Monday, May 5, 2008
Buy pot futures
Though illegal, marijuana is used by large segments of the population. For an average product of its type, cannabis would not have much impact in an economy: plenty of products are used regularly by a couple percentage points of the population and infrequently by most others. However, because of its near-universal prohibition, the costs of producing and selling the drug drive up costs and make the drug big business. At $10/gram, the drug is so expensive and widespread that it has become the Netherlands' third-largest export. Contrary to popular belief, smoking marijuana in the Netherlands is technically illegal but unenforced – however, growing marijuana is technically illegal and prosecuted if people are caught. This causes prices to be slightly cheaper than in America, but still hugely inflated compared to the prices of other plants which require similar amounts of energy to grow. (Complicating the comparison, only comparatively high-grade marijuana is available in the Netherlands, and it is much cheaper than in the US, though Americans smoke more low-quality weed.) And before you dismiss the fact that pot is big business in the Netherlands, consider this whopper that talking heads talking about farm policy never mention: marijuana is the America's most valuable crop.