How Much Will a Legal Marijuana Habit Cost You?

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  How Much Will a Legal Marijuana Habit Cost You?

Posted by CN Staff on May 20, 2013 at 04:58:34 PT
By Brad Tuttle 
Source: Time 

Colorado -- If you’re an average pot smoker in Colorado—paying average prices for average-quality marijuana—you can expect to spend around $650 on weed next year. A study conducted by the Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University aimed to get to the bottom of how much the state can expect to collect in tax revenues now that marijuana is legal. By doing a little extra math, we can get a rough estimate for what the average marijuana enthusiast will spend annually as well.Researchers estimate that in 2014, 642,772 Colorado residents, or about 12.5% of the state population, will take advantage of pot’s newly legal status. Analysts assumed each person would smoke or otherwise “use” 3.53 ounces of marijuana annually, for a total of 2,268,985 ounces (about 142,000 pounds) per year.
All of these numbers may be underestimated, because they’re based on data compiled when recreational marijuana was illegal. In fact, there are so many unknowns in the realm of legal non-medicinal pot that all of this math has a crude back-of-the-napkin quality to it. In any event, using the study’s numbers, the average marijuana enthusiast can expect to pay a retail price of $185 per ounce next year. Multiply that times 3.53 ounces—which no one can buy at once, mind you, because there’s a one-ounce purchase maximum for residents—and the total comes to $653 annually spent on pot.How much the individual actually winds up spending on marijuana will depend on several factors, most obviously the quality (and price) of the pot and how much one smokes. Researchers used the crowdsourcing site to get the $185-per-ounce figure. As of early April, an ounce of marijuana was averaging $206 on the black market, and because the price is expected to drop once pot is legal, the study landed on $185. If the smoker is opting for higher-quality, $300-per-ounce marijuana, his annual pot bill would top $1,000. That’s for someone smoking the average of 3.53 ounces per year. A heavy smoker who goes with $300-per-ounce pot and uses, say, half-an-ounce monthly could expect to drop $1,800 annually on his habit.That may sound like a lot. But a pot-smoking habit is probably cheaper than a cigarette-smoking habit. Colorado is one of the cheaper states for cigarettes, but a pack still goes for around $5.19, according to one state-by-state price check compilation. So a one-pack-per-day habit—purchased one pack at a time, not by the carton—comes to $1,894 for a year.Health officials say that once medical expenses and things like lost productivity due to the effects of smoking are incorporated, an addiction to cigarettes is far more costly than that. For that matter, plenty of arguments have been made that legalizing marijuana will result in increased usage and addiction, as well as higher rates of driving while stoned, so the costs to society outweigh any benefits that arise from approving the drug for recreational use.Oh, and about the point of the Colorado State study, regarding tax revenues for the state? Researchers estimate that the 15% excise tax on wholesale marijuana would yield $21.7 million annually, which is far short of the $40 million annual target. To hit the target, marijuana would have to cost a lot more than the prices that have been estimated, or people in Colorado would have to buy a lot more marijuana than the forecasts project. Neither is likely to occur, the study states. “As competition forces growers and sellers to be more efficient, margins will erode and both wholesale cost and retail prices are forecast to fall,” the report reads. And instead of usage rising year after year, the study’s authors foresee a “decline in the rate of growth of consumption as the ‘wow’ factor erodes overtime and any marijuana tourism begins to decline, particularly if other states follow Colorado and Washington and legalize marijuana.”Source: Time Magazine (US)Author: Brad TuttlePublished: May 20, 2013Copyright: 2013 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #26 posted by FoM on May 22, 2013 at 05:26:38 PT
Thank you. It was beautiful.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on May 21, 2013 at 22:08:50 PT
Comment 23
I love that photograph! It's amazing.
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on May 21, 2013 at 20:27:09 PT
After yesterday,
I had a more concerned, more fearful feeling when it got dark today at three thirty or so and there was a storm.Also, I certainly was relieved this morning, that the number of lives lost was drastically rolled back from what they were saying last night about midnight. 
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on May 21, 2013 at 17:45:42 PT
Picture of a Rainbow
It was very pretty to see. It only last a few minutes at the most. This thunderstorm might be the end of the course of this band of storms.
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on May 21, 2013 at 17:16:55 PT
Hope and BGreen
I am glad you are ok. It is humbling to realize what Nature can do.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on May 21, 2013 at 12:09:11 PT
BGreen Comment 19
Thank you, BGreen. 
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on May 21, 2013 at 12:05:20 PT
Comment 8
Thanks, FoM.I wish I had a basement or storm shelter. But like BGreen, I seem to be living in a good spot. They've happened all around us, even jumped us. We have some large rolling hills, which contribute to the bounce and jump effect, right here and being in a bit of a valley helps, it seems. The flat areas, the plains,seem to get the most horrific damage. Over and over again.I've been in four tornadoes. Once was lifted off the ground a couple of feet, at night in a big, heavy fifty seven Ford. We floated a bit, then set back down. Once, we'd just moved from an apartment that was taken out in one, and that same tornado blew out the kitchen window where we had moved to. They are terrifying. I've seen trees and huge road signs flying through the air... arrgh... but, gratefully and astoundingly remained unscathed. Physically. It was a scary ordeal though.I know the fear, but can only imagine the grief and suffering in Oklahoma. I can see it's horrible. 
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Comment #19 posted by BGreen on May 21, 2013 at 11:57:14 PT
We're OK but Hope is in the path today.
Stay safe, dear Hope.My BIL and SIL used to live in a house in New Castle, OK until they moved about six years ago and it is no longer there after yesterday. The 1999 and 2003 tornadoes came within a mile but this one hit it.Bud
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Comment #18 posted by Swazi-X on May 20, 2013 at 22:33:13 PT
Right now, thanks entirely to federal cannabis prohibition, cannabis is at $200/oz. or so. Even at that price cartels are buying Uzis and armor-piercing bullets, machetes and SUVs. It's not a secret that these artificially high prices exclusively benefit criminal cartels along with those criminals we pay to "govern" us, and their mutt-faced domestic military goons and all the greedy profiteers sucking every penny they can out of other people's misery.So why all the whining about whether taxing cannabis will cover the "societal costs" of making it a non-crime? Because that's a back door to preserving funding to protect their buddies in the drug-crime-biz - D.E.A., local cops, prosecutors, for-profit prisons, on and on.They continue to lie straight-faced as they compare the potential "problems" from legal cannabis to the devastation alcohol has wrought on us when used to excess. They frame a world where we won't be safe unless we have the money to pay for troopers in armored vehicles to patrol the wasteland that will be the U.S. once the demon of cannabis is unleashed, and of course since cannabis will be so devastating to our culture we will need tight security on every single seed to keep it from growing where it "doesn't belong".Cannabis is not alcohol. Cannabis is NON-TOXIC to humans at any dose. The effect of cannabis on a human behind the wheel is to make them drive slower and more carefully, while leaving reaction times intact. You probably know by now that cannabis cures cancer, but when it's used fresh - some people juice the leaf but a much more potent form is to use fresh (picked from the plant and immediately frozen) flowers in a smoothie - and especially using fresh high-CBD flowers with an equal amount of normal high-THC flowers - you'll feel 20 years younger *and* it doesn't get you "high" - you can use it in the morning before work without impairment. Just make sure the flowers were fresh-frozen, never dried or heated.It occurred to me that fresh cannabis is probably one of the things Mr. Jesus used back in the day to effect the miracle healing he's come to be known for. Try it out before you doubt - it's like nothing you've ever had and it's truly the wooden stake in the heart of Big Pharma.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 19:12:41 PT

We had a tornado hit a local town near us last year. It took our huge barn door and tossed it across the road. It was big and heavy. We finally have a new door. Our Amish neighbors did all the labor and they do excellent work.
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Comment #16 posted by BGreen on May 20, 2013 at 18:51:56 PT

No basement, we just pray a lot
There are certain paths where storms seem to follow. We're in between a couple so I watch, worry and hope we don't get hit. The north side of the valley we're in seems to be the path. We're south of the river and seem to be better protected, at least in the 24 years we've lived here.It's out of our hands.Bud
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 18:10:37 PT

Pot-Eating Pigs Into Tasty Pork Roast
Marijuana Waste Helps Turn Pot-Eating Pigs Into Tasty Pork RoastMay 20, 2013URL:
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 18:04:44 PT

I hope you have a basement. I would be really worried if I didn't have a basement to go to when storms kick up that are bad.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 18:02:12 PT

Stay safe! 
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Comment #12 posted by BGreen on May 20, 2013 at 17:22:37 PT

We're starting to get it here
Yippee ... freakin' NOT!I really hate this. God bless everyone and please God bless us.Bud
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 17:14:12 PT

Yes it is very sad. 
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Comment #10 posted by HempWorld on May 20, 2013 at 17:05:23 PT

What a total bogus article! Thanks Time!
Meanwhile in the rest of the world, from "The Observer:""A year ago, at the Summit of the Americas in Colombia, regional leaders, including Barack Obama, agreed to commission a study on drug policies and to recommend options. The report was delivered last week by the Organisation of American States ( OAS ), which includes all 35 North and South American countries. As we report on other pages, the report provides an evidence-based approach to rethinking the drugs war. It sets out different scenarios, including legalised, regulated markets, and provides a stimulus to debate new approaches. It also challenges America and Europe to engage with the new mood in Latin America. Those countries are increasingly vocal in their determination to reset the war on drugs. There are clear signals that one or more may unilaterally opt out and stop prosecuting those who pass drugs through their country. It is time for Europe and the US to join a conversation that has gained real momentum. If they leave it much longer, there is a danger no one in Latin America will be listening."Time Mag is a mouthpiece of Rockefeller, don't forget they proclaimed Hitler as 'Man of the Year' in 1938.Go figure! Please do your research and wake up!Thank You ALL! Nobody can stop this, not even Rocky, but I could be wrong.
Hemp Magazine
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Comment #9 posted by BGreen on May 20, 2013 at 17:04:08 PT

Moore, OK
There are so many young victims. I'm heartbroken.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 16:26:24 PT

I left a note on DankHank's Facebook page. He posted 28 minutes ago so I think he is OK luckily.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 16:00:58 PT

I was wondering if DankHank is OK too. What a mess out there.
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 20, 2013 at 15:24:09 PT

How about our Oklahoma folks?
Like Dankhank, for instance.Are you ok, Dankhank?
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 20, 2013 at 12:55:39 PT

The main thing to me... still...
is that the government stop persecuting, killing, and imprisoning people for it. No more raids. No more killing. No more guns. No more handcuffs. No more fines and punishments.All this price and tax stuff will eventually steady itself. The thing is, as far as I'm concerned.... stop the killing and persecution. Stop ruining people's lives. Mind your own business and not everyone else's.Completely!

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Comment #4 posted by BGreen on May 20, 2013 at 11:41:17 PT

Cannabis is too easy to grow
I can't make my own gasoline but a seed in the forest is easy to do. That takes a helluva lot of control from the corporations. People will continue like they're already doing and that will cut the demand for the corp-crap.I'm not going to get bitter. I know most people are greedy bastards out for their own gain. I also know the truth will win and so will I.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #3 posted by museman on May 20, 2013 at 11:21:47 PT

in 1971
When I first began smoking cannabis, it was $10 an ounce. $10 for swag, $10 for 'primo.'Gas was $.27 a gallon. It is now on average $4. That's an inflationary figure of very close to 15 x.15 x $10 is $150.Perhaps the 'supply and demand' would change that, but seeing as how those who supply the demands are all in it for greed and profit, the price is likely to go up, not down.Now if people don't give the right to grow exclusively to the corporations -what is happening through 'law'- the price could easily match that of other herbs and go as low as $15 -$20 an ounce. But since people would rather settle for compromise, the corps are going to get complete control, and 'law' will serve them first, just like it does now.I doubt very seriously that any of the corporate growers are going to respect the plant, so I predict new health problems associated with corporate grown cannabis. Those corps think nothing of lying about their use of chemicals, all they need to do is negotiate payment to the state as a 'fine' with their many pet lawurinators, which in actuality is nothing more than a bribe. They will pay fines for poisoning people, but the damage will have been done.The problem is beyond 'prohibs' it is rooted in the very fabric of our non-democratic 'republic.' The exclusive club of the ass-kissers-of-the-rich-and-famous > politicians and lawyers have got too many convinced of their elicit power and authority. How else could they circumvent the will of the people 'legally?'It thoroughly disgusts me that so many who claim to be advocates of liberty and freedom continue to support such liars and thieves!LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by BGreen on May 20, 2013 at 07:35:26 PT

Black Market Prices
The reality is that cannabis prices are artificially inflated due to prohibition. In the Netherlands they pay black market prices because only the possession and use of small amounts are tolerated while the supply chain is still attacked as an illegal business.The exact same thing has happened in the US regarding medical cannabis. The people who grow this wonderful plant are still stalked by law enforcement and risk spending the rest of their lives in prison. There has to be some reward for taking such risks and that reward is money.The idiocy of the mindset of the prohibitionists is astronomical. That was evidenced by the piece of dog crap terrorist that showed up at my door, who said "we don't care about those who use it, we're just after those who deal it."Okay, officer Gump, where are those who use it going to get it? That concept is extremely flawed yet exists worldwide anywhere cannabis use is tolerated.Only when the acknowledgment is made that you can't use a product without allowing the production using the standard supply chain system every other commodity uses will this nonsense stop and prices will plummet.Of course, the prohibitionists have always tried to succeed by inflating prices. They argue that high prices act as deterrents, while in the same breath lament about all of the property crime caused by people stealing to buy their drugs. My goodness, it makes my head spin.This is basic information and needs to be reiterated to every prohibitionist who tries to obfuscate the truth by this deceptive omission of empirical facts.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 20, 2013 at 05:00:18 PT

Too Much Money
These statistics seem way off. It won't cost barely anything if people could grow their own and share some with those who can't grow their own. That makes good money sense.
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