This (in bold) was forwarded from a reader, who had made inquiry via the Governor’s office:
Thank you for writing to Governor Charlie Crist with your concerns regarding House Bill 173/Senate Bill 390 The Marijuana Grow House Eradication Act filed by Representative Thompson and Senator Oelrich that passed the legislature during the 2008 Session.
The Governor appreciates hearing your views and has asked that I respond on his behalf.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency has stated the national average street value of a processed indoor Cannabis plant (which yields approximately one pound of marijuana) is approximately $3,000.
Florida has found that the street value of 25 plants could range from $50,000 to $125,000 depending on the area and local market.
Such a street value would seem to be a reasonable basis for the presumption that there is an
“intent to sell.
” This Act adds to existing law prohibiting the cultivation of Cannabis plants for “personal use” by lowering the threshold for the definition of trafficking in marijuana.
Please be assured that the Governor will keep in mind your views and those of all Floridians when he is presented with the bill.
Thank you again for sharing your views with the Governor.
Office of Citizen Services
Executive Office of the Governor
As far as a response to that, it’s worth noting first that any estimates of the street value of marijuana or any other drug must be weighed against the inflation of street value resulting from its prohibition. In this regard, pot stands out as different from other schedule 1 narcotics like cocaine or opiate derivatives in that it can be cultivated in this country as easily as anywhere else. The bulk of the retail cost of almost any product available to US consumers, legal or illegal in any commercial sphere, is contained in the cost of transporting the product from its point of origin to the marketplace.
US policy over the last 30 years has tended to de-emphasize the role of domestic production in crucial areas like textiles, machine tools and heavy agriculture. The costs of paying fair wages to workers, with benefits commensurate with the profit margins US business has traditionally run, were suddenly too much, and the appeal of exploiting workers dragooned into slaving away for pennies on the dollar, under thumb of well-known tyrannical regimes, inspired the wholesale dismantling of the family farms and much of the major manufacturing centers up north. Many of the core industries that helped win World War II are gone now, as are most of the people who remember how it was done.
It is thankfully still unclear whether this nation could rise again to another existential crisis of the magnitude of what was faced before, but the wholesale misappropriation of funds represented by this silly anti-pot hysteria leaves this country wide open to horrors yet unseen. Maybe if we had legalized the stuff in the 1990s, back when states around the US were passing medical marijuana laws–a trend that continues in places like California, where no one can tell Schwartzenegger what to do–we might have had the resources to actually focus on the terrorists who spent ten years cutting promos on America, launching bitchy little sneak-attacks on quasi-official targets, random slaughter, practicing for the wickedness of 9/11, where all the targets were overwhelmingly civilian.
It’s a little odd, how the peaceful people get hurt first in this world. But history has recorded that the US did have a trillion dollars to waste locking up nonviolent drug users.