$5 to $10 per pack? Actually, that could easily happen. If the strength is regulated and "generic" packs of 10 or 20 marijuana "cigarettes" are sold in stores, I wouldn't be surprised at all if that happens.So once legal the price for marijuana will drop to tobacco levels?
True in theory, but in spite of their high price, we don't see as many people doing this over tobacco or alcohol. It happens, but much less frequently than we see for illicit drugs.
Grrr... yarrr!!!! Rawrrrrr!At the risk of incurring your wrath yet again I'd point out we have a lot of alcohol and tobacco crime here due to our proximity to countries where these are cheaper. We do have off licences being broken into quite often for the booze as well. The smuggling and illegal selling of cigarettes and alcohol is a rather old Custom of ours here. (there's a pun in there for the Brits ) Cigarettes are also the currency in prisons for which some will do a lot of things one can't consider legal.
This post from 2012 holds up pretty well. Only thing I didn’t account for was the almost direct line from OxyContin to heroin as a cheaper alternative.It seems some of you have a different approach and are asking the question, "Will legalization of X or Y drug make things better?" The answer in some cases is yes, I believe, but in many cases the answer is clearly no. Legalizing heroin, crack, PCP, meth or drugs in that category will clearly not make things better, and it may actually lead to an increase in illicit use and addiction of these drugs.
But lets look at the actual statistics.
In 2010, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), about 22.6 million Americans age 12 and older are "past month" illicit drug users (about 8.9% of the entire 12+ age population). That's just stuff that's illegal and doesn't include alcohol or tobacco even though those are both illegal for minors. Of those, 17.4 million smoked weed. And of the 17.4 million, it was the ONLY illicit drug used by over 60%
What's number 2? Psychotherapeutics at 7 million. That's 7 million people 12 or older who are "past month" users of LEGAL prescription drugs used for recreational, non-medical purposes.
After that, it drops off considerably. Number 3 is 1.5 million who used some form of cocaine to include crack. Point here is that marijuana use is currently pervasive. Use figures for marijuana, in spite of its status as "illicit," are staggering. It also demonstrates very clearly that the real health issue for America isn't the supposedly dangerous illicit drugs like crack or meth. It's the illicit use of "legal" drugs like sedatives, pain relievers, tranquilizers and stimulants.
While 17.4 million Americans are "past month" users of weed, the entire total use of all other drugs was about 9 million, and 7 million of those users were abuse of prescription meds.
Another interesting statistic. Although the rate of current illicit drug use was higher among unemployed persons in 2010 compared with those who were either employed full time, employed part time, or "other" (which includes retired persons, disabled persons, homemakers, students, and other persons not in the labor force), most of these users were employed. Of the 20.2 million current illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2010, 13.3 million (65.9 percent) were employed either full or part time.
Interesting study for anyone interested: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/NSDUH/2k10NSDUH/2k10Results.htm
And just to stem off any inevitable accusations, I haven't smoked weed since 1989. The only illicit drug use I've taken part in was to keep some vicodin in the cupboard for my back one time that I got legally from my doctor, but didn't "properly dispose" of after I began to feel better. I enjoy an alcoholic beverage regularly, but seldom drink more than 2.
Ballen, to address your question of coming up with something that will work, one thing would be to stop clogging up our justice system with non-violent hippies who like to smoke pot so that we can more effectively deal with the violent and destructive members of society. Legalizing weed would eliminate the criminal element from that demographic, and as I showed above, that is a huge amount of people. While we're at it, we need to think about how we manage prescription medication and make it more difficult to get. This will also necessarily involve holding doctors more accountable for the prescriptions they write and removing the "free market" element from medicine which involves incentives to doctors for "prescribing" brand name medications and handing out samples like candy in order to get paid vacations and expensive gifts directly from the pharmaceutical distributors.
But the absolute easiest thing that we can do would be to legalize weed, and right there you will have brought the lion's share of illicit drug use out into the open so that it can be regulated for consistency and strength, taxed and sold out in the open to responsible adults who wish to enjoy it. Then, as a society, we can deal with the much smaller group of violent and dangerous people who are hooked on stronger drugs like heroin and meth.
Let's be clear, though. Weed isn't illegal because it's dangerous to society. It's illegal because there is a lot of money at stake. It's political and financial, not social.
There certainly appears to be a market for marijuana sold illegally in the states.Grrr... yarrr!!!! Rawrrrrr!
There is a black market for booze and cigarettes in the States as well, but most people purchase them legally through convenient retailers.
they should give them amnesty for the time being...so we can claim we use it to sanitize stuff, for which store bought booze is utterly useless!There certainly appears to be a market for marijuana sold illegally in the states.
There is also a market for 'self brewed' alcohol here. It is largely for selling higher alcohol volume (moonshine) and avoiding the federal excise tax of $13.50/gallon and the typical state tax of about 7%-15%. I have two good friends who are ATF and they say produced alcohol is living large in the south and east states.
I assume there are black markets for branded alcohol and cigarettes as well but that would seem to be more of a buy (or steal) and sell venture not a produce and sell venture to me.