|Miss High Times 2010 contestant Caitlin, of Santa Cruz, California, with part of this year’s 16 million ounces|
Whoa, dude. Californians smoke 16 million ounces of marijuana a year (yeah, genius, that’s a million pounds), according to a recent report prepared for the Legislature. That’s almost half an ounce for every man, woman and child in the state.
The numbers, from a recent state Board of Equalization report, were prepared for legislation introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for Californians 21 and older, reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee.
Ammiano’s legislation, AB 2254, would create a regulatory structure for marijuana similar to that used for alcohol. The bill would allow taxed sales to adults, while banning sales to or possession by those under 21.
Other interesting findings included in the report:
• California is America’s top marijuana growing state, with 8.6 million pounds of cannabis produced annually, at an estimated value of $13.8 billion. If those numbers are accurate, that represents more than a third of the entire pot crop of the United States. “The fact that California’s largest cash crop continues to go untaxed and unregulated is astounding, especially in such tough economic times,” said Aaron Smith, California policy director of the Marijuana Policy Project.
• Legalization of pot in California would cause the street price to drop by 50 percent (let’s hope so! ‘Cause that’d take dispensary prices down with it).
• In a very questionable conclusion, the report estimates legalization of pot would prompt 40 percent more Californians to use it (no such thing has happened in the Netherlands).
• Once Ammiano’s plan to impose a $50-per-ounce tax on weed is in effect, consumption would be reduced by 11 percent.