The integration of cannabis into the society will have far-reaching impacts - not as a result of people consuming it, but as a result of people understanding it. The emerging legitimate cannabis market and industry impacts the society, the culture, and the economy. As a writer, lobbyist, and policy wonk, Kate Cholewa offers a broad perspective for those both inside and outside the movement and industry.
The buzz beyond the buzz
Say you’re a conservative. Say you don’t like pot. You think this medical stuff is a load of crap, a step towards legalization. A sham.
You go into session. There’s legislation to clamp down on the industry, make it more difficult to function, make it more difficult to become a legal, cannabis-using patient. You vote for bills that narrow its impact and make functionality cumbersome.
But what about legislation that helps make it work better and resolves problems through good infrastructure? Or what about bills that invest the industry with what are considered lefty values, environmentally-conscious values, for example? Do you vote against the value because it dignifies the industry, and if the industry is dignified, it’s more likely to be supported by the public? Do you vote against socially responsible regulations because in general, as a politician, you support industries and the right to make as much money as possible more than you value consumer protection or the public interest? But what about when the entity making money is making it selling pot?
Do you vote to create a dysfunctional industry and a compromised product in order to protect your prejudice?