- 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,149,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know® 1st Edition
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An incisive approach to a complex and timely issue, laid out in a straight-forward, question-and-answer format.
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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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The authors give a ton of factual information in the book. The book is easy to read.
The authors give their opinions at the end of the book. All 3 differ. They also jointly give parameters at the end of the book regarding what controls they believe there should be with legalization. They believe that there should be significantly more control with legalization than there currently has been in any of the states that have legalized with the exception of Vermont.
I would highly recommend the book. It is written by public policy experts who do not have a particular dog in the marijuana legalization fight. It is balanced and will help readers understand the different types of plans that one could use when legalizing marijuana. So far, in all states except Vermont, it has been one size fits all. But there are other ways to do this and the authors do a good job at describing these other ways.
Unless you already know a good amount about this topic, you will come away knowing a lot more.
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.