There's probably not a soul in the world left who thinks locking someone up over a little dime bag is good public policy. Support for legalization is growing. But how much faster would it be growing if people knew just how goddamn cheap weed could be if it wasn't against the law?
According to researchers at Rand's Drug Policy Research Center, if California passes Proposition 19, the weed-legalization measure on this November's ballot, pot prices could fall as much as 80 percent.
The Santa Monica-based, nonprofit research institute predicted the cost of marijuana, which runs between $300 and $450 per ounce, could plunge to about $38 by eliminating the expense of compensating suppliers for the challenges of operating in the black market.
The researchers were not certain how much that decline in price might spur use, but noted that one typical estimate is that a 10% drop in price increases use by about 3%. Other factors, such as the elimination of legal risks, could also increase usage between 5% and 50%.