The jury is still out on all the effects that legalization has had on the market, but one consequence is plain to see: the price of pot hasn’t been this low in years.
Steven Davenport of Pardee Rand Graduate School has tracked the retail prices in Washington since legalization opened for business in 2014. His findings show that the price of cannabis has dropped, every single quarter.
Related Story: What The White House Doesn’t Know About Marijuana Policy
The current average price of a gram in Washington is $7.38, a 67 percent drop in just three years. Even with taxes tacked on, the prices are still lower than they were. And they’re likely to go down even more.
That’s not to say that pot’s no longer a profitable enterprise. In fact, these falling prices are great for the cannabis economy. Just as there are a variety of strains and forms of pot, people’s tastes vary wildly, and there will always be the consumer who loves the pricier, higher end weed and there will always be those who love a good deal on some good herb.
The steady decline in the price of marijuana has far reaching implications for how we handle drug policy all together. The reality unfolding in Washington – and the other legal states – show just how much prohibition raises the price of a drug. In one good example, it took heroin ten years to drop 16% in price, something that took legal marijuana only eight months to achieve.
Prohibition is a dated practice with much proof in its pudding that it accomplishes very little but to drive up drug prices and put otherwise innocent human beings in jail. High prices and the fear of incarceration keep many people out of the black market and sitting much more comfortably with their alcohol, cigarettes and doctor prescribed pills.
Related Story: Here Is A Cannabis Policy That Can Legalize Weed Safely
With cannabis, we can watch the stripping away of prohibition in real time. So far, even beyond monetarily, the results are good. It gives us an idea of what might happen if prohibition was lifted off all drugs. One thing’s for sure, people would be getting their fixes on the cheap.