Chat with The Bee's Peter Hecht today at 11:30 a.m.
From Peter Hecht:
I have covered marijuana issues since 2009 for The Bee and have a new book out in coming weeks from University of California Press, called Weed Land, Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit. It covers the recent generation in which California changed America's marijuana discussion and inspired pot liberalization that is now leading to retail sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington.
I found it interesting to watch the people lining up in droves in Colorado, starting on New Year's Day, to buy pot purely for pleasure. Probably few took time to consider that they likely owe their new-found cannabis freedoms to AIDS patients dying in San Francisco or medical researchers in California who pushed for landmark studies of marijuana as medicine.
California still has America's largest, and most unregulated, marijuana economy. Colorado has surpassed us with a meticulously-regulated cannabis market and, now, legalization beyond medical use. The coming year may tell us a great deal about what the future holds for California, and the country, when it comes to cannabis. So let's talk about this new era for pot.