Today, illegal drugs are shockingly expensive. Even run-of-the-mill "commercial grade" marijuana sells for $100 per ounce. Cocaine and crack, heroin, and methamphetamine all sell for $100 or more per pure gram, making them more valuable than gold. (If cigarettes cost that much, a standard pack of 20 would carry a price tag of roughly $2,000.) There is no physical reason why drugs need to be so expensive: Drug "labs" are rudimentary affairs; with a few exceptions (such as lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD), they employ at most undergraduate-level chemistry. And the associated crops — coca, cannabis, poppy — are neither difficult to grow nor resource-intensive; they are in fact often produced in some of the least-developed nations of the world.

National Affairs, discussing the insanity of Americas drug policy

Posted on 12/13/2012
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