An Ivy League professor and a storied global think tank have pooled their resources and compiled more than a decade of statistics to find exactly how much weed is in one joint, for some reason.

Greg Ridgeway, an associate professor of criminology and statistics at the University of Pennsylvania, worked with Beau Kilmer of the RAND Corporation, and together the two gathered 11 years worth of drug transactions, totalling more than 10,000, and plugged the data into a shifting 30-year drug market model to find that the average joint contains 0.32 grams, as published in the August issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence and reported by Science Daily.

So, why exactly, do these super legit statisticians give a fuck how much nugget it takes to wrap a reefer? “It seems like an odd question but major policy questions depend on the answer,” says Ridgeway. “It turns out to be a critical number in estimating how much marijuana is being consumed [nationwide], how much drug-trafficking organizations are putting on the market and how much states might expect in revenue post-legalization.”

The United States Office of National Drug Control Policy claims 0.5 grams is a good estimate for an average jay size, but apparently they must be smoking some big drippy fatties because, apparently, they’re way off and Americans love their joints, like their supermodels, skinny enough to hide behind a straw.

The data for the study came from the U.S. Justice Department’s Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, an endeavor that surveys those arrested for drug charges about pricing and behavior in the black market. Info gleaned from this questioning includes how much the weed was going for, where transactions are going down, and “whether the purchaser bought joints or loose marijuana,” as Science Daily puts it.

“Some will tell you about loose purchases, in grams or ounces, and give you a dollar amount. Other people will say, ‘I bought four joints and paid $20,'” said Ridgeway. “If I paid $5 for a joint and you paid $5 for 0.5 grams, that gives me some information. If they’re the same price, they must be roughly the same weight.”

It is still insanely unclear why anyone cares how much is in a joint, especially because it’s no longer 1970, and the vast majority of cannabis transactions are quantified in raw weight, not in joints. According to Science Daily, the data gleaned in this study will “help the U.S. government better understand how much marijuana is trafficked from Mexico,” but considering the fact that the amount of Mexican weed coming into the states is going down and almost nobody is buying Mexican brick schwag by the joint, the whole study seems a little, I don’t know, weird.

But at least we finally know how much weed is in a joint. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.


Photo by Flickr user Christine Jump