street value of cannabis
street value of cannabis

Where Do Cops Get Their Price Estimates On Confiscated Cannabis?

TV Shows and Cops Love To Overprice Marijuana Busts

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Saturday Mar 25, 2017

Cops and their overactive imagination when it comes to Cannabis Valuations

The Street Value of Weed in a Drug Best - How Do the Police Make Up Their Crazy Numbers? from CannabisNet on Vimeo.


Every now and then you’ll hear cops boast about their latest weed bust. “$250,000 worth of weed confiscated by some random event in some random town”. However, when you look at the photography of the confiscated weed, you begin to scratch your head at how they came up with the price tag. The average stoner knows the price of good weed and in most cases will say that “the weed confiscated doesn’t correlate with the actual value of cannabis in the United States.”


So the real question here on everyone’s mind is, “How do cops come up with the price estimations for the cannabis they confiscate?”  It’s obvious that they don’t base their prices on the actual street value and rather attempt to inflate the price to make their “achievements” seem more legitimate.


Why do cops inflate cannabis prices?



The answer to this question is simple; Money! Cops receive grants from the Federal government for the amount of “work” they do for the drug war. The more drugs they confiscate with a higher price tag, the more money they receive from the Federal government to keep on waging their war. Thus, cops will always go for the highest common denominator to inflate the value of their seizures to get a bigger cut from the Federal budget granted to them.


What this means is that the exact estimation of cannabis in the United States is way off. It means that the information being given to us about cannabis from the government doesn’t reflect the real world value of the plant, nor does it give us accurate incentives on how much illegal cannabis actually generates for illegal organizations in the US.


Everyone knows that when waging a war, your intelligence is critical. For the drug war, these revelations about inflated cannabis prices tell us that the “intelligence” behind the drug war is not accurate and thus the tactics associated with it similarly is not effective. While many people might think, “What does it matter if cops inflate prices”, it actually does matter when you take a look at the bigger picture.


For instance, if Cops overestimate annual seizures, they provide justification for their actions by claiming they removed “X amount” of money from the streets. This in turn fuels politicians and drug warriors to continue with their pursuit and uses this data to help convince legislation to maintain a policy that has been proven to be a failure.


So what’s the actual price of cannabis?


For most people living in a legal cannabis state, to figure out the actual value of cannabis is quite simple. Depending on the strain and the quality of the cannabis, the prices can fluctuate from as little as $7/gram to up to $15/gram on average. Some higher end strains can reach the $20/gram marker, however most people typically buy for about $10/gram.


Street weed inherently is cheaper. You’d most likely buy your street weed from anywhere between $7-$10/gram.


Additionally, when you buy in bulk, weed prices drop even more. On the west coast, cannabis comes out to $180-$300 per ounce and non-dispensary weed comes out to $100-$150/ounce. Considering that there are roughly 33 ounces in a pound, the total price per pound on the street is roughly in the $3000 marker (once more due to the fact that when buying bulk, prices go down).


Yet the cops, would easily estimate an ounce at nearly double that price. In fact, some of their latest estimations is in the $6000-$6500 marker per pound. Now doing the math, cops are estimating the price per gram at roughly $7. This might seem accurate if you were buying per gram, however, as mentioned, purchasing cannabis by the pound would drop your cost per gram to roughly $3-$4.


And so, we begin to see how cops start evaluating their seizures. They are not basing their cost estimations on “the actual value” of the cannabis seized, but rather the potential value once sold. They justify their actions based on a projected income as opposed to real world value.


This in turn gets funneled through the prohibition machine and these numbers are used to convince politicians that they are indeed “effective”, when all evidence points to the contrary.


Is there anything that can be done about this?


To be honest, there isn’t much we can do about this occurrence because price inflation is a tactic the police has used since the early days of the drug war. The only real action we can take is to pressure the government to completely repeal prohibition which would force cops to stop creating imaginary prices for ounces and pounds.


The other thing we can do is not get caught when transporting our cannabis. Be careful, learn how to hide your stashes, don’t fall victim to the prohibitionist machinery. Of course, this is easier said than done, but it’s possible. I’ve not been caught for weed for over  decade now, because I’m careful and know when to toke, when not to toke and how to transport my weed without cops getting their grubby hands on it.  








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