The unstoppable rise of California 'pot capitalism' Here are some of the things that happen when marijuana a plant humans have been smoking for at least 2,000 years comes into contact with US style capitalism: cannabis 'cannoisseurs', 'budtenders', vegan 'dabbing' concentrates, peanut butter and jam flavoured THC candies, and friendly neighbourhood dispensaries with dozens of varieties.
After decades of the 'war on drugs', in which it was illegal to possess marijuana in any of the 50 states of America, the tide has dramatically turned; last week four more states made it legal for adults to use the drug recreationally without a valid medical reason. Medicinal marijuana use is legal in 28 states, and recreational marijuana is legal in eight. About 20 per cent of the US population now lives in an area that allows the legal use of marijuana. Bud, edibles, and concentrates have become big business. This change has been in the works since at least 1996, when California legalised medical marijuana, or since 2012, when Colorado made recreational use legal. But the gamechanger could be last week's legalisation of recreational marijuana in California, which has an economy larger than France's. Getting medicinal weed was already pretty easy in the Golden State, but now the substance will be as available as alcohol, and the industry is ready to boom. Microsoft has released software pandora us to help track marijuana sales. The US market for both recreational and medicinal marijuana is projected to grow to $22 billion in four years, from $7 billion this year. Californian growers and distributors plan to dominate the national industry, according to Dona Frank, CEO of the Natural Cannabis Company one of the top 10 distributors in the country, and based in the Sonoma Valley wine growing region. She said there were 53,000 growers in the state. "There is so much marijuana here to choose from it's like wine at this point," she told Hack. "I'm a capitalist at heart and I want to see many people in the market so there's many choices. We should have hundreds if not thousands of choices." "My plan is to make sure northern California cannabis is available to the world. "I'd like to supply the world." Is legal weed coming to Australia?Australian federal marijuana laws are actually more liberal than US federal ones. This month our national regulatory body moved marijuana out of the list of the most dangerous drugs, while the equivalent body in the US still lists pot as dangerous as heroin. In fact, despite all these US states making marijuana use legal, and despite the federal government accepting millions in taxes from marijuana companies, US federal laws have hardly budged. Change in the US has mostly happened from the grassroots campaigns changing state laws, while in Australia it's more of a top down approach led by the Commonwealth. Medicinal cannabis use has only just become legal in Australia, and it's up to the states to decide whether the drug will be allowed, who will be able to use and dispense it, and what dose and form of medicinal cannabis is appropriate. State medicinal cannabis laws are mostly coming into force next year. Even then, access to medicinal cannabis will be limited under strict conditions, unlike in California. Archie from Oakland told Hack he first got a medicinal cannabis card about four years ago, and it took one hour and cost $100. "You go into a building and wait an hour and talk to a doctor," he said. "You mention anxiety and insomnia as reasons why you need to smoke weed." "Almost everyone I know goes to dispensaries it's a lot easier and the quality is more consistent. "Previously a guy would ride his bike to your house and say I just have 'blue dream', and you'd say 'I guess I'll get that'. "Now when you go to the store there'll be 15 20 varieties at least." This is what happens when pot capitalism comes to Silicon Valley: a pandora jewelry charms for bracelet start up that has raised $75 million in funding and plans to sell recreational cannabis branded with the name of Bob Marley, a marijuana delivery app that has been billed as the 'Uber for pot', and a pot focused social networking app that lets marijuana lovers connect and share photos with each other. In Australia, there are currently no licensed marijuana growers. Why is marijuana now OK, but not cigarettes?The same day Californians voted to make recreational marijuana legal, they also voted to raise the cigarette tax by $2 per pack. The justification was the public health effects. It's expected to save California $1 billion a year in health costs. But some fear legalising marijuana will just create another narcotics industry to rival Big Tobacco, and that taxpayers will have to pay for demand reduction programs. Big Marijuana is already cashed up. Supporters of recreational cannabis spent more than 10 times on campaigning in California than their opponents. There's pandora charms to buy online a lot of uncertainty about the public health costs of legalising marijuana. The New York Times has described it as "a vast public health experiment. carried out with relatively little scientific research on the risks". There's little research partly because the drug has been illegal. As for the social costs, the most cited example is Colorado, where recreational use has been legal for about four years. Colorado reported a 46 per cent drop in the number of marijuana arrests in 2014 and a rise in marijuana use among young people. It also saw a significant increase in the number of people visiting hospital emergency. Crime has remained fairly stable. Marijuana generated Colorado more tax revenue in 2015 than alcohol. The scare campaign against legislation has failed, according to Danielle Keane, political director for the marijuana consumer advocacy group, NORML. "These policy changes have not been associated with scary things people tried to warn about," she told Hack. "We would love to see more and more states adopting adult use laws, and more research done on these recreational programs in place.
" Whether or not marijuana is bad for your health, there's pandora digital a clear moral problem with states legalising an addictive substance, and then collecting sales tax. A 2016 study found marijuana was more addictive than alcohol. The study is not definitive, and there are plenty who disagree, but the point is no one knows the long term effects of marijuana use.
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