Friday, December 24, 2010

HICKS: Marijuana is South Carolina's other cash crop

By Brian Hicks

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photo of Brian Hicks

So there’s this new website out there called and it’s, well, just what you’d expect.

According to the site, which calculates current prices based on actual reports from consumers (inhalers?), South Carolina has some pretty pricey pot.

Our state’s unofficial No. 1 cash crop is running about $440 an ounce. That’s for the high-quality stuff and, really, what other quality do you want in weed?

To put that in perspective, Mary Jane is $432 an ounce in North Carolina and it’s only $379 in Florida — at least in the cities with names that end in vowels. In Kentucky, bluegrass is a mere $400 an ounce.

Yet reports that on Sept. 25, someone bought a quarter ounce of medium quality dope in North Charleston and paid $60. For a substandard stash. Last week, someone paid $100 for a quarter-ounce of medium quality in Mount Pleasant.

Guess everything really is more expensive east of the Cooper.

Meanwhile, some retiree down in Boca just paid $300 for some really premium stuff before hitting the early bird special.

People, this is no way to compete in a global marketplace.

A real cash (only) crop

Now, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture does not list marijuana as one of the state’s top cash crops, which means they must be smoking something.

On the Ag Department’s list of top commodities, they list “broilers” — chickens — as No. 1. Which is sort of like classifying cattle as “grillers.” But there’s nary a word about dope.

Officials say that soybean, corn and tobacco are our best row crops. But in 2009, our tobacco haul was only $68 million. The folks at estimate that our marijuana industry was $142 million just a few years ago. We’d get more current numbers, but dope dealers are apparently not real good at filing tax returns — sort of like certain gubernatorial candidates.

Bottom line, that’s a lot of weed, but we aren’t getting anything out of it. Other than the obvious.

South Carolina should capitalize on all that publicity we got from Michael Phelps smoking our dope. That’s, like, Wheaties box big.

Don’t try this at home

OK, a disclaimer here. It is illegal to possess, smoke or sell pot in South Carolina. Of course, simple possession is only a misdemeanor — a slap on the wrist.

And if you’re high at the time, hey, you won’t even feel it.

Fact is, usury is technically illegal too, but some politicians are certainly cozy with the check-into-cash crowd. And if that ain’t usury, what is it?

This is not to say marijuana should be legal. But subscribers to the Libertarian point of view (of which there are apparently plenty) says the gubmint should quit burdening us with laws. If anything goes, that should include weed. Otherwise, the purity of our political beliefs are just, yes, up in smoke.

But the bottom line is this: if teaches us anything, it’s that pot is $489 an ounce in Mississippi.

Which means that, once again, we have to thank them for keeping us from being at the top of another bad list.

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