I've been covering a lot of stories surrounding the medical marijuana community and industry lately for CBSNEWS.COM. Here's my recent post including an interview with the 'pot doc', Dr. Allan Frankel.
Why now? Well, Cannabis culture in the United States has been a growing conversation and concern as the Justice Department issued a new policy in October putting cannabis control in the hands of each state. This has caused much controversy and chatter in California, which has always been looked at as a more progressive state leading the way for the cause and allowing dispensaries to pop up just about everywhere over the past few years.
Much of the uproar has targeted Los Angeles though. I've been told that there are more dispensaries in the city than schools. It's an issue that's forced the city to take notice and create fear amongst the community of a possible crackdown. At this point, Los Angeles isn't going to shut down and ban dispensaries. That would just be unrealistic. A lot of states are looking to Oakland as an ideal example, where dispensaries are few and far between in strategic areas, and now give %18 in taxes to the city accounting for approximately $40 million yearly.
It's been a fascinating and eye-opening experience to dive into this new world. It's the reason why I do what I do. I've met City Attorneys, patients, dispensary owners, union leaders and proponents of both sides. I've paid a visit to America's First Cannabis College- Oaksterdam.
It's exciting to be covering a subject that's truly shaping our culture. On a recent visit to the renowned green medicine shop, The Farmacy, General Manager Bill Leahy offered me one of their posters as a parting gift and mentioned how in a few years it'll be worth much more. He told me how we're experiencing the prohibition era all over again.
Well, we all know what happened with that...