Pot and the Numbers
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1. How much tobacco is in a cigarette?
2. How much marijuana is in a joint?

Basic measurement information to get started:

An ounce is 28 grams.
A pound is 16 ounces.
A ton is 2000 pounds.


Let's assume that there is just over one gram of marijuana per joint. Let's say that the average marijuana smoker gets 23 joints out of an ounce of marijuana. Thus,

23 joints/ounce x 16 ounces/pound = 368 joints/pound

In other words, if there are 23 joints per ounce, then there are 368 joints per pound. Let's round that down to 365.25 or a joint for every day of the year. So far we have assumed that a pound of marijuana contains enough marijuana to make one joint a day for a whole year.

How much does the average marijuana user smoke? Some people smoke more than one joint per day. Some smoke one at night. Some people only smoke on weekends. Other people may only smoke marijuana occasionally. Some people smoke marijuana so infrequently that their marijuana consumption is negligible.

Let's start counting the people who smoke the most marijuana.

How much do you think they smoke?

How many of them do you think there are?

Let's also count the people who smoke less.  Include the people who smoke on weekends and the people who smoke even more.

What do you think their average consumption is?

Let's count enough people so that their average consumption is one joint per day. Other marijuana smokers whose occasional consumption will bring the average consumption below one joint per day will not be counted.

How big is the group of people that average smoking one joint per day?

Every pound of marijuana consumed per year equates to one person smoking one joint per day. Thus, every ton of marijuana is enough to provide 2000 people each with one joint per day.

How many tons of marijuana per year are consumed in America?

The government statistics for the marijuana production in Mexico has changed drastically from year to year. Absurd overestimates have been used to exaggerate the amount of marijuana crossing the border so politicians could justify spending more money for border patrols. The 1995 estimates are considered to be among the lowest estimates of Mexico's export marijuana crop. According to the U.S. government, Mexico supplied the American black market with 3400 tons of marijuana in 1995.

Other estimates claim that America produced twice that amount domestically. Let's assume that Colombia, Jamaica, Panama and all the other countries in the world combined only produce as much marijuana to the American market as America did. These assumptions conclude that America consumed 17000 tons of marijuana in 1995. That is 3400 tons from Mexico, 6800 tons from America, and 6800 tons from Colombia, Jamaica, Panama and all the other countries in the world combined.

Each ton of marijuana provided a joint per day for two thousand marijuana smokers. Now,

17000 tons of marijuana x 2000 marijuana smokers per ton = 34,000,000 marijuana smokers in America that average smoking one joint per day.

In 1995 there were almost 260 million citizens in America. Of the 260 million Americans, 34 million of them were consuming an average of one joint per day. This equates to 13% of the entire population of America consuming one joint per day.

Let's assume that children under ten did not significantly contribute to America's marijuana consumption. The figures then indicate that 15% of the people over ten years of age consumed an average of one joint per day in 1995.

If 15% of everybody over ten years of age smokes an average of one joint per day, then what can we conclude about marijuana? If 15% of the population over ten years old were incompetent derelicts, would we know it? If 15% of the population over ten years old is smoking one joint per day, then marijuana must not cause all the trouble the government claims that it does. If marijuana were as bad as heroin, could 15% of the population have consumed a joint per day in 1995?

Do you believe that there is as much marijuana being consumed as the government claims? That 15% of the population could be smoking a joint per day seems believable to me. What I find hard to believe is the claims of how much more detrimental marijuana is than alcohol or tobacco. Can you believe that marijuana is as detrimental as the government says it is? Can you believe as much marijuana is consumed in America as the government statistics indicate? Can you believe that much marijuana is consumed by that many people, and it is that detrimental at the same time?

If that many people are smoking that much, can you honestly believe marijuana is as detrimental as the government claims? Obviously marijuana is not as detrimental as the government claims. After all, marijuana was legalized for use for its beneficial medicinal qualities in California and Arizona. That alone should be enough to reclassify marijuana. Presently marijuana is classified as having no medical use or value. This present legal classification of marijuana is obviously wrong.


This page was last updated 07/02/00 01:51 PM