As California prepares to vote on Proposition 64, which would legalize recreational cannabis use, experts are sitting down to discuss the potential outcome of the decision and how it will effect CA as a whole. David Bienenstock, High Time’s Head of Content and the author of “How To Smoke Pot Properly: A Highbrow Guide To Getting High”, sat down with HLN’s Michaela Pereira to discuss important aspects voters should be considering.
Pereira begins the interview by questioning Bienenstock about the economic impact recreational cannabis would have on California. States like Colorado, who have already legalized recreational and medical cannabis, have seen huge growth in nearly
States like Colorado, who have already legalized recreational and medical cannabis, have seen huge growth in nearly every revenue stream because of the influx of taxes coming from cannabis sales. It’s logical to assume California would experience that same type of cash infusion, and Bienenstock agrees.
We’d have a huge positive economic impact. We’d see lots of businesses coming into the above ground economy. We would see tax revenue flowing in from the sales, distribution and cultivation, which is taxed at every level.
Bienenstock goes on to say that the benefits need to be explained on a more personal level, getting voters to understand the implications of recreational legalization far beyond that of traditional tax increases.
Just listening to your report, the thing that occurs to me is we need to put this in human terms. The statistic I didn’t hear is the huge reduction in arrests, which disproportionately target the poor, minorities, people marginalized, that ruin people’s lives for what, I think, society is coming to accept as certainly a safer substance than alcohol or pharmaceutical drugs.
While Bienenstock does a wonderful job at advocating for the cannabis community and unjustly imprisoned cannabis users, Pereira steers the conversation back towards the upcoming California vote.
She points out that the state has been in this position before, having the opportunity to legalize, and they couldn’t make it happen. She asks Bienenstock what he believes will sway the vote this time.
One: we’re going to have it in a Presidential election year, where the demographics are younger, more diverse, more favorable to passage for legalization. Also, we have all this data from Colorado, Washington state, the other states that have legalized, to point to and show that the dire predictions of the opponents of legalization did not come true. In fact, by every metric this has been a success.