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Bob Ross

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Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Bob Ross » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:41 am

"California is responsible for more than a third of the cannabis harvest, with an estimated production of $13.8 billion that exceeds the value of the state's grapes, vegetables and hay combined — and marijuana is the top cash crop in a dozen states, the report states."

Country wide pot is worth $35 billion, according to the report, beating out corn, soybeans and hay, the three largest "legal" crops.

More at the LA Times online.
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Randy Buckner

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Randy Buckner » Tue Dec 19, 2006 4:01 am

I read about this in the Guardian. President Bush’s anti-drug campaign is obviously a dismal failure. Here is part of their blurb:

*************
Marijuana is now the biggest cash crop grown in the US, exceeding traditional harvests such as wheat, corn and soy beans, says a new report.

The study shows that 10,000 tonnes of marijuana worth $35.8bn (£18.4bn) is grown each year; the street value would be even higher. This dwarfs the $23bn-worth of corn grown, $17.6bn-worth of soybeans and $12.2bn-worth of hay. Marijuana is the biggest cash crop in 12 states, with the value of pot grown outstripping peanuts in Georgia and tobacco in North and South Carolina. In California, the biggest producer, it is worth $13.8bn.

The report, Marijuana Production in the US, by DrugScience.org, which wants marijuana to be reclassified, says the drug is listed as a Schedule 1 drug, deemed to have no medicinal value and a likelihood of abuse. Other such drugs include heroin.

******************

I disagree in that marijuana has several medicinal uses, albeit small in its effect. I also do not believe it should be a Schedule 1 drug.

I would actually prefer legalization of the drug, with all of the taxes thereof reaped for the common good. The criminal element dealing in marijuana would be hampered as well (although they will probably turn to other crimes). There would have to be savings in anti-drug trafficking, taking money from the drug cartels, and diverting some of the tax money to drug treatment centers.

A 1999 study showed 60,000 people are behind bars for marijuana use. This cost taxpayers $1.2 billion. The total for prosecuting and policing individuals was between $7 billion and $10 billion just last year.

Criminalizing marijuana does not deter its use. The Connecticut Law Review found that states which have the strictest laws against marijuana use actually have experienced the largest increase in its use.

You have a long legal history -- what do you feel about the issue?
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Peter May

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Peter May » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:28 am

Its called a 'controlled' drug here, which is exactly what it is not. There's no control on it at all.

It's time to admit that all making recreational drugs illegal has done is to enrich gangsters, push up the crime rate as addicts rob to fund their craving, ruin youngsters lives by putting them in prison, and kill them with irregular quality.

Almost every page of the newspapers have stories where illegal drugs are the cause. Not the drugs themselves, but the fact they are illegal.

Its time to legalize them, tax them and control them.
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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Robin Garr » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:08 am

Randy Buckner wrote:The criminal element dealing in marijuana would be hampered as well (although they will probably turn to other crimes).


If history is any guide - consider the liquor industry after the repeal of Prohibition - it's more likely that they'll go legit and end up running the legalized distribution industry, develop an effective lobby, and end up talking about how the three-tier marijuana system is necessary to ensure tax collection and protect our children.
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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Howie Hart » Tue Dec 19, 2006 9:44 am

Robin Garr wrote:If history is any guide - consider the liquor industry after the repeal of Prohibition - it's more likely that they'll go legit and end up running the legalized distribution industry, develop an effective lobby, and end up talking about how the three-tier marijuana system is necessary to ensure tax collection and protect our children.
Yeah, but then we'll have a new terroir debate and the advantages of storing it in plactic bags vs natural brown or whether Reidel pipes are better than EZ-Widers. And we'll have to log on to the PLDG. :shock:
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Carl Eppig

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Carl Eppig » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:18 am

We just had an unbelieveable pot bust here in New Hampshire. A group of Vietnamese Americans were growing it in about a dozen up scale homes along the I-93 corridor. It had street value of $30M U.S. Nothing quite like that has ever happened around here.
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Mike Filigenzi » Tue Dec 19, 2006 10:45 am

Carl Eppig (Middleton, NH wrote:We just had an unbelieveable pot bust here in New Hampshire. A group of Vietnamese Americans were growing it in about a dozen up scale homes along the I-93 corridor. It had street value of $30M U.S. Nothing quite like that has ever happened around here.


We had a similar situation here last summer. A bunch of suburban homes were being used for cultivation. They were all bought specifically for this purpose and had very sophisticated indoor growing systems installed. Neighbors ended up calling police due to the fact that the "owners" apparently did not live in the houses, never spoke to anyone, and rarely came by except late at night. Can't remember the value of the crop but it was in the multi-million dollar range.

I'm with you on this, Bucko. Keeping pot illegal does little or nothing to deter use and causes more problems than it solves.

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Bruce K

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Bruce K » Tue Dec 19, 2006 11:21 am

We had a similar situation here last summer. A bunch of suburban homes were being used for cultivation. They were all bought specifically for this purpose and had very sophisticated indoor growing systems installed. Neighbors ended up calling police due to the fact that the "owners" apparently did not live in the houses, never spoke to anyone, and rarely came by except late at night. Can't remember the value of the crop but it was in the multi-million dollar range.


Now I know where the producers of "Weeds" get their story ideas -- great show, by the way. It did get a little bizarre/improbable this past season, but it's still hysterically funny in places and Mary-Louise Parker is always a joy to watch.

Of course, if you're growing inside suburban houses, the whole idea of terroir doesn't quite cut it.
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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Thomas » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:35 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Randy Buckner wrote:The criminal element dealing in marijuana would be hampered as well (although they will probably turn to other crimes).


If history is any guide - consider the liquor industry after the repeal of Prohibition - it's more likely that they'll go legit and end up running the legalized distribution industry, develop an effective lobby, and end up talking about how the three-tier marijuana system is necessary to ensure tax collection and protect our children.


Yeah, and after this happens the big conglomerates will ruin the quality by diluting the plants with irrigation and reverse osmosis during production...can you age pot leaves in oak or is it easier to just add chips, which would also extend the volume, no--maybe even the burn time?

Hypocrisy or hypocrisy--alcohol legal; marijuana no; other substances (nicotine) yes and (opiates) no.
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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:39 pm

Thomas, just got your book out of the library!! Very good read and will spend time with it over the holiday.
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Bob Ross

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Bob Ross » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:40 pm

"You have a long legal history -- what do you feel about the issue?"

I agree with you completely, Randy.
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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Thomas » Tue Dec 19, 2006 12:58 pm

Hope you enjoy the book Bob.

I just had a general thought on the subject of legalizing marijuana. It likely would be harder for the govt. to collect all the taxes, since the stuff is not so hard to grow at home. Seed sterilization would have to be part of legalization. Hops control comes to mind.
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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by RichardAtkinson » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:17 pm

Bush's "War on Drugs"? C'mon Bucko...there has been a "War on Drugs" for every administration since...what? Nixon?...and all of it has been a dismal failure.

Legalize the stuff and be done with it. All the "War on Drugs" has ever done is make a bunch of murdering SOB's rich beyond their wildest dreams.

Richard
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Randy Buckner

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Randy Buckner » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:15 pm

Bush's "War on Drugs"? C'mon Bucko...


They just happen to be the current administration. Drug control has been a failure since China tried to halt the opium trade in the 1700s. Remember from your history the opium wars of the 1800s? Marijuana was outlawed in this country in 1937, so I blame FDR. :wink:
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Thomas

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Thomas » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:19 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:
Bush's "War on Drugs"? C'mon Bucko...


They just happen to be the current administration. Drug control has been a failure since China tried to halt the opium trade in the 1700s. Remember from your history the opium wars of the 1800s? Marijuana was outlawed in this country in 1937, so I blame FDR. :wink:


Randy, I'm not too sure the reference to China's opium wars fits here. That mess was instigated by Imperial England--and I shall duck as our British friends throw empty wine bottles at me.
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Randy Buckner

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Re: Grapes or pot -- which California crop is worth more?

by Randy Buckner » Tue Dec 19, 2006 2:32 pm

Randy, I'm not too sure the reference to China's opium wars fits here.


I threw that in for the hypocrisy of it all....

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