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Mapping High Costs



As the hoopla subsides and Humboldt waits to see if Jimmy Kimmel will grace us with his presence in May, Humboldt State University's Institute of Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research soldiers on with its green studies. 

For the first 2013 installment of its marijuana-themed speaker series, the institute will feature HSU geographer Monica Stephens presenting "Data Shadows of the Underground Economy" on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 5:30 p.m., in Humboldt State's Native Forum. Stephens' talk will focus on variations on the cost of buds in different regions. As you can imagine, gathering info on where people are getting their ganja can be a bit difficult. (Insert pothead/paranoia quip.) Thus, Stephens will analyze data collected at the website -- a site that allows users to anonymously submit where and when they last scored their medicine, as well as what specific strain they secured and how much it set them back.

“This site, along with statistical measures used to model the price, demonstrates that within the U.S. there is a geography to marijuana pricing characterized by lower prices in states with medical marijuana programs and higher prices farther from such areas,” says Stephens.

If you're inclined invest some faith in's whoever-wants-to-weigh-in polling methods, the handy dandy color coded map on the site illustrates Stephens' assertion: The Pacific coastal states and Colorado appear to be blessed with the cheapest weed. On the flip, the Midwest's marijuana budget is the steepest -- total buzzkill, North Dakota. (Note: We might have skewed the results a bit with our submission claiming that we'd bought 20 grams of medium quality Yumboldt in Moab, Utah, for $840. But surely everyone won't do that, right?)

Right. For more info on the HIIMR speakers series, email co-director Josh Meisel at [email protected].


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