It is currently legal to grow, purchase and use marijuana for medical purposes in 14 states and the District of Columbia. And this November, Californians will vote on whether to legalize recreational pot use, too. So who benefits financially from the legalization of marijuana? And could legalizing and taxing the drug be a good way to boost local and state economies?
Just this week, Oakland City Council approved an ordinance to allow four major pot factories in the city. There are tons of independent growers and dispensaries across the states where medical use is legal. And there are also now a number of unaccredited "marijuana colleges" that teach people how to grow and use quality pot. All this activity is still, of course, illegal on a federal level.
Ryan Nerz joins us now to talk about these issues, and the rush to profit off of liberalizing marijuana laws. He's an author currently working on a book about marijuana culture in the U.S.