How Do Cops Come Up With Marijuana’s Street Value?


We have all seen the headlines – ‘Cops find X amount of marijuana worth (insert outlandish number).’ If you are like me, whenever you see a marijuana bust story come out, you feel sad for a bit, then jump to the part of the story where it lists how much the confiscated marijuana was estimated to be worth. Cops try to jack those numbers up as large as possible in order to make the general public feel like they are actually doing worthwhile work instead of enforcing a failed, racist public policy.

Marijuana consumers know exactly how much marijuana costs. I am a medical marijuana patient in Oregon, which allows me to legally purchase medical marijuana from another Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) member, which I have found to be the cheapest way to purchase quality marijuana where I live. I would guess that cops would consider that to be a ‘street level purchase’ because I didn’t buy it from a dispensary. The most recent ounce I bought was $80 (Platinum Girl Scout Cookies, it was fire!).

That is pretty standard on the West Coast, at least in my circles. Some non-dispensary ounces go for $100-125. Anything above $125 usually results in some questions and head scratching by the purchaser. That same ounce at a West Coast dispensary could go for between $180-$300. The higher the price, the slower it moves, even when it’s the best of the best. I will pay top dollar for the best marijuana around, but only one or two grams at a time.

With that in mind, it was a bit mind blowing to read a recent story in which someone donated a tote to a Goodwill in Washington with almost four pounds of marijuana in it, with the marijuana’s street value being estimated to be a crazy amount. Per KTLA:

Police are investigating after bags filled with marijuana were found in a cooler donated to a Goodwill store in Monroe, Washington, over the weekend.

“(The) employees were surprised when they opened the lid,” the Monroe Police Department tweeted on Tuesday. They then called police. 

Investigators said the cooler contained approximately 3.75 pounds of marijuana, with an estimated street value of $24,000, KTLA sister station KCPQ in Seattle reported.

If you haven’t broken it down yet, that works out to $6,400 per pound. In 2017. On the West Coast. A quick Google search of other busts include a roughly $3,000 per pound estimate in Alabama and a $5,000 per pound estimate in New Jersey. They didn’t show a picture of the marijuana from New Jersey, but the did for the marijuana found in Monroe, Washington and the Alabama bust, and the Monroe weed looked like garbage. The Alabama weed looked decent enough.

I have never been to Alabama or New Jersey, so I don’t know if those prices are accurate, but $3,000 per pound in Alabama sounds reasonable. $6,4000 per pound in Washington does not. The weed donated in Monroe would carry a price tag of roughly $14 per gram, which is not unheard of at a dispensary. However, even dispensaries give price cuts for ounces of marijuana, so putting a price tag on marijuana that is based off of the highest per gram calculation possible is unrealistic. It’s ridiculous for cops to inflate street value prices of marijuana when it involves a bust, as they are clearly doing it in an attempt to make headlines. I’m assuming that is also the case with the donated Goodwill weed. To be fair, it worked, because that story is everywhere. But as with the Monroe story, and most stories revolving around the street value of marijuana, take a tip from Flavor Flav and don’t believe the hype!

How much does marijuana cost where you live? Place your comments below, keep the conversation civil, and under no circumstances try to sell marijuana in our comments section. You will be deleted and banned, no exceptions!

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