The Legalization Nation Index

A by-the-numbers collection for 2011.

4: Number of persons approved by the federal government to smoke medical marijuana (US Drug Enforcement Administration).

16: Medical marijuana states (Americans for Safe Access).

750,000: Estimated number of qualified patients in California (NORML, June).

24.8 million: Estimated number of eligible patients under current state laws (See Change Strategy, March 2011).

$1.7 billion: Estimated size of the annual medical marijuana market in the United States (See Change Strategy).

$8.9 billion: Forecasted size of the annual US medical marijuana market in 2016 (See Change Strategy).

92: Percentage of the national medical cannabis market located in California and Colorado (See Change Strategy).

$1.3 billion: Size of California medical cannabis market (See Change Strategy).

$100 million: Amount the California Board of Equalization estimates it collects annually from the 8.75 percent sales tax levied on medical marijuana dispensaries (BOE).

$740,000: 2010 Oakland tax revenue from dispensary permits and sales (City of Oakland).

30,000: Estimated number of attendees at the International Cannabis and Hemp Expo held for the first time in front of Oakland City Hall.

$2.5 million: Amount Harborside Health Center owes the IRS, because the IRS says medical cannabis dispensaries can’t deduct business expenses (Harborside).

5,300: Pounds of food Harborside Health Center donated to the Alameda County Food Bank, earning it the Red Plate Award in May (Harborside).

$18 billion: Estimated size of the annual US marijuana black market (See Change Strategies).

28 million: Estimated number of consumers of marijuana in the last year (US Department of Justice).

9,000: Estimated number of full-time equivalent DEA agent positions budgeted for 2011-12 (White House).

17,000 metric tons: Estimated annual marijuana production in the US according to the US DOJ.

5,000 metric tons: Estimated annual marijuana production in the US according to RAND.

1: Percentage of total US electricity generation estimated used by indoor pot cultivation (Evan Mills, member, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).

$302.81: The average price of an ounce of high-quality weed in California (, Dec. 21).

$412.15: The average price of an ounce of high-quality weed in New York (, Dec. 21).

71.5: Percentage of US teens who say cannabis is “fairly/very easy to obtain” (National Institutes of Health).

67: Percentage of Americans thinking the “War on Drugs” has been a failure (Angus Reid Public Opinion Poll, August).

1,200: Number of local chapters of the NAACP now working to end the Drug War after the group voted in October to call for the war’s end (NAACP).

50: Percentage of Americans supporting marijuana legalization (Gallup).

97: Age of Doritos creator Arch West, who passed away in September.

14.3 percent: Likelihood that a weekly cannabis smoker in the US is obese (American Journal of Epidemiology, March).

22 percent: Likelihood that a cannabis abstainer in the US is obese (American Journal of Epidemiology, March).

35,000: Number of doctors represented by the California Medical Association who, in October, called for legalization of marijuana to increase research and reduce public harm (CMA).

50-plus: Percentage of patients in a MediCann survey reported they had used or were using marijuana as a substitute for prescription drugs (RAND).

$3.1 million: Six-month overseas sales of Sativex — a marijuana throat spray in stage-three clinical trials in the US (GW Pharmaceuticals).

131 billion: Base pairs of the cannabis sativa genome sequenced and published for the first time (Medicinal Genomics).

19: Percentage decrease in traffic accident fatality rate of 20-29 year-olds associated with medical marijuana legalization (Daniel Rees, University of Colorado, 2011).

$100: Fine for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana in California, starting January 1, 2011 (State of California).

35: Number of years it took to get possession downgraded from a misdemeanor to an infraction in California.

$250: Room-cleaning fee for smoking pot in a San Francisco hotel (field reports).

6: Number of California city or county voter referendums or initiatives to regulate dispensaries in 2011 and 2012.

5: Marijuana-related California initiatives seeking a spot on the November 12 statewide ballot.

3: Number of pounds allowable for personal use under the “Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012” currently gathering signatures in California.

504,760: Validated signatures needed to qualify an initiative for California ballot in November 2012 (Bill Zimmerman).

$1.5 million: Estimated cost to gather required amount of valid signatures to get on the California ballot (Zimmerman).

$34.4 million: Box office receipts for A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (

3.3 million: Number of viewers that tuned in to Episode Two of FX’s Wilfred, starring Elijah Wood and a pot-smoking talking dog. Wilfred has been picked up for a second season.

2: Billboard chart rank for debut of Wiz Khalifa’s April release “Rolling Papers,” which went gold. The single “Roll Up” went platinum (Billboard, RIAA).


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