Who is going to control the multi-billion dollar Cannabis industry around the globe? Be sure to follow the money.
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Richard Forte: This is a really exciting time. We are seeing, finally, a much-needed transformation of our cannabis policies (locally, statewide and nationally). It’s a very shifting area where there’s a lot going on, which presents a really terrific opportunity for those of us interested in this to kind of take control and be inspired by our local politics and see what we can do. There is now a multi-billion dollar national medical marijuana industry and there are a lot of people who are scrambling to control that significant wealth, so the question that’s before us is “Who is going to control this wealth?” Is this something that is going to be distributed amongst the people, encouraging a lot of individual products and innovative research or is it going to be centralized and controlled by people more affiliated with the government?
Right now, in California, there are going to be at least two initiatives coming to the ballot in 2016. One of them is called “The California Cannabis Hemp Initiative of 2016”. This was actually written in 1990 by Jack Herer, who is a prominent hemp and cannabis advocate. He has sort of a gruff demeanor. He really speaks to the underground cannabis community. He presents hard-hitting facts. He is the author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes. He’s sparked a following and they’ve been tenaciously trying to get this initiative on the ballot. It is to the point. Basically, it legalizes the personal use of cannabis, up to twelve pounds. It permits people to grow 99 plants. It releases all of the cannabis non-violent offenders who are in prison in California jails. It also totally legalizes the growing of industrial hemp. It fully supports Proposition 215, which was the California Medical Marijuana Initiative that was passed in 1996.
Contrasting to Jack Herer’s cannabis initiative is one that’s recently come up last week or two weeks ago that is sponsored by the tech mogul, Sean Parker. This is a 60-page document with a lot of fine print. It’s called the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. It pretends to be a legalization initiative, but it’s a thinly-veiled money-grab to control cannabis, tax it heavily, prevent individuals from cultivating reasonable amounts for their own use and it’s an interesting dichotomy that we voters are going to have a chance to look at over the next few months.
Kimberly: I know when I looked up the latest legislation coming down from Sean Parker and saw that it was supported by The Nature Conservancy and I know that the head of The Nature Conservancy was the former managing director of Goldman Sachs, I knew that we were in trouble. Unfortunately, I think he’s going to be marketed as a cool, hip, successful, billionaire guy here to put his money to the good cause and when you come out of the grocery store, you’re going to be hit with “Hey, sign this great petition to legalize marijuana”, so it is our job, those of us who are getting educated, to really help educate others.
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California: Jack Herer Initiative
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- California Cannabis Hemp Initiative (CCHI 2016)
- CCHI 2016 Places to Sign
- California Cannabis Hemp Act of 2016 — ReformCA.org
California: Sean Parker Initiative
- The New, Sean Parker-Backed Legalization Initiative: Here’s What’s Inside — East Bay Express
- Sean Parker backs California pot initiative — CNN
- The Battle for Legal Cannabis in California Ignites: Napster Co-Founder Sean Parker’s Initiative Heats Things Up — Medical Jane
- Sean Parker initiative ignites California marijuana legalization — SFGate
- Sean Parker: Agent Of Disruption — Forbes
California: Other Initiatives
- California Is Poised To Legalize Marijuana In 2016 — Huffington Post
- Dozens of Marijuana Initiatives in California Vying for 2016 Ballot — abc7.com
- California Marijuana Legalization 2016: With 10 Legalization Efforts Afoot In The Golden State, Which Is Most Likely To Pass? — International Business Times
Other U.S. States
- 7 States On the Verge of Marijuana Legalization — The Cheat Sheet
- An Overview Of The 2016 Marijuana Legalization Initiatives — The Weed Blog
- Here’s What Will Probably Happen When Washington Starts Selling Legal Marijuana — Mic
- The Revolving Door Between Monsanto, the FDA, and the EPA: Your Safety in Peril — Dr. Leonard Coldwell.com
- The Amazing Revolving Door — Monsanto, FDA & EPA — Rense.com
- Monsanto’s Revolving Door — The Progressive Cynic
- Cannabis Industry Business and Investment Law — Hempioneers
- Can Cannabis Cure Cancer? (includes numerous additional resources)