Monday, December 18, 2006

Pot is America's biggest cash crop

David Seaton's News Links
My grandfather was an Iowa farmer and the reality of farming is in my DNA. Long on food, short on cash. When I first heard the economics of modern American cannabis, I imagined him driving his Model-T into town one Saturday, doing his shopping and while drinking a cup of coffee having the following dialog with a neighbor.
Neighbor: 'Lo Frank
Granddad: 'Lo.
N: Hows things?
GD: Can't complain.
N: 'You heard about this maryjeewanna stuff them hippies smoke.
GD: Nope. Not very much. Nothing good.
N: City fellow came around here the other day and told me all about it. Seemed like a nice fellow. Interesting conversation.
GD: Yeah?
N: Yup. Fellow said it grows like a weed, don't even need to water 'em. Thousand dollars cash, per plant, in the field, no taxes. He'll take all you can grow, cash in your hand, give y' the seed free. Y' hide ten of 'em in the middle of 20 acres of corn, nobody but you'd know where they were. Thousand dollars a plant'd, pay the mortgage on my place. Damn.
GD: (Gulp).
I don't know what my grandfather would have finally done, but I'm sure he would have lost some sleep wrestling with his conscience... Family to feed, bank loans to pay back. Farming in Iowa, farming in Afghanistan or Colombia... Farming is farming. DS
Pot is called biggest cash crop - Los Angeles Times Abstract: For years, activists in the marijuana legalization movement have claimed that cannabis is America's biggest cash crop. Now they're citing government statistics to prove it. A report released today by a marijuana public policy analyst contends that the market value of pot produced in the U.S. exceeds $35 billion — far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay, which are the top three legal cash crops. California is responsible for more than a third of the cannabis harvest, with an estimated production of $13.8 billion that exceeds the value of the state's grapes, vegetables and hay combined — and marijuana is the top cash crop in a dozen states, the report states. The report estimates that marijuana production has increased tenfold in the past quarter century despite an exhaustive anti-drug effort by law enforcement. READ IT ALL

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