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
The opposition to medical marijuana is less an objection to pot itself than it is an objection to a perceived lifestyle and value system. The threat is that the perceived value system will become legitimized along with pot, a value system of moral laxness, impertinence, and too much freedom.
But this fear is unwarranted. It blinds people to the fact that there’s a culture war going on within the cannabis industry. There are those who care about a clean product and local markets and energy efficiency. There are those with dollar signs in their eyes. There are turf dogs like pharmaceutical companies or vice industry moguls. There are those who know a healthy cannabis economy lies in a broad and diverse market and there are those who want a stranglehold on the action.
Some think cannabis is moving into the mainstream. Some fear it will change or destroy the culture. But they’re wrong. The cannabis industry isn’t a virus. A virus feeds on its host. There’s no host to feed on. In fact, the best and brightest of the vampires and leeches of the mainstream economy are headed in this direction. There are brilliant people building the cannabis industry. There are also brilliant rats leaping from the sinking ship of our economy to the emerging cannabis economy hoping to stake a claim before the other rats catch on. Brilliant rats always get their piece. If they get too big of a piece, or if the brilliant builders get too crowded out, no worries, oh cannaphobic ones, nothing in your controlled universe will change. Same shit, new industry.
Cannabis is only a culture changer if it’s transformative economically. It’s not pot that’s going to change the culture. It’s the economics of the industry that will be the game changer.