Don’t overcharge for pot
Washington state may want to consider hiring a pot consultant other than UCLA’s Mark Kleiman [“Medical question mark for state’s pot market,” NWSunday, April 7]. His expertise is suspect, and I’m not referring to his long-held opposition to marijuana legalization either.
Consider his claim that untaxed medical marijuana poses a threat to recreational-tax revenue because the current medical price of $10 per gram is a “very hard number to hit.” Would you pay $1,150 for a tomato? That’s what an average tomato would cost at $10 per gram.
The days of basement-marijuana growing under artificial lights are ending. Now that marijuana is legal in Washington, legitimate farmers can produce it by the ton at a fraction of the current cost. Pretax at least. There is no reason marijuana should cost more by weight than cucumbers, corn or squash.
By all means, tax it, but if Washington state follows Kleiman’s lead and retail marijuana ends up costing over $10 a gram, drug cartels will sell it for less and remain in business.
Robert Sharpe, policy analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy, Va.