Archive for Monday, November 1, 2010

Website tracks street value of marijuana

November 1, 2010


The going rate for marijuana in Lawrence?

About $60 for an eighth of an ounce or about $350 per ounce, according to a new website,

Local marijuana users can go online, and from user-submitted data, see what kind of bargain they’re getting from their drug dealer. The site, which has been online since September, also compiles averages of marijuana prices for each state.

The site features about two dozen price entries from Lawrence, which is about a third of all entries from Kansas.

A representative from the website wrote in an e-mail to the Journal-World that the goal of is simply to give marijuana users tools for assessing prices.

“It was born out of personal curiosity; we have no political agenda as a site,” wrote the representative, who declined to give a name. “We just want to bring information and data to light as accurately as possible.”

The site gives local smokers some sense of the going rate, something local police say is difficult.

“They tell me it is subject to the laws of supply and demand,” said Sgt. Steve Lewis of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after speaking with other deputies. “So there is no firm price.”

Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Erickson said that gauging the price also is complicated by the quality of marijuana being sold. Erickson said his agency sees and hears about marijuana prices fluctuating between $80 and $1,000 per ounce.

Trying to pinpoint the street or retail value of illegal drugs has always been problematic, said Jonathan Caulkins, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University who studies the economics of illegal drugs.

“We know from other work that there can be a great deal of price dispersion in illegal drug markets even for a single drug at a single location and time,” he said.


Maddy Griffin 7 years, 7 months ago

Must be the "fancy"stuff. There's still some out there for less than $50 an ounce.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

$50 / oz? might as well burn a hay bale. :)

ksjayhawk74 7 years, 7 months ago

Ditchweed? $50/ounce and you just bought a bag of either catnip or oregano.

Nick Yoho 7 years, 7 months ago

don't be a hater, just 'cause grammaddy has the hook up!

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

I do believe that you're talking from the other end on this one.

It's not just Liberals who want cannabis legalized. it is very much a personal freedoms issue, so that makes it Libertarian. and it's very much a fiscal/tax issue, so it's also Conservative. Everyone has a dog in this show.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

When a person smokes cigarettes, for instance, this drives up the cost of health care for everyone. About half the price of cigarettes are taxes that are supposed to force smokers to pay for the externalities caused by smokers. Legalize pot, and the price will go up for similar reasons. I am not saying pot [should] make health care more expensive, but it will force regulatory bodies that non users should not have to pay for.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

why would healthcare costs go up? perhaps there will be a slight temporary increase in the number of users; but according to all other civilized nations who've decriminalized cannabis, overall use will go down. additionally, there aren't a lot of pot-related illnesses that would force people into the doctors office. comparing the health needs of alcohol and tobacco users to those of cannabis users is two completely different situations. while cannabis has much medicinal value, liquor and cigarettes have slim to none.

As for the government taxing the holy-hell out of it, I'm sure they will. But they currently are anyway. we pay billions upon billions each year in law enforcement as well as billions more hidden in other government red tape to combat this growing problem. soon we will be selling (giving) arms to Mexico, as well as positioning our military down there to combat the war that the drug war has created.

I would rather it was legal for adults, pay our taxes for education, and end the prison industrial complex, as well as the destructive crime that prohibition has caused.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

Corky, when was the last time you tried to grow the supplies and took the time to make cigarettes & whiskey? it's a whole different set of rules.

Danimal 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually, if legalized prices would drop rapidly. The reason dope is expensive now is the same that other illicit drugs are illegal. The consumer is paying a much higher price to incentivize growers, traffickers and dealers continuing their risky and highly illegal activity. It isn't a question of public health, but of simple economics. Cannabis will grow pretty much anywhere in the continental US, it's a weed. If legalized the prices would plummet as legal weed floods the market, and cartels and terrorists around the world would lose their largest revenue stream. Of course, if governments are foolish enough to place hefty taxes on it, the illicit trade will continue with the same people continuing to benefit. I don't think pot will ever be legalized thanks to all of the people that have a stake in it and would lose money (and I mean everyone from the street dealer to the drug lord, and on the other side attorneys and corporations). Fear and ignorance are alive and well in America.

gudpoynt 7 years, 7 months ago

Actually, prices fall as a result of decriminalization as evidenced in California.

Buzzby 7 years, 7 months ago

Prices fall as production goes up. As more and more people want to get into the profitable business of producing marijuana, there's more weed on the market. Demand remains fairly constant. Econ 101 tells me that the price will drop

kernal 7 years, 7 months ago

$350 an ounce? All the more reason to legalize it and tax it.

jessanddaron 7 years, 7 months ago

Areunorml has a point. I hear conversatives talk about legalization not because of any other reason than the economical benefits. Let's face it, we are just living in a prolonged modern day prohibition where this stuff Is only outlawed due to government agenda and scientists themselves admit they don't have any substantial evidence of it being even remotely as dangerous for someone to use opposed to alcohol. Any person that thinks it makes fiscal sense to regulate and sell alcohol has already made the decision that legalization and taxation is a good idea, it is the social stigma our country must get over...

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

“They tell me it is subject to the laws of supply and demand,” said Sgt. Steve Lewis of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after speaking with other deputies. “So there is no firm price.” $60 1/8 to $350 oz.? Actually, this is about the same price I was paying when I quit smoking back in '94.

"Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Erickson said that gauging the price also is complicated by the quality of marijuana being sold." Everything bought and sold gets cheaper per unit the more you buy. The Law of Diminishing Returns, I think it is called.

"Erickson said his agency sees and hears about marijuana prices fluctuating between $80 and $1,000 per ounce." $1000 per ounce? Bollocks. Pure bollocks.

“We know from other work that there can be a great deal of price dispersion in illegal drug markets even for a single drug at a single location and time" Absolutely. But I can go to McDonalds and spend $5.39 on a cheeseburger and fries or I can go to Freestate and get a cheeseburger and fries for $7.80, or $9.25 at local burger on the same day. Is this a characteristic that is isolated to the "illegal drug market"? No. It is about whether or not you want a pair of jeans from Abercrombie, The Buckle, or Walmart. Or if you want your pot from Mexico, Humboldt County, or from a local growroom.

Regulate and Tax. Of course, the price will go up. Right away, the $350 oz. goes to $400 just to cover the stamp.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

Oops. I misread the article to say quantity, not quality. But- what a redundant statement. Do prices really change with quality? What a mystifying bit of logic that is.

ralphralph 7 years, 7 months ago

Impaired perception and loss of short-term memory, critics say ...

JustNoticed 7 years, 7 months ago

The law of diminishing returns has nothing to do with buying in quantity. Sorry, too stoned right now to formulate a definition for you.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

You are correct, my mistake. I was referring to the Demand Schedule: As prices fall, the quantity demanded increases.

mbulicz 7 years, 7 months ago

The $1000 per ounce figure is something they invent so that they can hyperinflate the "street value" of confiscated cannabis.

Something like, "This truck contained a million dollars worth of cannabis!" sounds better than, "This truck contained about a hundred pounds of cannabis." "Street value" is always ridiculously over the top to justify spending more tax dollars.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

they do the same thing when cutting down a field of cannabis. "we took out 30 tons of marijuana" what they fail to say is; they were leaves, stalks, root balls filled with mud, etc. How much was sellable and usable.. about 1/8th of the total plant weight.

ImTooOldForThis 7 years, 7 months ago

"Regulate and Tax. Of course, the price will go up. Right away, the $350 oz. goes to $400 just to cover the stamp."

Now you are talking "bollocks". If it does become legal, what moron would pay that much? Seriously, they say if Prop 19 passes, prices will drop by a much s 80% per ounce plus tax. Fine grade marijuana availible currently at $350 per OZ will drop to somewhere around $60-$100 per ounce. High grade pot will be as cheap as low grade stuff is now. Not to mention people cultivating their own.

Buzzby 7 years, 7 months ago

If you could grow cannabis in your back yard, it would cost you, maybe, $10 an ounce. That being the case, who in their right mind would buy a commercial ounce for $350? Prices will have to be low enough that very few people will grow their own or buy from the black market. You would not eliminate the black market by charging people more than black market prices.

There is a positive correlation between the level of taxes (and prices) and people's efforts to avoid them.

collared_greens 7 years, 7 months ago

But most of the students don't have backyards...

CHKNLTL 7 years, 7 months ago

Once legalized, Monsanto Corporation can patent its own cannabis DNA that leaves out the drug part so that no one can get high anymore, and anyone growing it, whether tame or wild, must pay patent royalties to them. Those funds will help them lobby the laws they need in the FDA to make pills for all of us to take. And income/sales tax on marijuana? What an idea!

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

it's funny because the psychoactive part of the plant wasn't the original target for the folks who wanted to eradicate this plant. but since the Mexicans, blacks & gypsies were enjoying it's benefits, it make a helpful package for scared, racists.

The original target of prohibition was to eliminate the industrial hemp production which was a real thorn in William Randolph Hearst's backside; and a direct threat to his timber industry.

Buzzby 7 years, 7 months ago

While people growing for hemp fiber would probably welcome THC-free cannabis, why would anyone else grow it? If Monsanto were to develop such a strain, there would still be 5,000 commercially available strains bred for their psychoactivity to from which to choose.

CHKNLTL 7 years, 7 months ago

why, you'll buy a permit to grow each year, just like buying a burn permit, of course.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

there will be a lot of people who will grow as opposed to buying. But most people won't be able to cultivate decent cannabis. Even if they do, they'll maybe come up with 1 to 3 strains. But largely, most people would be just as happy to go to the store where they can get a good selection, with no hassle of growing.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

First of all, calm down, dude. (Once it's legalized, we'll all be required to increase our usage of "dude".)

Think if it like hard booze. I could make moonshine in a still in my garage, but that's illegal, so it makes more sense to just buy booze at a liquor store. If it becomes illegal to grow, and the penalties are high enough, people won't bother with home-growing pot.

Not that I'm an advocate. I'm just explaining the logic.

Buzzby 7 years, 7 months ago

Do they tax the tomatoes you grow in your back yard? If you make your own beer or wine in the basement, do they tax that? If you grow your own tobacco, do they tax that?

The answer to all three questions is "NO". There is no reason to think that it would be any different with legal cannabis.

acg 7 years, 7 months ago

$60 an 1/8th is ridiculous, unless it's KGB. Seems to me these prices are way inflated.

Casey_Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

But it's not ridiculous in Lawrence for it to be that high quality. Now $1000/ounce, THAT is ridiculous. I've gotten my hands on some of the best stuff there is but never heard of it going for more than $20/gram, which comes out to a little more than half of $1000 an ounce.

jonas_opines 7 years, 7 months ago

Sweet, pot thread! Pass the popcorn! And cheetos! and some pizza, maybe a peanut-butter cup. And a soda

jonas_opines 7 years, 7 months ago

I will, thank you.

Anyway, I broke the stereotype when I did. I didn't want to touch food at all, just smoke cigarettes.

/just a joke, yo. first thing that I thought of

Armored_One 7 years, 7 months ago

White Widow, virgin grown, and a few of the higher end, rarer breeds that are grown hydroponically net a hefty return, but they are very touchy, so to speak, about their living conditions, so it's damned hard to mass produce them...

Did a massive report on illegal drugs back in high school. There is something like 50 different strains of dope alone.

a grand an ounce really isn't all that shocking for the truly rarer breeds, especially if they are cured properly. Not having personal experience with them, I read reports that some of the higher end breeds also have not just the sophoric effects but also very mild hallucinagenic effects as well.

I've always said legalize it and tax the living hell out of it. If nothing else, it'll fill the gaps in state budgets and give them time to actually try and fix the problems. And shortly after they do that, Peter Pan is going to take us all to NeverNever Land for a private vacation.

Casey_Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

"50 different strains of dope alone"

And what exactly is dope? It's strange that you would make such a knowledgeable claim (yet without any sources) about a word whose definition varies so much from person to person.

Buzzby 7 years, 7 months ago

There are 5,000 commercially available strains of cannabis, not 50.

$1,000 is indeed a ridiculous price for an ounce of weed. The highest price I've ever heard of was $600, and that was in New York City where you can tack 30% onto the price of anything you'd buy elsewhere.

Calliope877 7 years, 7 months ago

Yep, $60.00 sounds about right....wait....what are we talking about?

KU_Dude 7 years, 7 months ago

duuuuuuuuuuude!!! this article is soooooooooooo rad!!!

pizzapete 7 years, 7 months ago

Legalizing weed is not going to make the price go up. It is very easy to grow, especially if you don't have to use an artificial light sources. Growing it yourself is the best. Unfortunately right now the US government confiscates all your possessions and treats you as a felon if they find you growing it. Time to change this stupid law.

Stuart Evans 7 years, 7 months ago

I've been reading about cannabis and re-legalization for quite some time, and for the life of me, I can't recall one single article or comments thread that was dominated by prohibitionists and facts to back up their claims. By and large, the US citizens seem to be in favor of legalization; why won't our politicians grow a set and just admit that their war on Americans is an utter failure?

pizzapete 7 years, 7 months ago

Agreed, this is something the teaparty should get behind. Our founding fathers would never have allowed this senseless invasion of privacy. Washington actually made it illegal to Not grow marijuana during the American Revolutionary War.

Jeremiah Jefferson 7 years, 7 months ago

Man thats either the 2 hitter quitter smoke or someone is getting ripped off severely. Used to be a guy could get some good ol mexican red hair for $100 an oz and come away plenty staloned. I been out of the market for a while though. Truth be told it should cost about the same as a pack of cigarettes

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

I hear a lot of blah blah blah about how it will make the price go down, economics 101 this and you are full of bollocks that.

Economics 101? The goal of every business is to maximize profits. Producers will sell at the highest price the consumer is willing and able to pay. You pot heads are willing and able to pay $350 and ounce, apparently. Expect to pay at least that.

Prop 19 only allows private cultivation in a 25 square foot space and that is only for personal use, not sale. So why not grow your own? Because a 1000 watt metal halide will grow a 4x4 area. You will need 6000 watts to grow 25x25. Let's do some math now. If you rotate your crop for 2 harvests a year, you will be running 4000 watts all year long for flowering, and 2000 watts 50% of the time all year long for vegetative growth. Or 4000W/1000= 4KWH multiplied by 24=96KWH per day multiplied by 365=35040KWH per year divided by 12=2920 KWH per month. Do the same figuring for your vegetative cycle: 1460KWH (Veg) + 2920KWH (flower)= 4380KWH. You will add 4380KWH to your electric bill every month just in lighting alone!

I paid Westar 17.3 cents per KWH in September, so with the proposed growshow, I would have paid an additional $759 bucks for one month of lighting, and I can multiply that by 6 months: $4554.32 increase for every harvest. Yeah, most strains finish in around 90 days, but the math works out the same if you have 4 harvests a year instead of just 2. Now we can talk capital investment like soils and mediums, containers, fans, rent, nutrients... See where I'm going? Even if you grow it, it isn't free. Your dealer charges you $350 an ounce because he has to to make a profit. Most post prop 19 grow ops won't be efficient enough to cover their own costs, and prop 19 does not allow you to push weight. Only 1 ounce per transaction at a time!

pizzapete 7 years, 7 months ago

You do Not need high powered lights to grow weed. You can use the sun or simple florecent lighting will work, and that's a fact. Economics 101, the price is high because it is illegal, end of story.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

Are gas prices high because it is illegal? Cigarettes? Energy? Alcohol? Food? Real Estate? Health Care? No. They are expensive because the consumers are willing and able to pay, and because they are taxed and/or regulated. Did you sleep through economics 101?

Casey_Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Now imagine how expensive gas, cigarettes, energy, alcohol, food, real estate, and health care would be if they were illegal...

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

The price of weed has stayed pretty much the same for decades because it is illegal. It is a black market commodity, and is free from regulation. I think I've made a pretty strong case here, so I'll offer one more point and leave it alone. I am totally in favor of legalizing marijuana. Not because I want to smoke it or grow it, but because I think that it is worth a boatload of money. I believe this because of its recreational, industrial, and medicinal uses among many others. I seriously doubt it will do anything for the economy if its price is driven down to nothing. How is something that is going to be worth nothing going to be worth anything? The idea goes against all of the reasons why the government would consider it's legalization to begin with. When governments use words like "tax, regulate, and control" They are not sitting in their ivory towers thinking, "Man it would be really nice if we would just let everyone get high." There is plenty of money to be made by keeping it illegal. That is why it has been illegal for so long. They do not care if it is safe, they do not care if it kills you. That is why cigarettes and alcohol are legal. Because these products have an implicit worth that is greater than their explicit worth.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

If everyone and their mom starts consuming that much electricity, everyone's rates will rise. Just like the rates rise in the summer when everyone and their mother turns the air conditioner on. Because I will not be growing, I do not want to pay higher rates, so they will raise the taxes on the pot you are growing and smoking to cover that externality. Where do you think the money from legalization will come from?

There are 2 big problems with outdoor: The first would be restrictions they are putting on your grow space. Double fenced, covered, secure, etc. Expect to pay at least $5k for a prop 19 spec outdoor grow. Even for 1 plant. The second problem is that if you are within 2 miles of another grow, and they don't know what they are doing- well then we are talking $50 ounces and you are smoking seeds.

It also restricts you from possession or usage while minors are present. What exactly does that mean? If a kid lives within a 1000 feet of you, then you are excluded from growing? Well they probably don't intend to lay off half of their police force as soon as pot is legal. They will be out stormtrooping to make sure all the rules are being followed. Since there will be an entire division of the police force or whatever they end up calling it, out regulating, everyone's taxes will go up. That cost will be absorbed by the producers and the consumers, too. Where do you think the money from legalization will come from?

Use a generator, the price of diesel will go up. Spill your diesel, even more taxes. Dump your fertilizer, dispose of your dirt, and on and on. Where do you think the money from legalization will come from?

Go buy it on the black market instead? They will populate their FEMA camps with you. This bill is a double edged sword. It is a trick off. Anyone who doesn't think so spends too much time hitting the pipe, and wasting all their brain power getting to the next level on the X-Box.

Prop 19 is not called the "Legalized Weed Free-For-All Act of 2010" It is called the "Tax Regulate and Control Cannabis Act of 2010"

pizzapete 7 years, 7 months ago

You don't have to consume that much electricity, I know this to be a fact. It would be very easy to not spend even $120 for electricity in a month.

If the goverment made tomatos illegal tomorrow, the price of an illegal tomato would be around $100 a tomato and soon after people might start killing each other for tomatoes.

Tax and Regulate, what a great name.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

We are not talking tomatoes! Sure, you can grow with fluorescent, I'm not saying you can't. Now show me a professional grower who does. You can't. Because they don't.

Casey_Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

Isn't that because you'd have to be a professional grower to justify lights that use so much energy? I thought that's what you were just saying anyway... So I have to settle for a fluorescent light if I wanna grow at home? Big deal, I can smoke it legally.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

It is not about justification, it is about yield. All I have been talking about is maximization of profits. I would not become a slave to a watering can for the amount of yield that could be achieved by a $120 electric bill. Prop 19 is all about money. Read the bill. The words "free" or "cheap" do not appear anywhere in it.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

Oh. You think that building prisons and imprisoning millions of innocent people for 4 decades is free? What about the loss of their incomes to the economy? What about The 42 billion we have already spent this year enforcing prohibition? I don't think the demand will increase much at all. That is why I don't think legalization has a chance at growing the economy if the price gets driven down.

Why are you insulting me?

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

I have already explained very thoroughly what money has to do with all of this. Another thing about prop 19: The word subsidy appears nowhere in the entire bill.

If you have some data and not just a statement of "you are wrong" or "look at med cards" I mean, give me more than one or two sentences with real data, I might listen. Otherwise, thanks for playing, goodbye!

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

Here is a correction to my rant: 730KWH (veg) because my example only uses 2000W 50% of the time, so the increase in electricity would really only be 3650KWH or $632.55 a month not $759. Hey, what's 106 bucks between friends? The weed is super cheap now, right?

Casey_Jones 7 years, 7 months ago

It's weird that you know so much about it yet are so adamantly opposed to legalization. I've heard a large portion of Humboldt county opposes Proposition 19 due to all the profit they stand to lose. Most smokers I know would sacrifice the best quality stuff (if necessary) for a simple and cheap, albeit lower quality, home grow setup if it meant they could legally smoke it.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 7 months ago

You misunderstand. I am resoundingly FOR legalization. Because I believe it will make a lot of money. I am trying to illustrate how and why the price will not go down once it is legalized. The consumer would like to see that, I'm sure. But I am not a consumer of pot. But like other non consumers, I will have to pay the external costs of its legalization, and I don't see myself doing that if you or anyone else can just grow themselves a cheap high. You will bear the external costs which will keep it expensive. You may not believe me now, but I guarantee if it is legalized, you will be taxed, regulated, and controlled. All you need to do is read, it is all right there in the bill.

independant1 7 years, 7 months ago

make it legal? then it won't be any fun.

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