Cashed Crop


A new release of official statistics prove what marijuana decriminalization advocates have maintained for years; that pot is the country's biggest cash crop.

… the market value of pot produced in the United States exceeds $35 billion—far more than the crop value of such heartland staples as corn, soybeans and hay.

California is responsible for more than one-third of the cannabis harvest, with an estimated production of $13.8 billion that exceeds the value of the state's grapes, vegetables and hay combined—and marijuana is the top cash crop in a dozen states, the report states.

The report estimates that marijuana production has increased tenfold in the past quarter-century despite an anti-drug effort by law enforcement.

Jacob Sullum had the scoop on more data about the size of the marijuana crop (and trade) and its potential value if regulated back in 2005.