- Series: What Everyone Needs to Know
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (July 13, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199913730
- ISBN-13: 978-0199913732
- Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 5.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.7 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #779,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know® 1st Edition
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WHAT EVERYONE NEEDS TO KNOW About This Series
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In this nonpartisan book (the authors themselves, all public-policy academics, don’t even personally hold the same viewpoints), readers will learn about the risks and benefits of marijuana legalization. The work outlines marijuana basics in a Q&A format—such as “Has marijuana been getting more potent?” and “Is marijuana really the nation’s leading cash crop?”—and considers legal and personal ramifications, from distribution to taxation to addiction. A valuable primer for anyone interested in the current debate about the war on drugs. --Rebecca Vnuk
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Top Customer Reviews
Some of the facts covered here:
Americans are increasingly open to the idea. Rasmussen released a poll in May, 2012 which found that 56 percent of Americans were in favor of "legalizing marijuana and regulating it in a similar manner to the way alcohol and tobacco cigarettes are regulated today." Older Americans tended to be much more negative than younger Americans, so it may be that the pressure to legalize will continue to grow.
A key analysis: legal Marijuana might be incredibly cheap. As the authors point out, marijuana is a nonperishable bulk commodity like wheat, corn, coffee and tea. For those kinds of commodities, cost of production is the key driver. Modern American agriculture and its related packaging and transportation methods are incredibly efficient, especially on a large scale and in areas conducive to large yields.
Canada produces industrial hemp industry for about $500 per acre. If mid-grade commercial marijuana (a similar plant) could be grown at that cost, the price to the consumer would be about 20 cents per pound. Better grades of marijuana would cost more; as the authors write: "production costs for crops that need to be transplanted, such as cherry tomatoes and asparagus, are generally in the range of $5,000-$20,000 per acre." Those more labor intensive crops suggest a consumer price of under $20 per pound to less than $5 a pound depending on quality. Those prices compare with price of "other legal herbs such as tea or tobacco ... 100 times lower than the current prevailing price of $300 per ounce --- or a few cents per joint."
Whether you support or oppose legalization, this data is useful: increases in consumption might be very high, but tax revenues might be significantly higher as well. Federal cigarette taxes bring in about $10 billion a year, but the authors believe legalization couldn't yield revenues at that level.
Nonetheless, it is very helpful to have firm data from which to reach policy decisions, and the authors provide that sort of information -- not only on the costs of production and possible tax revenues, but on other possible benefits -- and disadvantages. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the issues.
Robert C. Ross
Addendum: It may be worth mentioning that I have never used marijuana -- my drug of choice is five to ten glasses of red wine a week -- but the issue of legalization seems very important to me as a policy matter. R.
The economics were fascinating to work through as well. The revenue potential is not as cut and dry. The book also covers the middle ground well and shows most of the benefits that support legalization can be had with fewer risks.
Some form of legalization will occur and Colorado will help work through the laws for the rest of the United States. As for now, we need to decriminalize use nationally.