Pot Prices Could Drop 90 Percent

Low prices and legal operations could cut out drug cartels

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Decriminalization could lead to massive change in the business of pot, with the RAND Corporation suggestion price drops up to 90 percent.

    Decriminalizing the marijuana trade in California could lead to a nationwide drop in prices while use could potentially double, returning to levels from the 1970s, according to the hippies at the RAND Corporation.

    Economies for sale and the risk costs associated with production could drive the price down as much as 90 percent, and exports from the state's largest cash crop could deliver those savings nationwide.

    The good news is that it would essentially price drug smugglers out of the market, and make it unprofitable for unlicensed grows on public land, which contributes to deforestation in the state.

    Proposition 19, the Tax Cannabis Act, would decriminalize production and use of marijuana in the state if voters approve the ballot measure in November.

    Additionally, a bill sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, would similarly decriminalize and tax the drug.

    The decriminalization would also decrease costs to the state of enforcing existing laws by up to $300 million, according to RAND.

    The NAACP has come out in support of decriminalization, arguing that existing laws unfairly discriminate against African Americans.

    That position has been attacked by the International Faith-Based Coalition, which represents predominantly black churches, which has called for the resignation of NAACP President Alice Huffman.

    However, a survey of 500 California voters conducted in April by Survey USA showed that 67 percent of African American respondents supported legalization, the largest percentage among ethnic groups.  Only among Hispanic voters did the majority oppose legalization.

    Jackson West figures decriminalization couldn't hurt tourism.