How Pot Went Legit: Q&A with Weed Land author Peter Hecht

"When you go from a product that has been illegal for generations and you legalize it—in this case, under the medical marijuana laws—you need rules and a framework...and California never had that. And it left not only the state vulnerable, but these individual businesses vulnerable to prosecution," says Peter Hecht, journalist and author of the book Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit.

Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller interviews Hecht at our Los Angeles studio for an internet livestream on Reason TV's YouTube Channel on Wednesday, June 11 at 7pm. Hecht discusses the economic, political, and social journey California has taken in the legalization of medical marijuana and compares its relatively unregulated and sometimes chaotic medical marijuana market to markets in other states, such as Washington and Colorado.

Interview by Zach Weissmueller. Camera by Alexander Manning and Carlos Gutierrez. Edited by Carlos Gutierrez. Music by The Custodian of Records. Run time: 37 min.

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  • Rich||

    "When you go from a product that has been illegal for generations and you legalize it—in this case, under the medical marijuana laws—you need rules and a framework."

    Of course you do. Wouldn't be "legal" otherwise.

  • Paul.||

    "When you go from a product that has been illegal for generations and you legalize it—in this case, under the medical marijuana laws—you need rules and a framework...and California never had that. And it left not only the state vulnerable, but these individual businesses vulnerable to prosecution,"

    This sentence literally does not compute.

    If'n it's a legal product, how are you vulnerable to prosecution?

  • ||

    This is just him mumbling the correct incantations and grovel-words so that a large portion of the statist public and politicians feels that he's sufficiently kissing ass and not focused on "profit" (partially meaning "don't get too hooked on profit because we will be taking our cut and it's going to be a LOT").

  • Robert||

    Not "he", the book author, but the DEA. The feds need cover so they can say to voters that the state's laws satisfy the aims of federal law in preventing "abuse" of cannabis. When asked as an isolated Q, a majority of voters will A that they're for at least medical & maybe recreational pot being legal, but when it comes to voting for candidates for office, there are still probably fewer of them who'll make that a priority issue than there are of the antis.

  • Robert||

    Didn't you hear what he said? Having regulations at the state level made the difference between the feds enforcing federal law in Calif. and laying off in the other states.

  • Almanian!||

    MATT DAMON!

  • Paul.||

    But without regulatory framewerks, it's not legal legal, it's just legal!

  • Rich||

    Barely legal!

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    This is Kalifornia.
    We don't need no stinkin' rules and regulations -
    we've got Karma, Dude!

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