijuana being grown generally stronger than in the past. That may be true, but it probably has more to do with who you hang/hung out with now/then.

djs_nc

March 23rd, 2011
10:17 pm

excellent point on the money saved on law enforcement and prisons. that alone would make it worth it. i know a lot of cops who would love to see pot legalized. check out www. leap.cc/cms/index.php

Beck

March 23rd, 2011
10:37 pm

To the poster who wondered about drug testing at work, use some common sense. If it’s legal and they don’t want pot smokers (like some places won’t hire cigarette smokers) then don’t smoke. Or, get another job; it’s your choice.

Just as it should be everyone’s choice.

Most Despised

March 23rd, 2011
11:01 pm

What’s with all the intoxication? No matter the mechanism. Is it really an escape from anything? Really sad.

interested party

March 23rd, 2011
11:52 pm

@Most Despised:

I bet you’re just hilarious at parties.

Questioning

March 24th, 2011
12:00 am

Is this a REVENUE SHIFTING proposal? One that takes the revenue from drug cartels & street dealers to big business and government? If so, how will that affect the drug wars? And how would that issue be addressed?

At first glance it would seem that prison/jail beds would have vacancies. Thereby reducing expenses for taxpayers. Except “corrections” is big business in Georgia with the Corrections Corporation of America facilities throughout the state. Who will fill those empty beds vacated by attrition without arrests for marijuana sales/use/distribution? Winew legislation be passed – making NEW CRIMES – as HB87 does?

cardiodoc1

March 24th, 2011
1:10 am

The feds should just legalize it.. Its a natural herb from the earth, not constructed artificially.. Alcohol and cigarettes kill more people annually. If sales were legal, it would definitely help the economy out. Unfortunately, as with everything, there are consequences and repercussions that go along with it. I’m an avid smoker and all for legalization. It helps with many issues, medically, Psychologically, physically, the list can go on and on..

Mel

March 24th, 2011
1:14 am

Time to legalize it. I never hear of anybody getting stoned, getting behind the wheel of a car and killing someone. You can do that with alcohol and alcohol is perfectly legal. Marijuana is not even remotely close to being as destructive as alcohol.

[...] double in …Medicinal marijuana sales: Could they dwarf Viagra?CBS NewsJeff Chiu / APmsnbc.comStudy: Marijuana sales boomingAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Monsters and Critics.com -Huffington Post -The [...]

NBA Superstar

March 24th, 2011
6:49 am

Mr. Headsup,
Spreewell’s are named after the infamous NBA thug, Latrell Spreewell, who is most famous for choking his former coach PJ Carlisimo. He also was caught several times for smoking illegal substances. Hence the nickname, Spreewell’s, which refer to marijuana cigarettes or joints.
These blogs are chock filled with useless information.
Back to the NBA, I would guess that the over / under on marijuana use in the NBA, league wide is somewhere close to 75% or even higher.
I would also guess, just like our government has done for the past 80 years, that if a new revenue stream came as the legalization of marijuana, our beuracrats would wind up spending it on some entitlements program instead of trying to balance the budget.
It has got to stop and the citizens of this great country needs to start to pay attention and demand accountability from our representatives.
Oh what the hell, pass the hootie to the left hand side!
Later!

fatboy

March 24th, 2011
7:03 am

i wonder how expensive bread would get? more and more grain is going towards the production or ethanol ever day, imagine if all the mid west farmers stopped growing corn and wheat, and started groing marijuana because it was much more profitable, supply and demand people, pot prices drop, your bread and cereal go up.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Davesnot Here

March 24th, 2011
11:32 pm

The so-called “War On Drugs” isn’t a war on drugs, it’s a war on marijuana. And more specifically, it’s not a war on marijuana, it’s a war on stoners, on heads, on people that use reefer: YOU and ME – peaceful, job holding, tax paying, otherwise law abiding citizens.

“Booze is GOOD and reefer is BAD”: that’s the message that’s been pushed on Americans for the past several decades, and mainstream America has drunk the kool-aid.

It’s way past time for change.

http://partyseeking.blogspot.com/2011/03/war-on-drugs.html

Sooner or later..

March 25th, 2011
5:39 pm

How can government ignore the truth this long. Oh how i digress. How can they ignore the revenue streams and job growth. I long for the day that pot saves the world…..

Oh yeah...

March 25th, 2011
5:42 pm

and Hemp can be used to make paper ( The declaration of independence is written on hemp paper, which was widely regarded as the finest paper in the world), clothing and Carpet as well, replacing the petroleum products now used to do so. So, lower gas prices would also be a benefit….

jimbob

March 25th, 2011
7:36 pm

this govmn’t should be toppled and a citizen friendly one should be put in it place. follow in the footsteps of lybia.
this govnm’t is suppose to be for the people. i don’t think so. god makes things grow and weed grows without the hand of man. self sustaind. this countrys govmn’t just like cops suck.