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California's Potential Legalization Makes Way For Billion Dollar "Pot Economy"

Ganjarden

Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
Proposition 19, the California initiative that will legalize recreational marijuana use and will be voted on by state residents in the November 2nd election, may radically change California's economy and its incarceration rates. If the initiative passes, individuals will be allowed to use and grow the plant for personal use. Local governments will be responsible for regulating and taxing the product.

Recent poll numbers indicate that the initiative has a strong chance of passing; however, marijuana use is still prohibited by federal law and, therefore, a yes vote will most likely be stalled in courts for an extended period of time.

Supporters of the initiative say that marijuana is California's largest cash crop. bringing in more than twice the revenue of vegetables. "Pot is, after all, California's biggest cash crop, responsible for $14 billion a year in sales, dwarfing the state's second largest agricultural commodity – milk and cream – which brings in $7.3 billion a year, according to the most recent USDA statistics," wrote Alison Stateman for a Newsweek article.

To further understand the implication of the initiative, we caught up up with Steve Kubby, author of the book "Why Marijuana Should Be Legal," to get his thoughts on this widely debated topic.

How do you think legalization in California will primarily benefit the state?

Legalization will save our economy, create new jobs and redirect law enforcement to more important tasks.

Will it be more of an economic benefit or crime reduction benefit?

California is broke and police budgets are undergoing huge cuts. Eliminating marijuana enforcement and emptying our jails of pot related inmates will have a huge benefit in keeping California functioning with such drastically reduce police services.

What has propelled this recent push to legalize marijuana? Is it that the statistics are overwhelmingly supportive of legalization?

Most of the credit should go to Richard Lee, the founder of Oaksterdam University. Rich put up $1 million to make this all happen.

If it is legalized in California, how do you think that California's experience will impact the rest of the country?

I do not believe Prop. 19 will pass. We don't have the right demographics in a midterm election and we're not polling where we need to be, for me to have much confidence we can win. However, Rich and his team are doing a great job and I hope they will prove me wrong. Unfortunately, even if it does pass, I do not see the federal government accepting such an initiative and I think it will be very ugly for awhile.

What do you think of Oakland's recent passing of a measure allowing for the cultivation of medical marijuana by large-scale factories?

It really is astonishing to see adults participating is this mass hallucination. The DEA will ignore Oakland, cite federal law and destroy these warehouses. Even if, by some miracle, these large-scale factories are allowed to operate, they will face a great deal of hostility from patients and dispensaries who are doing fine without such factories and don't want them.


NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: The Atlanta Post
Author: R. Asmerom
Contact: The Atlanta Post
Copyright: 2010 Moguldom Media Group.
Website: California's Potential Legalization Makes Way For Billion Dollar "Pot Economy"
 
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