Website tracks street value of marijuana

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.