- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

Wash. Pot Czar Predicted $50/oz, Said Those Concerned About Price “Smoke Too Much Pot”


washington state czar Mark KleimanLast summer on Show #29, I interviewed Professor Mark Kleiman, a UCLA Public Policy analyst who had written a book on marijuana legalization.

He is now Washington State’s “Marijuana Czar” – actually, the CEO of the company that was awarded the bid by the Washington State Liquor Control Board to implement the state’s new marijuana legalization regulations.

At the 4:20 mark of the video (naturally), Kleiman answers my questions about the economic effects of marijuana legalization at the state level, expressing that the cost to the retail customer should be about $40 to $50 per ounce. Later, at about 7:24, he explains how legalization at the national level would bring the price of weed into the range of “tea bags”.

However, I was most stunned when Kleiman revealed his disdain for marijuana consumers and I now worry about how well he will craft regulations to meet the needs of marijuana consumers. At 8:16 he compares marijuana smokers concerned about the price of herb to an old scotch ad comparing a top shelf brand to a house brand, and proclaims that if you’re worried about the price of pot, “you’re smokin’ too much pot.”

When I pressed him on the the definitions of “too much” and whether that’s an overall public harm worth criminalizing people and enriching cartels, he agreed that legalization was a better option, but only in the context of the trade-off and only if legalization policy is shaped to reduce pot smoking:

KLEIMAN: That’s the problem of marijuana policy.  You’ve got a trade-off between illegality with all the costs of illegality, and free availibility, with all the costs of increased drug abuse.  You’ve got to try to figure out where on that spectrum you want to lie.  My view is we’d be better off conceding that some people are going to smoke too much pot, making it legal, trying to make it as expensive as we can under legality, and try to limit the marketing.  So my ideal system would be that people would join co-ops, the way they do in Spain, that there would not be ‘big marijuana’ companies running ‘Bud’ vs. ‘Bud Light’ ads on the Super Bowl.

I don’t think this bodes well for marijuana consumers to have the regulator aiming for the most expensive marijuana possible.  Or judging frequent consumers as “abusers” solely by the frequency of their use.

Our interview took the strangest turn when he claimed that nobody dies from tobacco:

KLEIMAN: The damage [from cannabis]is limited – not zero.  You know, this ‘nobody ever died [from cannabis]’ is silly.  By those standards, nobody ever died from smoking tobacco, either.

BELVILLE: Nobody ever died of smoking tobacco?

KLEIMAN: Well, if the rule is you’re only looking for fatal overdoses… (pause) Cannabis smoking damages the lungs.

BELVILLE: I’ll concede there’s not a fatal overdose for nicotine, certainly it’s the major contributor to, you know, lung cancer.

KLEIMAN: Yes, and it looks like cannabis does not cause lung cancer, but it does cause other kinds of lung damage.  It’s very implausible… it’s very implausible that nobody ever died of an accident that happened because he was stoned.

When we put up the numbers of deaths from tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis, we usually are counting the health-related deaths.  Like cirrhosis of the liver from alcoholism or lung cancer from smoking.  We’ll include the fatal alcohol overdoses, too.  But if you’d like us to start including the accidents and murders that are alcohol related, we can start doing that.  To be fair, we’ll include all the pot smokers who only smoked pot and died in accidents and all the pot smokers that murdered someone.

Now this man’s company is going to charge the taxpayers of Washington State $300 per hour to shape the marijuana business.


About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.


  1. Legal production will not be cheaper since more shitty growers will poison the pond with increased pests and pollen flying around. Hemp will not be stopped so some pot head like me can bust out cash drug crops. And, people should expect prices similar to alcohol. Giving pot (cheap) away will not reduce drinking very much but it will reduce the amount of quality boutique growers. Besides, any course of action taken to reduce consumption must effect rich people equally. Raising prices will not do that. The rich will be able to over consume with ease at any marketable price. Duh_u_idiot is a voice of reason the likes of which I have just now observed in many years of talking and reading about this but I did see some other commenters that seemed to be on the same path. Outdoor pot is going into food, low grade hash oil, pills, or any mixed product that you can conceive of with THC. It will not be the sugar flower that people really want and the high price will be paid. THC is the only thing that can go dirt cheap, not top shelf flower. The west is the bottom of the barrel for price. $400/oz sounds like an after tax price in a large city. Its $250/oz average in Cali now and most of that is top shelf. People are buying untaxed, legal pot in a low regulation environment with no hemp industry around as well as in Oregon and Washington. This is the cheapest it will be or can be for top shelf flowers. The hemp industry will make dirty pot much more common and outdoor growers will see huge pressure to apply more pesticides as well as indoor growers.

    People arguing the black market will keep prices down seems like nonsense to me. I am to believe people will risk multiple felonies to make less money than they would growing/selling legally? In thought black markets were powered by their higher profit margins.

  2. And you might want to consider I already figured that out in the SEVEN MONTHS since I made the comment, friend.

  3. BAHAHA! what?!?! vaping taste and smells WAY better.vape for a week straight and go back to smoking bowls and it will taste like ass

  4. Actually there is a reason to get all scientific. Number one I’m an engineer. Number two it is important for medical. And number three I like it. I’m pro recreational (Bezerkeley ’67) but if we are going to get legalization the hold outs will have to be convinced. Thus the science. “Wow man what a f’n buzz. Too much.” will not sell the hold outs. I’m aiming at courts, judges, doctors, and lawyers. People who will need educating once legalization is in effect.

    In the mean time enjoy yourself. Here in the Midwest access is very limited. We take what ever is passing through. When we can get it.

  5. It’s obvious to me that what you are referring to as “filled” you actually mean what stoners call “burnout” of a particular crop of weed. Some strains will cause burnout quicker than others so knowing your weed and your preferences or reasons for using weed prevents burnout which is why everyone is always looking for a new crop to come in. No need to get all scientific bro, just loosen up & enjoy the buzz, get creative and try not to get lost down the rabbit hole….Peace

  6. Taking marijuana for familial ptsd caused by abusive childhood traumas works like aspirin for a head ache. I disagree that it is an “escape”. People can still perform unlike alcohol or barbiturates or other mind fogging chemicals. It helps a ptsd sufferer feel ‘normal’ more than it intoxicates as an escape like alcohol. The person can focus on important present things. It gives a break from the constantly replaying trauma memories so focus can be achieved and a sense of ‘normalcy’ and calm is experienced. Choom Ganger In Chief Hypocrite Obummer could focus enough to make it to Harvard Law Review and the US Presidency. Lots of Judges and lawyers and other professionals have enjoyed the exceedingly HEALTHFUL benefits of Cannabis low these many years without fear of property theft or prosecution…..us gov’t patent 6630507 established oct 7 2003 “Cannabinoids As Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” owned by We the People as the USDHHS. This patent claims it helps protect our nerves and nervous systems and Is beneficial therapy for “stroke, trauma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and AIDS dementia”. Johnny Green has an article listing tons of other cannabis related us gov’t patents.

  7. Education… There was nothing educational about your comment, precious. Though it’s cute you think I can’t simply glance up and see that your comment was nothing but petulant antagonism. You must have missed your afternoon nap or something.

  8. “Let me repeat. If the body is making sufficient endocannabinoids I don’t see how adding more can make you high. The high is caused by change. No change no high.”

    ‘Sufficient’ and ‘saturated’ are two different notions within the context of activating receptors in the brain that we should not confuse. You can have a ‘sufficient’ level of any given neurotransmitter in your system without activating *all* of the receptors capable of recieving those neurotransmitters. One can try to activate all the receptors by saturating your brain with a substance that can act on them, which would be well beyond ‘sufficient’ levels in a normal person.

  9. Not trolling, just blasting you with education. It is after all educating to find out you know nothing from someone who does know something.

  10. Just because a person hangs out with a scientist, doesn’t make that person a scientist. Simon, please educate yourself. You look at drugs from a very uneducated outside perspective. Your perspective is illogical and fantastical at best. There is no base to your observations. You need to experience drugs you talk about with your own mind and body, because the whole purpose of using a substance that interacts with your mind is essentially that real interaction and the new perspectives it allows your to gain from its use. Until you’ve experienced the way a substance that you are talking about makes you feel, then you have no ground to stand on talking about it like an educated person.

  11. I am sickened by the to see the uneducated trying to have a serious conversation about a subject which is clear they have no clue about. I read in the comments below and I laugh. It’s almost as if a team of crocheters where trying to talk a serious conversation about flying a plane. They have no idea of the complexities of flying nor maintaining that plane. Cannabis prices will not dip the slightest. Instead they will go up past 400.00 an oz because no grower, processor (which is essentially the grower{crocheters}), or the retailer will take any cut in price at any level. Just like gas, the taxes will be pushed off to the consumer and prices will soar above 400.00 an oz of quality canabis. In case you are wondering, you’ll only want to consume quality stuff and you’ll find it hard to produces without substantial costs incurred from everything you can’t even imagine. Cannabis is incomparable to almost anything you can imagine growing. Do some serious homework people. You’ll see clearly learn that outdoor grown cannabis, nobody likes anymore and is not going to be prevalently sold. Now I must agree a little bit I guess at bulk level an outdoor grower will only get 1-2$ a gram for his or her crop maybe, that’s if it doesn’t turn our like total crap because growing cannabis is an art form and not easy by a long shot. It takes everyday dedication tending to your plants, mitigating pests of all sorts,and then diseases. Couple this with keeping your product super clean and free of fertilizers and pesticides and fungicides ect ect. See nobody really has any idea of exactly what they are talking about here except for the couple people who have made valid comments calling out uneducated comments. Indoor grown cannabis which is the gold standard, incurs electricity costs in the form of lighting, air conditioning, Humidity controls, pumps for water, fans, music, Internet, camera systems. Water costs, water filtration system, nutrient costs, equipment cost like P.H. Meters, tempter and humidity sensors for monitoring tempter fluctuations in the environment. Rent costs for a wear house because you shouldn’t grow in your house!!! This is all but not all, you have to consider maintenance and up keep, replacing broken things and cleaning or replacing dirty stuff, constantly purchasing more nutrients. Couple all of this with a truly experienced grower whom demands a good salary for his or her expertise. Think of the bills the the grower has for him self, rent home expenses living expenses. Lest we not for get that even the most experienced grower might run into issues that could reduce yield on their plants from the max 3-4oz if you are lucky to maybe 5 or 6oz a plant if you are an expert and might have the headroom to grow super tall plants, down to an 1oz or less because of various sometimes unpredictable occurrences in the plants environment. Cannabis is a very temperamental plant unlike almost all plants. They are not like tomatoes or fruits or veggies and you cannot use a “Hothouse” or you’ll kill your plants lololo. The hot house comment below made me laugh a good hour or two. You see, allot of people look at this cannabis biz like a teenager dreaming to live on their own, not taking into account the real life costs it “actually takes” to live on their own. Because prices are set at their current rate, they will not fall. They will increase with the proposed addition of taxes pushed onto the consumer. Also if you think this is going to go big Agro biz on Cannabis, it wont. You’ll find that most people who use cannabis are very intelligent because cannabis makes you think instead of dumbing you down. Everybody who uses Cannabis remembers that the big corporations are to blame for cannabis being illegal for as long as it has, so people will boycott cannabis from big Agro and will instead want what has become boutique hand crafted Cannabis. It takes an expert to make quality and quantity both. So the next time you have quality cannabis “if you ever have” thank your growers.

  12. OK. Pinker missed the addiction question. Why? Because he failed to account for things like heroin which is supposed to be addicting, but does not addict most people.

    Why would that be? Well most people most of the time do not have an endorphin deficiency. To get that you need :

    1. A genetic predisposition

    2. Sufficient trauma

    Look at the work of the Max Planck Institute on cannabinoid knock out mice and fear.

    Here is something I wrote about the research which was done by B. Lutz and others in 2002:


    Here is a review of the paper by Lutz


    It appears that the paper is no longer on line. At least I can’t find it.

    Here is a general description From the MP Institute:


    This is likely the paper:

    Marsicano, G.*, Wotjak, C.T.*, Azad, S.C., Bisognos, T., Rammes, G.,
    Cascio, M.G., Hermann, H., Tang, J., Hofmann, C., Zieglgänsberger, W.,
    Di Marzo, V., Lutz, B. (2002) The endogenous cannabinoid system controls
    extinction of aversive memories. Nature 418: 530 – 534 (* the two
    authors contributed equally to the study)

    Maybe you have access.

  13. Pay careful attention to what I posted.

    ” If your body keeps the CB1 receptors in the brain filled you would not expect cannabis to get you high.”

    “Filled” does not mean “blocked”. Blocked was your assumption about my point.

    I can understand that I didn’t use your terminology. However, don’t you have to fill a receptor to activate it? I think I’m getting it – you also fill a receptor to block its action. Correct?

    I’m just a simple nuclear qualified aerospace engineer. So cut me some slack.

    Well I’m not afraid to argue the issue with an expert. I was arguing an issue with a famous public scientist. (whose name escapes me at the moment) about drug effects and he shot me down cold. A few years later he was repeating the point I had made to him. If I could remember his name I could look up our e-mail interchange. (obviously not exactly correct see below)

    Name a few. He has written books about the brain. Steven Pinker – it just came to me.

    Let me repeat. If the body is making sufficient endocannabinoids I don’t see how adding more can make you high. The high is caused by change. No change no high.


    Here is what I said to some one else about my exchange with Pinker.:

    I have never been reticent about talking to top

    Normally they are very happy to answer intelligent
    questions. Steve Pinker is not one of them though.

    I asked him about addiction and brain science to find
    out if he had any views on the matter and he
    stonewalled me. Never got a reply.

    That was in ’04. since then the NIDA has confirmed my
    position and yet he still leaves a very major question
    out of his work. I assume he lacks the courage of a
    Charles Murray.


    Let me see if I can nail it further. Nope.

    I had a different e-mail addy and reader in ’04. I may have the archives. Maybe not. My guess is that it is about my statement:

    “People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers”

    Well that is the most likely.


    I stand by my point. Because that is where the evidence I am familiar with points. If you have other evidence that might change my mind I’m open to it. But it will have to be strong since I already have a bias. And as you can tell I do not shrink from disputing the “experts”.

  14. Nice troll attempt. Not biting. But keep at it. I’m sure someone will be bored enough to give you the attention you crave. It only implies that your real life is so unfulfilling that you must crawl through the internet looking for someone to antagonize…..does it make you feel powerful? Now there’s a LAWL for ya.

  15. I’m starting to understand you more, Simon. I’m glad you’ve found your own, personal version of a beauty pageant, but honestly, insisting people google for you is fairly narcissistic.

  16. Whoa there, pal. Nobody got emotional. I gave you the correct information. If it upset you, you’re the one with the problem, not me.

    If you think that blocking a receptor and activating it are the same thing, it’s clear you have no idea what you’re talking about. If a receptor is blocked, it cannot be activated. So, should you take Rimonabant, you would not get high. In fact, you couldn’t until the blockers eventually fall away.

    “Filled” is not a term any neuroscientist I know uses to describe any action on a receptor. I was taking a chance by pressuming you meant blocked instead of activated. There are only three states of a receptor: activated, not activated, and blocked. There is no “filled”.

    And btw… The scientific method is not trying something on *yourself* and then broadly assuming the results apply to everyone. That’s why all experiments must involve an experimental GROUP with a large enough sample size to reduce the odds of a Type I error.

    Have you figured out that I am a neuroscientist, yet?

  17. Hard drug is a prejudicial term. Each drug has its place. Tobacco for instance is favored by schizophrenics.

    And if you want to go back in time. I have been anti-prohibition on line since FIDO-net/BBS days. I designed the I/O board that went into the worlds first BBS.

    I used to argue/discuss prohibition with a police officer on FIDO net. I think his thread was called “ask a police officer” or “ask a policeman”. As I recall he was a Jewish police officer from Florida.

    Believe me. I keep up. I just have a different point of view. One that is shared by Retired Police Detective Howard Wooldridge who lobbies Congress for an end to Prohibition. Howard is a personal friend.

    I did the first newspaper interview with a LEAP Officer.


    You can look it up on MAP.

    The Weedman has republished at least one of my pieces. Back when he put out a monthly on paper. In exchange for rights I got a year’s free subscription. That would have been around ’98.

    I just have a different point of view. But I have always had a different point of view.

    I’ll look you up.

  18. >>>”I don’t believe in “hard drugs”.

    There’s another disconnect from reality. A good rule of thumb is if a consumer can die from an overdose. Heroin, alcohol, cocaine, etc, can definitely kill you on the spot. Marijuana can’t. There aren’t even any significant long-term health effects with cannabis.

    With public support for ending all of the fraudulent marijuana prohibition now approaching 60 percent, it’s a waste of time to fight for just medical marijuana now. It’s time to end the whole vicious witch-hunt.

    Yes. You have had an interesting life, but, in these times, it’s difficult NOT to have one. I’m only interested in the whole plant at this time. Once we get it re-legalized, I may branch out.

    That’s great you are not a prohibitionist. Playing the devil’s advocate (looking for an argument) can make you cross the line if you aren’t careful. I’ve been writing/researching the marijuana issue since 1996. I like to inhabit forums and comment sections. Just Google “John Thomas marijuana.”

    That’s an interesting web site. I’ll check it out.

  19. Uh. Blocking is not the same as filling. And you can fill them (for a while). You get the biggest rush if they are unfilled for a while and then dose up. BTW if filling was the same as blocking you would expect to see considerable suicides among cannabis users. You don’t. You must have turned your critical thinking off with your antagonism to me. Hate (extreme antagonism) is hardly ever a useful emotion. You should get control of your emotions. I met a Buddhist the other day. We had rather a nice conversation. Buddhism helps. Here is his site: http://www.phoenixtraders.com/

    BTW if you come back to the site where this is posted read my other recent comments on this thread. You will get a better idea of who I am. Clue – it is not who you think I am.

    It is not you against the world. You have more allies than ever. Be here now.

    Here is my take on drugs from a long study:

    People in chronic pain chronically take pain relievers.

    So let me go back. If your body keeps the CB1 receptors in the brain filled you would not expect cannabis to get you high. Try laying off the weed for a week or three and then go back. You will get really high. If you are a regular you will get a little buzz from the next joint or bowl. If you lay off for a while you will get a big buzz. See how that works? Now imagine your body keeps the receptors filled. What would you expect? Little or no effect.

    Your own experience should have confirmed my point. If you gave it some thought measured against your own experience. The scientific method. Try it.

  20. I don’t believe in “hard drugs”. That is a pot head delusion. I’m not prejudiced against any drugs. The hardest drug is in fact alcohol. Heroin is rather mild in comparison. I do think that when it comes to legalization you start with the easy things first. Med pot.

    And just to give you some idea of me. I’m 68.

    As I said it is possible my sample is skewed. I tend towards outlaw bikers. I could tell you some stories. BTW i also write about other things: http://www.ecnmag.com/tags/Blogs/M-Simon/

    I’m interested in designing a hemp oil extractor that is temperature controlled and recycles the alcohol. Contact me if you are interested. Or pass my name on to some one who is. Oh. Yeah. Back in another life I was a Naval Nuke. So I know a bit about controls, heat transfer and fluid flow, boiling liquids, vapor pressure etc. Interesting life eh?

  21. Dude,

    What ever made you think I was a prohibitionist? I have been covering the science of pot and the politics in the paper press since 1998 – Look me up on Media Awareness Project. MAP. Author – M. Simon. Region – Illinois.

    Blogging it since 2004. Look up “M. Simon Power and Control drugs” and “M. Simon Classical Values drugs” – also substitute “hemp” for drugs and try “marijuana” and “cannabis”. Also cocaine and heroin.

    My latest: http://classicalvalues.com/2013/03/marijuana-destroys-your-incentive-to-work/ Leave a comment. No registration required. Leave your real e-mail if you want a private conversation. Other wise any name and e-mail will do.

  22. Finally some one who is smart and knowledgeable commenting, amen brother. These non cannabis smoking idiots are so stupid. Did you hear them mention “Hot Houses” LMFAO like they are growing tomatoes Lolololololollolo

  23. Man you’re stupid, you must have no concept about canabis or anything relating to it. You show your ignorance. I’m going to print out your comment and post it at our grow-op. We are all going to laugh thinking about what an idiot you are LMAO lolololololololo what a loly

  24. Man you’re stupid, you must have no concept about canabis or anything relating to it. You show your ignorance. I’m going to print out your comment and post it at our grow-op. We are all going to laugh thinking about what an idiot you are LMAO lolololololololo

  25. I am sickened by the idiocy I read in the comments below. It almost as if a team of crocheters where trying to talk a serious conversation about flying a plane. They have no idea that prices will not dip the slightest but instead will go up past 400.00 an oz because no grower, processor (which is essentially the grower{idiots}), or the retailer will take any cut in price at any level. Just like gas, the taxes will be pushed off to the consumer and prices will soar above 400.00 an oz of quality canabis. In case you are wondering, you’ll only want to consume quality stuff and you’ll find it hard to produces without substantial costs incurred from everything you can’t even imagine. Cannabis is incomparable to almost anything you can imagine growing. Do some serious homework people.

  26. Neurologically speaking, people who have “filled” (I’m assuming you mean blocked) CB1 receptors would be clinically depressed and at risk of suicide. And yes, we do know this with certainty. In the United Kingdom, soon after CB1 receptors were discovered to be the point at which cannabinoids act, some entrepreneurial scientists had the bright idea that, if cannabis gives people “the munchies” then blocking the CB1 receptors would curb appetite. So they developed a diet drug called Rimonabant to fight obesity.

    The clinical trials of this CB1 receptor blocker had to be halted because there were four suicides in the experimental group, others developed severe depression and other psychological issues. All trials were halted by 2008 due to putting the patients in the trial at “risk of serious psychiatric disorders.”

    More anecdotal statistical evidence can be inferred with a charitable interpretation of suicide statistics in states with compassionate use legislation. Anderson (2012) found that states with medical cannabis have seen a 9% drop in suicides for men 30-39 and an 11% drop in suicides for men 20-29.

    The fact of the matter is that we’re still understanding the full nuances of the endocannabinoid system, but one thing is certain: a healthy, normal person has active, unblocked CB1 receptors upon which cannabinoids can act to help us regulate sleep cycles, digestion, mood, memory, neuroplasticity, etc. We’re still figuring it all out.
    In all seriousness, I’m more willing to believe the people who say they “don’t feel anything” are simply smoking cannabis of poor quality than I am willing to believe their CB1 receptors are permanently “filled.”

  27. So you’ve decided to throw the kitchen sink at me, eh? No problem, it’s been done often. Prohibitionists try to make up for lack of quality with quantity.

    The IQ study you cite is extremely inconclusive, as you yourself point out. It’s likely that children who watched a lot of TV or played a lot of video games also show some lowering of IQ as well. The data that is not presented with the study is that which shows alcohol causes FAR more brain problems when consumed by children. Yet, for some reason, this is not put forth as a reason to ban alcohol for adults like the marijuana IQ study is.

    At any rate, the whole thing is a strawman argument. NO ONE is saying children should consume marijuana. It’s an adult activity. Some research shows the more education a person has, the more likely they are to choose near harmless marijuana over addictive, very harmful alcohol. Makes sense.

    It’s been known for some time now that marijuana is effective treatment for PTSD, but that certainly doesn’t mean all people who consume marijuana have PTSD or some other trauma. I don’t know of any research on this, but in my 43 years as a member of the marijuana culture, I can attest from the thousands of consumers I have known that they are proportional to the population as a whole in terms of having emotional problems, or not. With the possible exception that non-consumers suffer more social anxiety/disfunction and closed mindedness – what we used to call “up tight” or “hung up.”

    The only difference between marijuana consumers and those who don’t is simply the consumption of marijuana. In the general population there is nothing that would single out any as a consumer – save, perhaps, a propensity to decide for oneself, instead of blindly following the arbitrary dictates of “authority.”

    >>>”consumption rates vs age for pot. It peaks at age 20 with 50% using once a month or more. Then it declines with age.”

    Surprise, surprise. The more people age, the more they accumulate possessions, children, careers. The more they have to risk by getting caught with marijuana. It will be interesting to see these statistics again in a few decades after marijuana is re-legalized.

    BTW, trying to lump marijuana with the hard drugs – like alcohol, heroin, etc. is simply a prohibitionist deception. They do this to cloud the issue and cast the harms of the hard drugs onto marijuana.

    FBI statistics show 80 percent of all “illegal” drug sales is of marijuana. Clearly, the “war on drugs” is actually a war on marijuana consumers. We don’t have the same alcohol policy, as we do tobacco policy, as we do caffiene policy. Each drug is a different story, with different levels of harm, and requires a different regulatory system. – When we were ending alcohol prohibition, nobody thought it was necessary to discuss opium.

  28. Why have few studies been done? Well what would it look like if the drug war was mostly a war on abused children. In a “Christian” country no less.

    This is the closest I have come to a cite:


    Researchers have found that children and teens (both male and female)
    who are physically and sexually abused are at greater risk than other
    young people of using marijuana and other drugs and of beginning drug
    use at an early age.

  29. Well tobacco alters my consciousness. But I’m mildly schizophrenic. I admit the effect is small. Alcohol does more.

    Uh. Look at the consumption rates vs age for pot. It peaks at age 20 with 50% using once a month or more. Then it declines with age. The high anxiety years.

    You have to face the fact that the people who say: “it didn’t do anything for me” may be telling the truth. i.e. the receptors are filled. And for the regular “recreational” consumers what you look for is PTSD. Twenty percent are susceptible and about half get enough trauma to activate.

    Here is a little test you can do: ask the “heads” you know if they ever had a problem with child abuse. My guess is that you will find that they are as a group way above average in that respect. Then go down the list: active combat. Bloody car accidents. etc.

    I have yet to find a daily user who didn’t have child abuse in his background. Of those that I have asked. But my study was not scientific. So who knows? I’d be interested in what you find.

    BTW for female heroin users – about 70% were sexually abused in childhood. I think that is a clue. Look up Dr. Lonny Shavelson on heroin.

  30. No. I smoked cigars and pipe tobacco for a few years. It doesn’t intoxicate, it’s simply a stimulant. It doesn’t significantly alter consciousness, and it’s dishonest for you to suggest it does. – That’s why nobody is ever given a ticket for driving under the influence of tobacco. Please get real.

    >>>”With weed at most 20% of the population can get high”

    That’s more nonsense. SAMHSA research shows more than 100 million Americans have consumed marijuana. That’s near HALF the of-age population. It is reasonable to assume most of the other half would have no trouble getting high either, if/when they open their minds.

    Again, the intoxicating/mind altering power of cannabis, plus it’s more difficult culling and processing, will keep it substantially above the price of tobacco. Home growing will keep price plus taxes well under $100 an ounce.

    I have to agree with Kleiman on his estimate of $40 to $50 an ounce.

  31. I take it you are not a tobacco smoker. It intoxicates. If you have the body chemistry for it. Same as weed – if your receptors are filled you don’t get high. With weed at most 20% of the population can get high and only 10% do. Why? Well it is a long story but at the base only 10% have the genetics AND life experience that keeps the receptors involved chronically unfilled. Between the ages of 15 and 25 the number rises to 50% – the high anxiety years. There is science to that. I’m not going into it.

    You may be correct at the beginning. But people will start applying technology to the question. And hot houses.

    My guess is that after 10 years of legalization nationwide and minimal taxes – high quality weed will run $100 an lb. Specialty guys will command prices 5X, 10X, 15X the quality price and more.

    Think cigars. You can get a good one for about $1 or $2. But for a really good one you pay $10, $15, $20, or more.

  32. Vaping is for smokers(?) also. The first thing you will notice with a vaporizer is the taste of the vapor. The smell of the vapor is a lot more aromatic (no smoke) and adds to the cannabis experience. You can really experience a strain’s namesake with a vaporizer, as with ‘Strawberry Cough’.

    As I stated in the reply below, fill empty capsules of vaped (heated, decarboxylated) cannabis and eat them. You bypass the taste buds and or aftertaste of a heavy ladened cannabis brownie or cookie. Making a tincture from vaped cannabis allows you to add the tincture to beer, wine, tea, soda, or whatever.

    If you are a smoker (tobacco), well, most of your tastebuds and sense of smell are catatonic. It’s a good thing you are smoking cannabis also to offset the damage done by tobacco. If you only smoke cannabis then your only getting 1/3 of what cannabis can offer you, much of the anti-cancer effects are only available to the lungs. The other cannabinoids are lost in combustion.

    If you want to know the difference between smoking and vaporizing cannabis, then find some industrial hemp leaves and smoke them. That heavy load on the body that comes from smoke inhalation (primarily carbon monoxide), acrid taste, burning throat, is more evident without the psychoactive effects of THC. Then vaporize the industrial hemp. You may feel a slight intoxication or may not feel anything at all, but you will not feel the smoke inhalation related body load, oral load because you did not inhale any smoke (carbon monoxide, tar, etc.).

    We consume cannabis because we enjoy the benefits. Vaporization allows you to enjoy the benefits entirely without harming the body. Once you get used to vaporization, you’ll prefer it over a joint, bong or pipe.

    Last thing, if you live in a state where cannabis is still illegal (medicinally also), then vaping offers a level of stealth. You will not smell like a roach and your breath will not smell like bong water. If you live in an apartment, your neighbors will not know your vaping cannabis. Vaporization kinda nullifies that age old “I smell marijuana” phrase used as probable cause for a search by law enforcement.

    I like the smell of burning cannabis also, but I can’t afford to go around smelling like cannabis, not yet anyway. Let’s face it, a person that smells like burnt marijuana is still stigmatized by society. That may or may not change with continued legalization. Vape before going to a movie, church, grocery store, school, court, etc. no one will know ;)

    Suum cuique…


  33. Given the same amount, average bowl size, you will consume that bowl usually in a single session with the combustion method. Combustion vaporizes and burns (combusts or destroys) a lot of the active constituents because of the high temperatures from the combustion source – a flame.

    The same amount of cannabis is not burned, it is heated to a specific temperature with a vaporizer. The active constituents boil off as vapor. The cannabis remains in tact and can be heated again to boil off more of the active constituents. The process of vaporization is slower, but allows you to completely consume all of the available constituents. This can take anywhere between 1-3 days depending on the strain potency and tolerance.

    Vaporization has other advantages. Heating cannabis causes decarboxylation of THCA into THC. Your first high from a fresh bowl will be a different high because the cannabinoids with lower boiling points will vaporize first. The second session with the same bowl will give you a high that you are more accustomed to and then the potency will trail off as you continue to vape the same bowl.

    I vaporize a bowl and, depending upon the potency, will take some 00 empty capsules and make some cannabis pills (add sesame oil to aid in the metabolization of the active constituents). The following day I will take a pill and then vape. By the time I start coming down from the vape, I will start feeling the effects from the pill (preferably on an empty stomach and use some mild cayenne pepper to increase the flow of blood in the GI tract). I call it the Double Dutchie and it usually lasts about 6-7 hours; 1.5 for the vape and about 4-5 hours on the oral.

    You are able to maximize the use of your cannabis in many ways. Make tinctures from the pre vaped cannabis with 180 proof Everclear. A tincture can act faster than a pill (15 min) with similar effects. A tincture also allows you to titrate your doses a drop at a time (sublingual).

    Combustion leaves nothing behind but ash. Since you are not able to assimilate all the smoke (and vapor) in your lungs you will exhale 50 percent of the smoke (and vapor). Vaporization is a more precise method used by scientists in order to extract specific compounds without consuming others. Vaporization contains almost entirely cannabinoid vapor so your lungs do not have to absorb the tar, smoke particles, carbon monoxide and other products of combustion. Vaporization gives you more of what you want (cannabinoids, THC) and none of what you don’t want (smoke).

    When you make the change to vaporization you will notice that you are not going through your stash quite as fast. You can expect from 30-40 percent savings.

    I use an Arizer Extreme Q. It provides two methods of vaporization via a whip or a bag. Digital temp control, a fan control and glass accessories. Lifetime on the heater…

  34. Marijuana is different from tobacco in two ways. One, it intoxicates. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and it is why people like it. That is why people will be willing to pay more for it than tobacco. Also, it’s a little more complicated to get the optimum flowering marijuana bud, than to grow tobacco where most of the plant is consumed.

    But you have a point. No one knows where the price will settle down to. The market has to find the sweet spot where maximum price is achieved without losing significant numbers of customers to home-growing or a black-market. We achieved that with alcohol, and it will be even easier with less problematic marijuana.

    Decades of experience with thousands of marijuana consumers tell me that will be around $50 an ounce plus taxes. We will generally not pay more than $100 an ounce when we can grow our own.

  35. $1200 an lb ($75 an oz) will support a black market. After all $18 an oz tobacco (NYC) does. BTW in regular distribution channels the price is roughly 4X production cost to cover all the profits required. That is the boutique market. The mass market is 2X.

  36. When this passed, the information being spread around said quite plainly that it was going to be taxed three times at 25%. It wasn’t something that could be mistaken. There was even a discussion of allowing growers to be packagers/branders, and how to deal with the lost level of taxation. It may be wrong, but we understand it that way because that is what was presented to us as the requirements of the law.

  37. Right. Value added, which is the same thing as I described.

    After Re-legalization Example:

    Wholesale Price of one ounce of dried, trimmed bud: $32 an ounce, plus 25% of $32 = $40.

    Packager Price: $48. Value added is $8. 25% of $8 is $2. So total price plus taxes is now $50.

    Retail Price is $62. Value added is $12. 25% of $12 is $3.

    So, total price plus all 25% value added taxes is $65.00 an ounce. Say $10.00, more or less, in sales tax and you’re right around $75.00 an ounce.

  38. firetheliberals on

    Sorry, the vape is great for non smokers but smoking smells good and tastes good. Eating weed products just tastes bad

  39. firetheliberals on

    You are not going to get ten pounds per plant. Indoor grows average less than half a pound per plant.

  40. William Jones on

    I am not being argumentative here, just want to know how vaporizing makes the medicine last longer. Is less used to attain effect? Thanks, Bill

  41. Set aside the facts that John Thomas has pointed out; that 25% is the total amount of tax at each level.
    Let’s just examine your last sentence… $20 an ounce, 16 ounces per pound, 10 pounds per plant… That would be $3200. For a single plant. How much overhead do you think growers experience such that $3200 per plant is insufficient to turn a profit?

  42. I don’t know where the hysterical growers got the idea that taxes would be 25% at each level. That was never the case. It was 25% TOTAL tax – DIVIDED by each level.

    So, at a price of $50 an ounce, there would be a $25 added on to make price plus taxes equal $75.00. That’s plenty, and in the long run, where home-growing will be allowed, 99 percent of consumers will never pay more than $100 an ounce – price plus taxes. Otherwise, we will just grow it ourselves.

    You growers had a gold mine by selling medical marijuana at prohibition prices. You should have known that artificial situation could not possibly last past legalization. – Some of you did realize that, and that’s where the ‘growers against legalization’ came from.

    Sure, there will always be a small niche market for boutique marijuana, but the vast majority of consumers will get good quality marijuana from large retailers who buy from large grow farmers.

    Things change. Get over it.

  43. Jerry Dankmaster on

    this new guy klielman sounds lie a complete idiot! He will have no growers to supply the new market.
    this guy has so many brains…….but no commen sence. The state could hire a guy for $20 an hr to do a better job!!
    But you know the guys in the black market are all laughing out loud, thinking no worries tis is just what we needed. Now we can relax.
    And the cartels are shooting there ak-47s and partying with this new f..ing guy on there new team.
    Enough said……growers cant make money….than why skould we sell to the state.

  44. There was a guy who smoked 200 tobacco cigarettes in short order and died from it. I can’t find the link. A 100 pill bottle of aspirin can kill you.

  45. Trying to remain optimistic, I note that Mark Kleiman said, “We aren’t being hired to tell the voters whether to legalize marijuana; they’ve already decided that. We’re being hired to use what we know to inform the Board [LCB] about the likely consequences – good and bad – that might flow from different choices the Board might make.”

    This is not one man show. Kleiman is leading a consultant team. The project manager, Steven Davenport clarifies, “Our role is purely advisory….All decisions will be made by the board [LCB]… We’ve assembled the most skilled and knowledgeable experts, spanning a broad range of sciences and business practices essential to aligning a healthy licit cannabis industry with beneficial public impacts.”

    Along the same lines. The Chair of the House Committee on Government Accountability and Oversight in Washington who oversees the LCB, is an ex-narcotics officer who opposed I-502.

  46. Russ, don’t concede shit.

    “Nicotine poisoning describes the symptoms of the toxic effects of consuming nicotine, which can potentially be deadly. Historically, most cases of nicotine poisoning have been the result of use of nicotine as an insecticide.

    Sixty milligrams of nicotine (the amount in about 30-40 cigarettes ), has the potential to kill an adult who is not a smoker if all of the nicotine were absorbed.”

  47. Anyone that has grown indoors and has accurately calculated electricity costs, can tell you with scientific accuracy that this dude is full of shit.

    Even the very best indoor growers can only get so much per KWH.

    God help the state of Washington, this dude is only one step above Kevin Sabet.

  48. I’ve brought it up with many of my LEAP guests on our “Cops Say Legalize Drugs” segment, airing every 1st & 3rd Thursday at 3:30pm Pacific on http://420RADIO.org – and they agree. They would go back ot “protect and serve” and not “search and arrest” and we could go back to calling them when bad things happen because we’re not worried about the plant in the closet.

  49. It costs a hell of a lot more than that to grow good weed. Good weed is like fine scotch and will always be expensive.

  50. People in Washington are still going to grow their own. People will begin to protest as arrests are made for personal cultivation. The restrictions of legalization in Washington will be altered or amended in the future to be more like Colorado.

    We have to understand that most of the people in government are from an era that demonized cannabis. They are the people that have been influenced by government propaganda and have probably never consumed cannabis in their lives. The good news is that they will retire and be replace by those of us that better understand the benefits of legalization. Now that cannabis use is becoming more accepted we will continue to transition into a more sensible approach to legalization within the context of our society.

    Unlike alcohol cannabis is a multifaceted crop (food, fibre, biomass, medicine, textiles, building materials, etc…) the industries that will form from legalization will drive lobbying efforts to root out the clauses that inhibit those industries.

    It’s a given that cannabis prices will fall in Washington. The former Czar is going to have a tough time keeping prices artificially high after Oregon legalizes and B.C. Bud will still available from the northern boarder. How will they know where the cannabis was purchased from? – A Washington bud looks no different than any other bud.

    On a side note: Cannabis consumers should stop smoking cannabis. Vaporization and oral consumption should be the standard. Once you try vaporization you will notice that the grunge in your mouth (back of throat), from cannabis combustion, is no longer present and will not become a point of focus for your mind. You will also notice that you, and your home will no longer reek like a bong which makes the entire process more stealthy. Vaporization is cleaner and healthier and that is what cannabis consumers should be striving for. And another thing, that hard to find favorite strain, that is always in limited quantity, will last longer if you vape. Last but not least, eating cannabis allows more of the cannabinoids to be available to the endocannabinoid system of the human body. I flatly refuse to smoke cannabis anymore…

  51. Appointing the likes of Mark Kleinman, who is truly no friend of cannabis freedom, to implement Washington’s legalization regulations is like the US appointing Benedict Arnold as Secretary of Defense.

  52. Russ – future topic – I would love to here you interview LEAP or other about their take on police/stoner relations in a post legalization society. I think the change would be radical. Stoners freely calling for police help and protection. They would no longer be the enemy – pigs etc. Take Washington and Colorado – I’ll bet tensions are already easing. (speaking from Tenn and Ark I can only imagine)

  53. Expensive weed keeps the black market and empowers those who would sell to our children, and who would encourage them becoming addicted to hard drugs because it is profitable for them. It keeps the off shore flow of drug profits, bleeding out our economy. Expensive weed defeats many of the benefits of legalization.

  54. 25% at grower level, 25% at packager level, 25% at retail level, plus sales tax, plus whatever federal excise tax. If cannabis is going to be 50$ an ounce retail, what exactly is the grower going to get? Running that backwards means that that if you just pull the taxes off, without allowing for profit at packager and retail, 25% of 50 is 12.50 leaving 37.50. 25 percent of 37.50 is 9$ and change, leaving us right at 28$ 25 % of 28 is 7, so the finishing possible price for the grower is 21$ before any profit at the next two levels,before sales tax, excise tax, and income taxes are taken out.

    These guys have it in their heads that you can grow a 1000 acre field of medical quality pot and that it will cost pennies to produce an ounce. What they will get pursuing that direction will send their people across state lines to buy elsewhere.

    If they actually think growers are going to baby ten pounder plants to perfect ripeness and harvest them at the perfect time to produce top quality, and then get less than 20$ an ounce for it, they are running short a cylinder.

  55. I love smoking weed as much as anyone on this blog, but I believe that we have to be willing to make this compromise. After all, expensive weed isn’t as near as bad as illegal weed.

    One huge advantage being high has is its effect on short term memory. It let’s us “not sweat the small stuff.” Pot heads make terrible extremists because by the time we get so wound up on an issue, our memory slips for a second, cotton mouth sets in, and we’re able to LISTEN. Weed is great, but it should not be the same price as tea.

    We got bigger fish to fry, like making it legal nationwide and lifting the oppression of those not living in Washington or Colorado. Don’t be sore winners by demanding dirt cheap high grade mj in those states. Focus on the big picture.

Leave A Reply