Monday, May 17, 2010

NPR Makes 'Plummeting Marijuana Prices' Look Like a Bad Thing

By David Downs
Mon, May 17, 2010 at 10:21 AM

National Public Radio jumped on the 'plummeting pot prices' bandwagon over the weekend with a segment on more Northern California growers who are wringing their hands over a perceived decrease in pot prices in the state. Boo effing hoo. We're hereby breaking out the world's smallest violin for growers.

In the story, Michael Montgomery quotes one grower as "recalling" he got up to $5,000 per pound for his marijuana years ago. Then, NPR concludes after interviews "with more than a dozen growers and dealers" that today's prices are now much less than $2,000 per pound. Three points:

A) One grower remembering the time he sold a $5,000 pound is not an economic analysis. It's just bad journalism. Go pull the DEA's cooked books on street prices if you want to play that game.

B) A pound of what, exactly? Cannabis prices vary according to crop excellence. You're probably comparing ditch dope to OG Kush.

C) When 2.9 million Californians pay less for a monthly staple, that's not only a good thing, it's fundamental to our economic order. By comparison, when the Big Four record labels were convicted of price fixing in the 1990s, the government found that the industry had inflicted billions of dollars in economic damage to society by keeping prices for compact discs artificially high. The extra money people were paying was an economic harm, created by a four-member cartel of music dealers. That is no different than the economic harm created by artificially propping up the price of up dope with a Drug War.

We at LN, are tired of hearing a drop in prices be described as bad thing because it messes with a false economy built on injustice. It makes growers look like heartless profiteers. As Richard Lee told Riverside, CA. last week: "[Growers] are harvesting bad karma, because the high prices come from people being locked in jail."

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