View Full Version : What % of GNP would pot be if they included it?
Clearly, there's a great deal of marijuana growing, selling, and buying in this country. California and Hawaii may lead the pot economy, but it's bought and sold everywhere, and I have heard that it's a major crop in the midwest. In fact, it is bought and sold several times, as it's broken into smaller and smaller units. If it were to be included in the GNP, for instance, or some other measure of the economy, what percentage would it represent? I know stats are hard to come by here, and the govt. is probably not the best source of info, so any answer has to be a major guess. Still, if marijuana sales were taken into account, what portion of the economy would it represent?
II Gyan II
09-13-2004, 10:30 AM
I don't remeber the numbers, but this book (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0618446702/)(Reefer Madness) should be among the closest to providing your answer.
09-13-2004, 11:05 AM
The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the US appears to be over $11 trillion.
So even if pot were an $11 billion industry, it would be only 0.1% of the economy.
Here in BC (Canada, that is), the official top industries are logging, mining, and fishing, in some order I don't feel like looking up. But I've seen the claim that marijuana is really the second or third biggest industry in the province. Look here (http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/152/twocultures.shtml), for example, or here (PDF) (http://www.fraserinstitute.ca/admin/books/files/Marijuana.pdf) for a paper by the conservative but respected Fraser Institute.
09-13-2004, 02:06 PM
According to Eric Schlosser's recent book Reefer Madness, which I highly (no pun intended) recommend, California and Hawaii's output is dwarfed by the Midwest output, with hot spots being western Kentucky, Indiana, western Tennessee, Missouri, western Ohio, Illinois, southern Michigan.
Estimates of marijuana growers in the US range from 1-3 million, with 100,000 - 200,000 'commercial' growers (planning to sell, not some guy with one hydroponics kit in the closet.)
Using stats Schlosser provides, assuming a price I pulled out of the blue of $1000/pound (the range in the book was $400 for skanky weed to $7000 for 'good stuff'), we can assume sales reach $130 billion per annum. You can tack another $4 billion per annum on if you want to add the $4 billion annual DEA anti-pot budget.
I haven't hit the chapters on migrant farm workers and the porn industry yet. Great book; it's on the underground economy in general, not just the drug trade.
In fact, rjk, it was an article in this morning's Chicago Trib that got me thinking about this again. Story detailed how the current drug czar is apoplectic about a new strange of pot coming in from Canada. IRRELEVANT RANT WARNING: With such a wonderful country to our north, it's truly shameful that our policies are so disrespectful and antagonistic toward Canada.
In any case, I wonder how the true state of our economy can be assessed without taking into account these various underground aspects, particularly, if Crandolf is anywhere near correct, one that accounts for one percent of the GDP.
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