Pot prices would sink if le­gal­ized in Cal­i­for­nia, study says

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

SAN FRAN­CISCO — Le­gal­iz­ing the recre­ational use of mar­i­juana in Cal­i­for­nia would sharply drive down prices for the drug, caus­ing more peo­ple to use pot while pos­si­bly un­der­cut­ting the tax wind­fall that sup­port­ers have touted, ac­cord­ing to a study pub­lished Wed­nes­day.

The study by the non­par­ti­san RAND Drug Pol­icy Re­search Cen­ter pre­dicts that re­tail prices for high-grade mar­i­juana could drop from $375 an ounce un­der the state’s med­i­cal mar­i­juana law to as lit­tle as $38 per ounce if vot­ers ap­prove a Novem­ber bal­lot ini­tia­tive au­tho­riz­ing coun­ties to li­cense and tax com­mer­cial pot sales to adults.

“Right now, when in­di­vid­u­als pur­chase drugs, they are pay­ing for the drug dealer tak­ing risks of be­ing ar­rested,” said Beau Kilmer, the cen­ter’s co-di­rec­tor and the re­port’s lead author.

It’s un­clear how Propo­si­tion 19 would af­fect the cash­strapped state’s bud­get.

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