The legalization of weed in California is not all bongs, bowls, and piles of cash for everyone. While the state isn’t new to the green scene – medical marijuana has been legal there since 1996, when Proposition 215 was passed – a growing list of issues is facing the industry, because of the legalization of cannabis in California.
In the last two decades, since California legalized medical marijuana, alcohol didn’t go out of business, tobacco didn’t go bankrupt, pharma didn’t slow down, and the population didn’t turn into a bunch of lazy couch stoners.
That doesn’t mean that the legalization of weed in California has been an ocean-grown, or OG, breeze. Kids were a major factor to consider when it came to the topic of legalizing weed in the state. A lot of people had the same question, as it specifically pertained to California’s youth.
A California Cannabis Legalization Conundrum
Kids and the Legalization of Weed in California
Now, Californians face a new hurdle, thanks to the passing of Proposition 64. Establishing the legal California weed age was a challenge, and the state finally settled on a number; the legal age to buy weed in California for recreational weed is 21 and up, with a valid ID.
As of 2017, California had an estimated population of 39+ million residents. That’s a lot of people and a lot of kids. Factors like restrictions on dispensary placement and cannabis growers, in regards to their proximity to schools and daycares, had to be considered. Hours of operation, school bus stops and routes, and even the dos and do-nots of advertising all had to be carefully evaluated, keeping in mind the potential impact on kids.
Statistically, smoking trends are higher within economically challenged communities, like so many in California. They were and still are some of the hardest hit by trends like cigarettes and underage drinking. So it’s understandable that people would have the same concerns about cannabis legalization. However, with over two decades of legal medical marijuana, it’s not really surprising to note that the children in California have yet to turn into weed smoking zombies since the California weed age was set.
Cannabis and Violent Crime
Surely, it takes more than 12 weeks to conduct a study or survey on a state with 39+ million citizens. But maybe not. A January 2018 Forbes article headline read: “Violent Crime Has Dropped In Border States With Legal Cannabis: Study.” However, two months later, California had a different Forbes headline that read like this: “California Officials Say Marijuana Legalization Causing More Violent Crime.” So, which is it?
It seems that a lot of opinions about weed are being passed around in the media, in regards to California’s weed legalization.
Cannabis Growing to Perfection
Shady, Non-Compliant Businesses
As of February 2018, over 6,000 weed delivery services and marijuana dispensaries in California could be found on Weedmaps. But, the state had only licensed 580 marijuana dispensaries and weed delivery companies at that time. While some businesses were paying their fees and doing the right thing, others were just flying by the seat of their pants.
This creates all kinds of problems. Tax evasion, quality control, testing, unlicensed businesses – all of this spells trouble for legal weed. The state tried to take aim at Weedmaps, telling them they weren’t allowed to advertise unlicensed businesses, but Weedmaps fired back with a blunt, by essentially saying, “that’s not our problem”.
What so many people fail to see about cannabis is that it is medicine. It does help people with an array of problems. When there is no standard for quality and safety set, people will do some unthinkable things to boost profits, like adding chemicals to cannabis, such as Eagle 20, or selling medicine infected with spider mites.
If businesses will do this, who’s to say they won’t sell weed to kids? Shady, non-compliant cannabis businesses complicate the presence of legal cannabis in the state, as well as dilute the potential of cannabis to be used in positive ways. California needs and deserves weed businesses that abide by California state law.
These are just a few of the conundrums created by the legalization of weed in California. Do you live in California? Do you see other issues that aren’t mentioned above? If so let us know here at Medical Edibles!