Bad Math On Drugs May 28th, 2009
Patrick Stein

Let’s look at the estimated street value of marijuana in some recent arrests:

Some simple stats…

This was by no means a scientifically random sample. But, the sample mean here is $150.95/oz. with a sample deviation of $87.53.

What’s the moral? The smart-minded pot consumer should shop in El Paso. It’s way cheaper.

Why the variance?

The Michigan University daily paper claims the DEA values marijuana at $62.50/oz. in an effort to make everyone (except the people in El Paso, apparently) think they’re paying too much for it. That’s an interesting theory.

I would think the DEA has conflicting interests though. It sounds more impressive to seize $700,000 worth of drugs than to seize $59,763.20 worth. [The New York City marijuana at the El Paso value.]

I would also bet that higher numbers result in longer sentences, higher conviction rates, or both.

The only thing that’s crystal clear though is that they may as well be pulling the numbers out of a hat.