Matthew Yglesias looks at a new book on the prospect of legal pot, which claims that marijuana legalized at the federal level could be given away like sugar packets:

...the authors note that “production costs for crops that need to be transplanted, such as cherry tomatoes and asparagus, are generally in the range of $5,000-$20,000 per acre.” That implies costs of less than $20 per pound for high-grade sensimilla and less than $5 a pound for mid-grade stuff. Another way of looking at it, suggested by California NORML Director Dale Gieringer, is that we should expect legal pot to cost about the same amount as “other legal herbs such as tea or tobacco,” something perhaps “100 times lower than the current prevailing price of $300 per ounce—or a few cents per joint.”

This would make pot far and away the cheapest intoxicant on the market, absolutely blowing beer and liquor out of the water. Joints would be about as cheap as things that are often treated as free. Splenda packets, for example, cost 2 or 3 cents each when purchased in bulk.

Yglesias observes that this could either be a boon or a detriment to the pro-legalization argument. I can imagine critics of legalization painting terrifying images of deranged shop keeps blowing pounds of weed through industrial fans onto the heads of children walking down the street. But, whatever. This is FUCKING INCREDIBLE.