Archive for Sunday, December 24, 2006

Marijuana cited as major state crop

Study calls plant ‘untapped source of revenue’

December 24, 2006


Kansas is the land of wheat, sorghum and ... weed?

A new study that's raising eyebrows around the country suggests that the nation's top cash crop isn't corn or wheat, but marijuana. The report, published in the "Bulletin of Cannabis Reform," puts the value of the nation's marijuana crop at $35.8 billion, compared with $23.3 billion for the nation's corn crop and $7.4 billion for wheat.

The study, by Virginia-based consultant Jon B. Gettman, found Kansas to be 31st among the states in marijuana production, with a crop value estimated at $64 million.

By comparison, Kansas' wheat crop was worth $1.25 billion in 2005, and its grain-sorghum crop was valued at $317 million.

California was the No. 1 state listed for marijuana production, with a crop estimated at $13.8 billion.

The study began with a federal estimate that there are 10,000 metric tons of marijuana produced nationwide, multiplied it by a value of $1,606 per pound, and apportioned it to states based on the average seizures of cultivated marijuana plants through a federal marijuana-eradication program from 2003 to 2005.

The study describes marijuana as an "untapped source of revenue" for states that could potentially be regulated. Gettman wrote that in the past two decades, a federal marijuana-eradication program "has been unable to curtail the growth of domestic cultivation in the United States, let alone make any progress toward suppressing, abolishing or eliminating this market phenomenon."

Kansas receives a federal grant of about $230,000 per year for its marijuana eradication program, said Kyle Smith, deputy director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. By far, the majority of the plants seized in Kansas are untended, wild-growing plants without high levels of the active ingredient in marijuana, THC.

For example, in 2005, there were 1.18 million wild marijuana plants eradicated in Kansas, compared with 3,690 cultivated plants.

The wild-growing plants, commonly known as "ditchweed," were not included in Gettman's study.

Smith, the KBI spokesman, was skeptical of the study, which was touted in a nationwide press release by the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project.

"It's kind of a publicity stunt. I can't really blame them," Smith said. "They have an agenda, and they're pushing it."

He said he thinks advocates for marijuana reform are a vocal minority, and that if the nation truly wanted to change the laws related to the drug, it could have elected leaders by now to do so.

Bob Eye, a Lawrence-based attorney and a founding board member of the reform-minded Drug Policy Forum of Kansas, said he views the study as evidence the war on drugs is not working.

"It's pretty clear that the efforts by law enforcement to essentially eliminate marijuana-growing have been a failure, and on the other hand what has been a success is the capacity of growers to hone their craft and essentially make it a part of the economy," he said.

"The fact that any activity generates $35 billion worth of transactions bears very close study, and I think it also reflects the relative acceptance of marijuana in the culture."

Said Smith, "Just because a lot of people want it doesn't make it right."


jonas 11 years, 6 months ago

fairylight: "They would rather we be pumped full of morphine and other addicting drugs that pump money into the pharmacutical companies than allow a joint a day!"

There. Fixed that for you.

Sigmund 11 years, 6 months ago

"Bulletin of Cannabis Reform" by the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. Gee, I wonder if they are unbiased or if they have an agenda? This is front page news in the LJW? Give me a freeking break.

local_support 11 years, 6 months ago

No surprise here.

Also love the pertinent google ads.

Harry_Manback 11 years, 6 months ago

"Supercloset grow cabinet"

Gotta love that one!

fairylight 11 years, 6 months ago

With all the legitimate studies regarding MJ as excellent in helping pain or nausea control for chemo , MD, Glaucoma, and various other maladies...I can't understand why Kansas has to be so backward! Grow it, control it, but let those who benefit from it use it without fear of arrest!

I am 50+ , ovarian cancer survivor. I do not think I could have done the chemo on a regular schedule without the temporary help from cannabis! That I, and others fighting these diseases, it should be criminal that we are forced underground...FORCED into illegal acts in order to manage our illness. They would rather we be pumped full of morphine and other addicting drugs that allow a joint a day!

Richard Heckler 11 years, 6 months ago

Allowing americans to grow their own marijauna would not only reduce crime substantially it opens the door for USA farmers to produce industrial hemp like they did 60 years ago = = profitable family farms.

A family member was advised by the family eye doctor that marijuana would be the best treatment for Glaucoma. However paranoia prevents taking such a step, that and not having a clue where to begin if she would.

It seems that violent crimes deserves the attention and funding being directed at marijuana . Decriminalize usage and growing your own frees up valuable docket time at the court house. It could free up prison space for rapists,child molestors and killers.

Leprechaunking13 11 years, 6 months ago

Not only for medical uses but also Hemp can used to make many different things like clothes and paper. The only real reason that the government hasn't legalized pot is because they have all their money in Tobacco Farming and don't think they would make any money off MJ. I hope this study makes some politicians think about the money the government could potentially make off legalizing it and paying farmers to grow it like they do Tobacco.

Fatty_McButterpants 11 years, 6 months ago

If the state were to legalize marijuana that would pretty much solve the education funding crisis in Kansas. Seems fairly simple to me.

jonas 11 years, 6 months ago

Fatty: Haha. A two-pronged assault. In a social welfare sense: more money for schools! In a social darwinist approach: keeps the true potheads at home eating chips, so they don't such up teachers time and flunk out quietly! Genius!

Ragingbear 11 years, 6 months ago

There is ONE main reason why the government does not want marijuana made legal. It is too easy to grow compared to tobacco and alchohol. All you needs is some grow lights, fertilizer, a few pamphlets on how to grow it, and some time. This would make it very difficult to regulate and tax the crud out of. With alchohol, the government generates massive amount of taxes, same with just about any other legal recreational substance.

Basically, it's the conservative agenda that believes that anything remotely fun is immoral, and should be illegal. Yet another shining example of your tax dollars at work.

Ooooooh! Cheetos.

marion4pres 11 years, 6 months ago


...mind you I'm not doubting, complaining or criticizing... just curious as you seem to have varied experiences.
Based on prior posts, did you do the "agency" work before or after the several years you spent in the auto-retail business. Tell us more about the "agency" work, please.

fairylight 11 years, 6 months ago

Thank you Jonas...That is indeed much better!

'Posted by jonas (anonymous) on December 24, 2006 at

fairylight: "They would rather we be pumped full of morphine and other addicting drugs that pump money into the pharmacutical companies than allow a joint a day!"

There. Fixed that for you. '

marion4pres 11 years, 6 months ago

Sounds like some interesting history is getting stirred-up. Marion or Logrithmic please explain.

marion4pres 11 years, 6 months ago

This presents two compelling arguements:

1.) regardless of how unfare or un/enforcable an action may be, if it's unlawful and someone chooses to engage in that activity then suffering the consequences are their own choice. It's not the "fault" of anyone else even a narc. That is a simple, obvious further point, period.

2.) although it happens all the time in all facets of life, to choose to portray oneself as a friend, then deliberately trick, set-up and betray another's trust that results in arrests, criminal charges and/or jail is unforgivable. If indeed, this scenario even happened as it seems is being speculated. ( A true honorable, friend would keep another from falling into such trouble by any legitimate means possible.)

always_amazed 11 years, 6 months ago

Hey Marion.....what was that narc's name that used to jump out of the trunks of cars back in the mid 70's...hmmmmm.....wonder if he is to old to do that now.

heysoos 11 years, 6 months ago

I just want to comment on Sigmund's first post of the day.

The Marijuana Policy Project "touted" the study. You try, like so many of the trolls on this website, to make a false connection. Did you read the article?

A lot of pro-reform groups "touted" the study.

Laxman 11 years, 6 months ago

Please help stop the war on drugs--thank you.

Happy HanaRamaKwanzMas to each and all!

a2thek 11 years, 6 months ago

Ditch Weed? What's that? It's nice to know that they are keeping track of that. Is Ditch Weed like Poison Ivy or something? THis is something you smoke that gives you the scratches. LOL

Commenting has been disabled for this item.