Feeds

Marijuana is US's biggest cash crop

$35.8bn pot bonanza

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A report into illicit marijuana cultivation in the US says it is now the country's biggest cash crop, having seen a tenfold increase in production over the last 25 years.

DrugScience.org's Marijuana Production in the United States puts the annual harvest at 10,000 tonnes, worth a cool $35.8bn (£18.4bn). Corn, meanwhile, weighs in at a mere $23bn, with soybeans marking up $17.6bn and hay a paltry $12.2bn. Dope is apparently the "biggest cash crop in 12 states", injecting more into the Georgia economy than peanuts and blowing away tobacco in North and South Carolina, The Guardian reports.

Unsurprisingly, the main centre for pot production is California, which supplies $13.8bn worth of weed annually.

The principal cause of the boom seems to be drug cartels moving cultivation to the US after increased post-9/11 border security closed traditional smuggling routes from Mexico. They often create plantations in "remote national park land", The Guardian notes.

The conclusion of DrugScience.org's revealing probe is, according to author Jon Gettman, that "the war on drugs is not working". He said: "Illicit marijuana cultivation provides considerable unreported revenue for growers without corresponding tax obligations to compensate the public for the social and fiscal costs related to [its] use."

The logical solution is, Gettman says, to legalise the crop - something which found little favour with the the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. He also wants marijuana to be reclassified from its current status as a Schedule 1 drug, a category which includes heroin. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball
That's it for God, then – if Comet 67P has got complex molecules
Rosetta probot drilling DENIED: Philae has its 'LEG in the AIR'
NOT best position for scientific fulfillment
'Yes, yes... YES!' Philae lands on COMET 67P
Plucky probot aces landing on high-speed space rock - emotional scenes in Darmstadt
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rocking boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
THERE it is! Philae comet lander FOUND in EXISTING Rosetta PICS
Crumb? Pixel? ALIEN? Better, it's a comet-catcher!
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.