Map Shows Where to Shop for Pot in the US
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This map showing nationwide variations in pot prices, developed by geographers' collective Floating Sheep, makes fascinating viewing. The geographers' analysis, using price records from 2,397 US cities obtained from the consumer website PriceofWeed.com, found a rock-bottom price for top-quality marijuana of just $256 per ounce on average in Oregon, compared to a high of $450 in Delaware. As the darker areas of the map show, West is generally best if you're looking for a cheap score, with Northern California and the Pacific Northwest, the Rockies and Indiana among the most promising areas for bargain-hunters. On the other hand, the Northeast, the Deep South, Minnesota and Wisconsin won't be attracting migrations of cash-strapped potheads anytime soon. As Richard Florida at The Atlantic points out, Floating Sheep showed that the closer proximity of a state to a source "where the product is either grown, imported, processed, or all three," will lower prices because of reduced transportation costs and risks; the Northwest and Florida (the state) both see this effect. And states with medical marijuana programs also see lower prices because general supply is increased, while demand in the illegal part of the market is reduced. However, states' varying law enforcement efforts against marijuana show less of a clear correlation. Richard Florida—who is also director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto—and his institute colleague Charlotta Mellander analyzed two dozen other variables against the state-by-state weed prices, looking for possible correlations. Most variables tested, such as state income, unemployment, or stress levels, surprisingly showed no correlation with the price of marijuana. But prices turn out to be significantly higher in states with a larger proportion of African Americans. And they're significantly lower in states with a larger proportion of Republicans.