The Winners and Losers of Marijuana Legalization



After toiling for decades in relative obscurity, the fight to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the United States is finally having its moment in the sun.

For the first time ever, a recent Gallup poll found a solid majority of Americans in favor of legalizing the drug—a 10-point swing from 2012. The Department of Justice recently said it won't interfere with Colorado and Washington , states whose citizens voted to legalize pot last year. Earlier this month, the city of Portland, Maine, as well as a trio of Michigan municipalities, followed suit and voted to permit recreational pot use.

Four decades after President Nixon declared the War on Drugs, the government's battle against marijuana may be beginning to subside. If the trend continues, it presents a massive business opportunity for people looking to get into the weed business without worrying about pesky drawbacks like getting arrested.

Legal marijuana, already a $1.4 billion industry, is one of the most rapidly expanding markets in the United States. A recent study by Arcview Market Research predicted the industry has the potential to reach over $10 billion within five years and experience growth outpacing that of smartphones.

Conversely, as with any major economic change, this growing acceptance—and possible full-scale legalization—has the potential to  disrupt a whole host of long-standing industries.

Here then is a guide to the winners and losers in the wild world of pot legalization:

Winners

Marijuana sellers

The most obvious profit center arising from the legalization of marijuana is the cultivation and sale of the product to consumers.

Since pot is currently outlawed at the federal level, it's difficult for economists to pin an exact figure on the size of the black market. However, Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron has estimated the overall size of the marijuana economy, which includes both illicit sales and legal ones made in the 21 states (including Washington, D.C.) that allow medical marijuana, at around $20 billion per year with the majority share going into the black market. A 2006 study out of George Mason University  put annual domestic cultivation at somewhere in the neighborhood of 22 million pounds.

Shifting that demand into the legal market presents an enormous opportunity—one that many people are already taking advantage of.

While Colorado voters approved a marijuana legalization initiative last year, the ban on recreational pot sales won't officially be lifted until the beginning of next year. The state has seen a rush of activity among ganjapreneurs filing for the requisite permits to register their operations. Colorado officials expect to see over 100 legal pot shops  open their doors on Jan. 1, 2014.

As the law stands, doing the actual growing and distribution has both pros and cons. ‟The fastest opportunity for profitability in some states centers on wholesale cultivation, whereas in other states vertically integrated cultivation and dispensary operations take the lead," notes the Arcview report. ‟However, these businesses often have the most restrictions on investors and carry the greatest risk of federal enforcement actions."

Ancillary businesses

Outside of growth and sale of the actual plant, the marijuana industry comprises a range of related products and services designed to assist consumers with everything from procuring weed to putting it in their bodies. For a long time, these ancillary businesses have been relegated to dark corners of the counterculture. The increasing legal acceptance of marijuana has the potential to broaden the demographics of those who regularly ingest the drug while simultaneously creating a more mature consumer market where users can be more discriminating in their choices.

One of the companies cashing in on this shift is Medbox (NASDAQOTH: MDBX  ) , a firm that builds automated weed vending machines. Medbox, which was recently the subject of a bruising investigation by the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation , saw its stock skyrocket from under $3 to nearly $100 following the marijuana-legalizing votes in Washington and Colorado. The price has since settled to around $20 per share.

Other businesses include the dispensary finder and strain review site Leafly,  and the handheld vaporizer the Pax Ploom. The latter is explicitly designed for tobacco use only, but it has managed to gather a sizable following among pot smokers. A review in Death and Taxes magazine recommended it as an ideal accoutrement  "for the executive stoner."

Wellness products

Over the course of the past 40 years of drug prohibition, black market growers have been under pressure to breed their products to become more and more potent. Stronger pot allows people to smoke less of it to achieve the same high. Therefore, suppliers need less space to transport the same monetary value of product. Operating under a prohibition, space is often at a premium because smaller physical loads make it easier to sneak packages past law enforcement undetected.

The downside of this THC ‟arms race" is that consumers who want marijuana products for reasons other than getting baked out of their skulls have been largely left in the dust. As regulations loosen, there's likely to be a corresponding increase in demand for non-psychotropic marijuana-based products targeted at a much different demographic than the stereotypical young, male pothead.

Take, for example, Seattle-based cosmetics company Cannabis Basics, which offers a line of skincare and beauty products. While the lip balms and body lotions sold by Cannabis Basics have virtually nothing to do with getting high, they can only be obtained through licensed clinics in states with approved medical marijuana. Products like these, ones that take advantage of marijuana's non-intoxicating aspects, are likely to expand into wider use if prohibitions are repealed.

Government coffers

Drug prohibition is expensive. Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron told The Huffington Post that it's costing the U.S. government nearly $20 billion a year to keep marijuana illegal. To put that figure in perspective, NASA's budget for 2014 is $16.6 billion.

About half of that expenditure comes from direct government spending on law enforcement, but the rest is the result of lost tax revenue. In November, Colorado voters overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure imposing a 25% sales and excise tax on all marijuana legally sold in the state.

The Colorado vote showed the electorate's willingness to tax marijuana at the same time it resoundingly rejected a measure that would have hiked the state's income tax—indicating that levying sin taxes on legalized pot may prove a broadly acceptable solution for increasing government revenue.

The tax rate on marijuana imposed by Colorado may seem steep, but it could serve as a model for the rest of the country. A RAND Corporation study surmised that widespread legalization would result in an 80% drop in pot prices . As long as taxes don't push the cost of legal weed significantly over black market prices, there's little chance high taxes would push consumers into illicit channels.

Weed tourism

"As some states are legalizing marijuana and others there not, I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by the growth of the marijuana tourism industry," explained Betty Aldworth of the National Cannabis Industry Association. Denver-based My420Tours  offers tours of the Mile High City that founder Matt Brown likens to wine tasting tours of Northern California's Napa Valley, except for pot.

Losers

Private prisons & drug treatment centers

The prison-industrial complex is an approximately $3 billion per year industry that houses about one out of every 10 inmates in the country. The biggest private prison firm, Corrections Corporation of America (NYSE: CXW  ) , earned $1.7 billion last year.

CCA's business is largely dependent on the number of people the government feels the need to lock up. ‟The demand for our facilities and services could be adversely affected by the relaxation of enforcement efforts, leniency in conviction or parole standards and sentencing practices, or through the decriminalization of certain activities that are currently proscribed by our criminal laws," the company outlined in its 2010 annual report. ‟For instance, any changes with respect to drugs and controlled substances...could affect the number of persons arrested, convicted, and sentenced, thereby potentially reducing demand for correctional facilities to house them."

Even so, the vast majority of the three-quarters of a million people arrested each year for marijuana possession never actually serve time in prison. Most are issued fines or put into some form of community supervision. Often that supervision comes in the form of drug treatment programs, which could also lose out if many of those court-ordered diversions evaporate due to fewer convictions.

Brewers & distilleries

Christian Groh and Brendan Kennedy of Privateer Holdings, a private equity firm operating exclusively within the marijuana industry, explain that legalization has the potential to do greater harm to companies selling certain already-legal drugs than others. ‟We've found that people don't substitute marijuana for cigarettes, but they do often substitute it for alcohol," explained Groh.

He noted that one of the ideas that sparked the creation of Privateer Holdings in the first place was as a means to attract investment from alcohol companies looking to hedge against any possible losses from increased pot consumption.

Since marijuana is still prohibited at the federal level, large corporate and financial players have stayed out of making direct investments in the pot field. However, alcohol producers could still easily make those investments if marijuana were to be made legal. This potential avenue for investment may be why direct opposition on this front has been less than some have expected. "We're not actually seeing the kind of resistance against legalization that many people assume coming from alcohol and pharmaceutical companies," explained Aldworth.

Law enforcement

In an interview with ABC News last year, the executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest police union in the nation, said that, ‟the law enforcement community is universally consistent in its opposition to legalizing pot, in the interest of public safety and public health."

While, as reason.com points out, there are some notable exceptions to that rule, law enforcement has been just about the largest single group fighting drug legalization in any of its forms.

This opposition is at least partially due to the drug war being a major funding source for local police departments across the country. One way this occurs is through asset forfeiture , where law enforcement officials confiscate and then sell items—such as automobiles—connected to drug crimes. According to the General Accounting Office, the Department of Justice gave almost a billion dollars raised through asset forfeiture to local police departments in 2011.

Critics argue this revenue-generation mechanism leads police departments to prioritize drug arrests over the investigation of other crimes; however, agencies also use the money to increase staffing and purchase new equipment that makes the communities they serve safer.

Medical marijuana dispensaries

In many cases, some of the most vocal opponents of full-scale legalization are the operators of medical marijuana dispensaries. The rationale behind this opposition isn't only that recreational legalization would depress prices and eat into medical dispensaries' market share. Medical marijuana dispensaries are, by definition, places where people go to get medicine. By legalizing pot and then slapping a large sin tax on it, the sense of marijuana as legitimate medicinal product that dispensary owners have worked for years to build, could evaporate.

 Politico reports that earlier this year, Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine joined a coalition to oppose a bill legalizing the possession of small quantities of marijuana for recreational use in the state.

---

At this point, picking winners and losers is an act of speculation. No market as large as the United States has ever experimented with full-scale drug legalization, so there's no telling what the ultimate effects will be.

When the United States ratified the 21st Amendment in 1933 ending alcohol prohibition, voters and legislators had some idea of what lay ahed, but they had no way of seeing the wave of boozy innovation—some of it positive, some of it decidedly less so—that would wash over the country in the ensuing decades. If local, state, and federal governments decide to do something similar with marijuana, seeing precisely what businesses and regulators do with it may end up being the most exciting part of the whole endeavor.

Lacking motivation to invest?

Millions of Americans have waited on the sidelines since the market meltdown in 2008 and 2009, too scared to invest and put their money at further risk. Yet those who've stayed out of the market have missed out on huge gains and put their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal-finance experts show you why investing is so important and what you need to do to get started. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.


Read/Post Comments (61) | Recommend This Article (61)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 5:13 PM, me32 wrote:

    I've been a cop for 11 years and am all for legalization. The only problem will be enforcing DUIs. Whoever comes up with a way to detect if THC has been used within a few hour period will be rich.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 5:26 PM, kr310 wrote:

    You are not mentioning the hemp industry in general which in itself could offer even greater

    economic potential.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 5:46 PM, cmalek wrote:

    Individual marijuana growers better get theirs while the getting is good because, as soon as their is even a hint of possible profit, the tobacco and liquor companies will horn in on the act.

    As for medical marijuana dispensaries being losers is like saying the doctors are losers because they won't be able to prescribe as many pain killers as before because of over the counter pain killers. The only reason the dispensaries exist is to get around the illegality of pot. Once pot is legalized, there no longer is any need for dispensaries.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 6:37 PM, indyandy wrote:

    Turning the task of incarceration into a buisiness was not such a good idea.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 6:39 PM, ChrisW wrote:

    The intent of full legalization is not to make yet another layer of government regulation but to allow the people to freely choose what they want with pot including growing your own. The idea is that a person could go to Home Depot and by spring pot seedlings and be happy, no new taxes no regulations save DUI. Hemp products also would be legalized and here is where comercial farming would blossem, far out performing cotton and no pesticides needed. End the drug wars now!

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 6:43 PM, jneely299 wrote:

    Not everyone in this business is getting rich -- some are barely hanging on or going under. Maybe it's because they are sampling their wares, but more likely it's because there are too many small players, combined with continuously changing regulations and expensive licenses. Not being allowed access to banks doesn't help either. Whatever the cause, I would advise a great deal of financial caution as well as obvious legal caution.

    I would also remind anyone thinking "legal" equals "good" that bashing your head against a wall is legal. I'm glad to see recreational use legalized, but only because adding jail to the mix just made it worse. Spending some of that new tax money to subsidize treatment might be helpful.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 7:19 PM, bonsaibean wrote:

    I agree with Chris W.

    It was a mistake to sell all these legalization efforts as "regulate and tax" plans. There is no reason for a whole bunch of new regulations and certainly not new taxes. I should be able to grow cannabis, just like I can grow tomatoes or peppers in my garden. I can't sell them without a license, but there are no rules or taxes involved for personal use.

    Anything short of this is still just a detour on the road to true freedom.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 7:26 PM, mk43dx wrote:

    You also fail to mention the social benefit of helping to de-fund criminals and criminal organizations, from the guy across from the high school to the drug cartels. This won't just help Americans, it will help people and governments abroad as well.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 7:27 PM, Ladybird22 wrote:

    CMalek is right: "medical dispensaries" have been abused by pleasure seekers. If it were medicine, it would be covered by insurance i.e. easing symptoms of glaucoma & nausea from chemotherapy. Maybe these should be in-patient services.

    My peripheral experiences read depression exacerbation, avoidance behavior and instantly-killed ambition. And by the way, can it possibly cause lung cancer? "Smoking" (pot) isn't e-v-e-n asked on an insurance application.

    This is going to be a wild ride....

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:14 PM, towolf2 wrote:

    Is it so bad that the losers side consists of prisons, cops, and rehabs? Where is the downside? Motley didn't even give my stock a boost (mention). Bummer!

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:27 PM, cityperson wrote:

    As i mentioned many times in my comments Ok to smoke Pot, but not Tobacco. The Pot heads think Pot is safe and will not cause health problems.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:35 PM, Ladybird22 wrote:

    So,CityPerson, are you investing in this megalomania?

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:36 PM, maniacred wrote:

    After ten thousand plus years of the human cannabis interface, all this brouhaha about legalization will hardly be a molehill in our mutual history. What matters is that the thc receptors in our brains will have what they need and use despite the legality or not of the "Good Weed".

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:44 PM, Kiffit wrote:

    Let us not confuse surrender to and defeat by a social evil with 'progress' and 'reform'. It may turn out that there really isn't any choice because we have been beaten by third world chaos, transnational criminal corporations and a first world consumer culture built around indulgence, the marginalisation of social governance and the deliberate destruction of ordinary moral boundaries.

    We are still trying to fight off tobacco and we are now saddled with a completely laissez-faire alcohol culture that is doing considerable social and health damage. You want to add new rafts of legalized funny stuff to the already volatile mix at the bar.

    Bring on the Clockwork Orange. We are lost.

    If you are going to advocate this unpleasant future, at least admit to the shame and social failure that it represents. If we were talking about the 'war' on rape, or child labor, or slavery, the moral bankruptcy of what you are saying and the extent of the defeat you would be admitting, would be obvious.

    In places where there is still a measure of grass roots community based social order, discipline and consistent enforcement of its edicts, it is the illicit drug trade that gets marginalized and forced not so much to surrender, as remain deeply covert, risk averse and small scale in its impact. In places like that, the only reform they are talking about is just how radical the marginalization should be.

    The extent and dynamism of the drug trade is directly linked to the social health and governance of the society it tries to invade. In the long run, bad social practice equals big drug profits. Powerful international drug cartels and dysfunctional third world societies make it much harder for prohibition, but not impossible by any means. It just means rethinking social priorites, values and practice a little more rigorously.

    The drug trade cannot be beaten or marginalized by law enforcement alone. Only societies that can effectively protect and control their young, who are its most vulnerable potential customers, will be able to permenantly marginalize it. And that means re-instating social authority to its proper place, returning youth to a junior and respectful place that is run by responsible and senior adults, and a preparedness by adult society to be tough in asserting this.

    Above all, we have to accept that human rights have to co-exist with the responsibilities that underpin them. Nobody gets anything for free, because everything costs, including human rights. It is the social commons that provides the wherewithal for any social benefits that we enjoy. If you want a drug reduced culture, you pay for its protection by sustaining it with a broad social conformity to its requirements and punishing those who fail to deliver on them, not just at an institutional, but community and family level.

    Anything less is just not social governance worth the name. And the seriousness of the threat of the drug culture will reflect that. If you don't pay your social dues, you don't get the protection you need to stop the children from being victimized. Period.

    In drug resistant cultures, the social commons is what provides the umbrella protection against predators, by keeping its young and vulnerable close and under supervision. This is so obvious, it should not need to be pointed out. The fact that it does is testament to the dissolute power of a consumerist ideology that says you can have it all and now, and to hell with the consequences and the eventual cost.

    I refuse to accept corrupt excuse making, rationalizing and moral evasion. Our moth eaten social commons has been so beaten up and abused, there is hardly anything left. I refuse to stand by a watch this travesty anymore. It is time for a change. And change is coming, ready or not.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:52 PM, Duncan20903 wrote:

    My Benadryl is not covered by insurance. If you think that's not a medicine you really should rethink it. The assertion that cannabis is not medicine is fantasy land blind faith in the government. Give the Israeli Ministry of health a ring and ask them what they think about your very confused belief.

    Oh Hell's Bells I just remembered that the Israelis have a single payer, universal health care delivery system. That means that that since they very enthusiastically embrace cannabis as a valid medicine that means their policies fulfill your conditions and prove that cannabis is in fact a valid medicine.

    The claim that there's going to be an increase of "instantly-killed ambition" is wholly unsupported hysterical rhetoric. Who the heck do you think got those voter approved laws on the ballot in Washington and Colorado and then talked the voters into approving those new laws?

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 8:56 PM, solarfool314 wrote:

    Both wine and beer are taxed yet it is legal to make your own for personal consumption.

    Hopefully the same thing would be allowed for weed.

    If people convicted of pot crimes were released from county jails there would be more room for those who commit crimes against victims. And the police wouldn't get bored, I assure you.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 9:31 PM, Baldurdash wrote:

    I'm from Colorado and live in Washington so it's been legal for a while. I still buy privately and pay no tax and never will. If you want something, go earn it yourself.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 9:32 PM, WolfgangInvests wrote:

    Stock symbol $erbb. They have vending machines and a 21 and older only debit card network. It's a fraction of the price to own its shares as medbox. Get the shares before the 1st of the year when all the good news comes.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 9:37 PM, Baldurdash wrote:

    Weed's the drug to unite the masses unlike the others:

    1 for the poor, 1 for the rich

    Heroin (illegal), oxicotin (legal)

    Crystal meth (illegal) adderall (legal)

    Just pointing that out.

  • Report this Comment On November 19, 2013, at 10:06 PM, Zinj wrote:

    regardless of whether THC (or any other chemical in cannabis) has legitimate medicinal value, or whether you just wanna get baked,

    **INHALING COMBUSTION GASSES AND HOT PARTICULATE MATTER IS NOT HEALTHY**

    ever.

    That's driven me nuts about the whole medical marijuana claim. "I some weed to ease my glaucoma symptoms." Great. Would you like a side of emphysema with that? How about some lung cancer? No? Well, today's special promotion is nasty-smelling clothes and breath -- you get that just for stopping by.

    Maybe the investment here is in General Mills (NYSE: GIS) and their Betty Crocker brand of brownie mixes.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 12:00 AM, somethingnew wrote:

    @Ladybird22 Marijuana shares a lot of the same carcinogens as cigarettes but there aren't enough controlled studies to show that it directly causes cancer because of it still being an illegal drug which is why the insurance applications you see don't have that as a question on them.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 1:19 AM, chancy wrote:

    We got red box, soon we will have weed box.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 3:30 AM, greenknight32 wrote:

    @somethingnew - Marijuana is the most studied drug in existence, the evidence is very strong that smoking it does not cause cancer.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 6:35 AM, doawithlife wrote:

    Smoking pot does not cause cancer.

    Plenty of studies show that marijuana actually slows down the reproduction of cancer cells. Meaning marijuana lowers your chance for cancer.

    What marijuana does do.

    First, prior to THC turning into the form that makes us high. That early form THC drastically lowers sperm count. That form of THC can be found on the underside of leaves and on the stems.

    Second, marijuana lowers your chance for cancer by changing the makeup of your cell wall. This has two negative effects. First, it can slow down some tissues ability to repair damage(your bladdar as well as other organs can eventually shut down from the damage). Second, this reduces the ability of nerve cells to send signals. This both reduces your cognative ability and it can also cause numbness and eventual nerve damage that can lower your life expectancy.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 7:04 AM, tducksoup1 wrote:

    you forget the biggest loser will be the drug companies! I have been in aviation for 35 years so I have not had the privilege of being able to use this drug of choice. When I was younger I can remember how if I had the flu and could not eat I would take a toke or two and I would get the munchies and eat and I know it would get me better much faster. It has so much medicinal purpose's that why take man made drugs when you can use the most natural product God put on this green earth for us. There is no processing or mixing of other chemicals in it. I would rather see my kids smoke a joint and be paranoid and go 30 mph than drink Jack Daniels and think they are bullet proof. You think we would have figured this out a long time ago. I believe it is the drug lobbyist and the liqueur lobbyist who have the most to lose.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 7:06 AM, rayzor60 wrote:

    I gave up a 25 year stint of alcoholism with marijuana. Myself, and family can tell you what a dramatic change I made. I have no desire to retreat to alcoholism and cant wait until marijuana is legalized in Texas so we can get decent marijuana and not the horrible mexican weed. Until it is legalized our politicians here are courting the drug dealers and are encouraging the black market. Shame on them.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 10:22 AM, dlm123 wrote:

    What everyone an count on is an increase in deaths from impaired driving. More pain and sorrow from because of drug distraction of goals and dreams and ambitions.

    While there may be a benefit medically in some cases, the social cost will be much like alcohol in that it will be the cause of increased health issues and costs as well as all the issues that happen as a result of reduced decision making.

    We are just continuing the slippery slope of self indulgence with no social responsibility. This will not turn out well. That is a given.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 10:36 AM, ifusayso wrote:

    Whether you think its about time or the fall of western civilization lets not forget our founding principals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    If your position on this matter denies me any of those, perhaps you should seek a more authoritarian country were your position is embraced.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 11:06 AM, ziq wrote:

    My sense is that marijuana is too easy to grow in the wild to support much of either an industry or a tax base. The current black market thrives entirely on the artificially high prices prohibition produces. Most people may prefer to buy rather than grow their own, like tomatoes, but if the prices remained high due to governments taxing the bejesus out of it and there was no longer a risk of arrest for your personal garden the prices would not be sustainable. I think the figure for what prohibition costs the government in terms of lost revenues is therefore bogus.

    I see no moral justification for prohibition--and the costs thereof-- of a product no more hazardous to society than alcohol. But as the cop pointed out DUI remains a problem. I didn't realize pot is difficult to detect. in the body.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 11:09 AM, observerbob2013 wrote:

    The reality is that when any drug becomes legalised it will be only a blink of an eye before the existing legal drug companies market Marlboro Weed, etc. so the only real winners will be the existing companies who now have every reason to market a new and possibly unrestricted drug.

    The other real winner will be government at all levels which will gain billions from taxes rather than be spending billions on ineffective prohibition.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 11:34 AM, TMFHousel wrote:

    Just wanted to share my favorite weed joke.

    How much pot does it take to kill a lab rate?

    About 20 pounds dropped from 20 feet.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 12:42 PM, its420 wrote:

    the only thing dangerous about using weed is getting arrested. did you know theres not one death from overdose and that it would take consuming like 1400 lbs in 20 minutes to OD. marijuana is proven to help with many aliments not just pain. PTSD, diabetes, many types of cancers, HIV/ AIDS, nausea, bipolar disorder and depression just to name a few. they need to remove it from drug screens r/t employment until they have a way to test for recent use. just because i get stoned (excuse me, medicate) on friday night, does not mean i'm even remotely under the influence monday morning.

    the governments success story on brainwashing was all the crap propaganda spoon fed to us over the last 70+ years. wise up people, read the latest findings

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 1:05 PM, allprocont wrote:

    and here you have it... the bottom line when it comes down to it, regarding just WHY the choice to use a substance by the individual today classifies oneself as a "terrorist" for so doing--and why they ARE NOW PLANNING to fill the allready built and manned concentration camps with more of the same United States citizens as they've been filling the prison system with for so many years.... it all boils down to MONEY in the pockets of the JUDGES, the POLICE, the ATTORNEYS, and THE SYSTEM AS A WHOLE!!!

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 1:18 PM, damilkman wrote:

    The biggest losers in my opinion are the users. I am sure that with any drug there are people that can function normally. However, there is a significant percentage whose motivation goes from doing all of the other things they would do with life to using their drug of choice, be it alcohol, POT, or something harder.

    There has always been discussions regarding the widening income gap. A lot of that has to do with the demise of manufacturing and the rise of knowledge over labor as a valued economy. However, I wonder how much of the gap is also caused by the acceptence of he drug society. Several decades ago the only readily available drugs were alcohol and tobacco. If you were a suspectable teenager in the middle of nowhere the potporie of other drugs were just not available even if you knew they might not exist. Not only is drug abuse readily available in all of its diversity but the social taboo has been removed and its okay to be a user.

    All I can say is looking at the cross section of people I have known if there was a common denominator for those who are doing finacially better verses those who are not it is chemical use. This makes sense as for many chemical use dominates their motivations verses doing financially well. There are exceptions. However, if our society accepts chemicals as a social outlet those individuals are going to need to accept the consequences of their actions and not expect handouts later in life because they never got around to living. This is clearly not directed to thoughs who have a medical need for any chemical.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 2:14 PM, quacker wrote:

    winners people who pay taxes when jane is legal Losers dea and prisons and street dealers

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 2:24 PM, josejosejose wrote:

    me32... your a cop and can't spot someone that's high as a kite? when I used to smoke weed a long time ago, you could easily tell when someone was high. the most prominent being glassy eyed, and most ALWAYS smelling of pot. I am borderline on supporting this or not. I think for medical use, it should be legal in every state, however, recreational legalization has some drawbacks. First, being legalized just to smoke weed for fun, is not right, and it lowers ambition. Secondly, you will have that many more drivers behind the wheel intoxicated. So, again, I am on the fence here.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 2:44 PM, stocksplitenthu wrote:

    I hope the appropriate accompanying laws for public safety are being passed along with these legal marijuana laws.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 3:26 PM, TXObjectivist75 wrote:

    Don't forget Pepsi/Frito Lay. I expect a huge upsurge in Cheetos sales.

    And hopefully Altria gets in on the action, then I can retire faster off the stoners.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 4:14 PM, wasmick wrote:

    "I refuse to accept corrupt excuse making, rationalizing and moral evasion. Our moth eaten social commons has been so beaten up and abused, there is hardly anything left. I refuse to stand by a watch this travesty anymore. It is time for a change. And change is coming, ready or not."

    You will all live as I say or you will die!!

    By far the funniest reply in the thread. Runner up awards to the likes of ladybird and her ilk for trotting the never-gets-old "you'll go psycho and have zero ambition" canard.

    Hilarious stuff.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 7:33 PM, Rodney7777 wrote:

    There is high THC marijuana and there is industrial hemp. The latter does not get you high, but is outlawed in the U S. In Canada, France and the U. K. you can grown hemp. It is embarrassing that we have made a harmless, but highly useful illegal. One acre of hemp can produce up to 200 gallons of seed oil that can be burned in a diesel engine. We could have been growing our own fuel for years and years without the plants taking up space in our mose productive lands. Hemp grows almost anywhere with out fertilizer or insecticides. So marginal lands could have been put to work. Also some other hemp products are cement like blocks that are stronger and lighter than concrete. insulation, roof panels, and structural members like roof joists etc. In other words we could have been growing out own homes.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 8:01 PM, Salem3 wrote:

    This article does a good job of showing how some organizations may oppose Marijuana legalization for selfish reasons. One thing left out in this article is how it would help people with medical conditions. In Ohio, where I live, they have restricted the use of pain medicine to the point that people with legitimate medical conditions are suffering in pain.

    My Doctor told me " I know you are suffering but I am unable to help you any further because of the regulations". I believe it should be legal for everyone and I believe in limited government intrusion in our lives. One of the most important reasons for legalizing marijuana may help people like myself who are suffering in pain.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 8:13 PM, hammer67 wrote:

    Don't forget about the medical marijuana doctors that prescribe you a medical card so you can get your dope. I think they are the real ones behind all of this. With out the card no drugs hmmm.

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 9:36 PM, DaveRan wrote:

    I'm guessing a large portion of the respondents to this article have never had to deal with a child that began using mary jane and then experimented and began using harder drugs along with the weed. After several years of this they can no longer hold down jobs their lives begin to spiral downward into the abyss we call addiction. Its makes your heart bleed as you try to help and help but nothing does help until they either overdose and die or they hit rock bottom and finally get help again and again. Will legalizing weed add to this problem? I would bet everything I owned that the answer to this question is yes. What happened to the common sense we were born with? We saw it with alcohol and we will see it even worse with weed and the hard drugs that will

    come with it. Maybe start investing in funeral homes or in drug rehab clinics if there are any trading on the open market....

  • Report this Comment On November 20, 2013, at 11:07 PM, abramsmm01 wrote:

    Another issue is drug testing, combined with a Corporate American that wants nothing to do with marijuana use---- even for medical purposes. Despite growing rules to the contrary, companies can find all sorts of "other" legal reasons not to hire or to terminate the user once already hired.

    I've heard too many cases where marijuana has relieved symptoms when more toxic legal treatments have not been effective. There may also be some potential for certain types of marijuana to improve certain types of cancer.

    As for growing our own or buying it illegally, that's a big inconvenience for the average person. Why couldn't someone grow their own tobacco for that matter? Put marijuana in a pack and sell it where tobacco is sold, and then tax it..... simple as that.

    People who want to smoke weed will find a way to do it anyway, and those who need the medical benefits could then buy it same as they would any form of alcohol or tobacco.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 1:23 AM, ly wrote:

    First of all not everyone uses to get high and if used for medical reasons it should be regulated just like other medicine, it does have medical uses for many ailments. The drug companies will be one of the losers, if i can use eatables or smoke why take 4 pills 4 times a day for the same relief or even better relief. this is like any form if medicine use responsibly. There are side affects to all medications, so be aware and responsible. As far as the police I am sure a device can be used same as or similar to the breathalizer or urine test to determine misuse of weed, or levels of THC in blood system, just as they test for levels of alcohol. Medical should be legal in all states. alcohol and tobacco do more harm.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 4:49 AM, allprocont wrote:

    If the wrongfully convicted prisoners were released and replaced by the criminals who wrongfully convicted them by creating laws to fabricate crimes and criminals in order to geterate revenue, then there would be fewer "losers" wouldn't there? Then the creators of this whole debaucle and despicable travesty would still get use of their precious prison system, and the prison corporations could still stay up and running.... basically a revamping and restructuring, or R and R of the current system!!! Oh what justice that would be!

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 6:57 AM, Widowmaker6 wrote:

    grow you own

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 7:50 AM, rayzor60 wrote:

    There will always be people that disagree. But guess what the younger generation are voting for legalization of weed and it will be legalized in all fifty states someday. Its too bad that most of the people who disagree with legalization do not know the health facts. Legalize it and stop supplementing the drug gangs money. It seems that people who dont want legalization dont realize that they are supporting the drug gangs profits with the current system.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 9:44 AM, thai42o wrote:

    Ok lets get some things straight. Firstly there is more ways then smoking to get the THC into your body. You can use a humidor you can get pills or you can eat it. So you can get around the whole lung cancer/emphysema thing. Secondly the biggest reason weed is a gateway drug is due to the shady people you have to deal with to get it. The drug dealers realize they can make more money and have addicted customers by selling harder stuff. So that's what they try to push. Hell sometimes they even give you some because they know when you try it you'll be hooked. Thirdly I'd rather have the road full of people that or high instead of 1 person that's drunk. Usually when people drive high they drive slower and more cautiously. And finally most people loose that giggly stupidity they get from smoking after they get used to it. After somebody uses awhile there's really no way to tell when their high.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 10:15 AM, mofromtn wrote:

    For the guy that said the person that could figure out how to detect if someone has used pot with in an hour of use. I no exactly how to accomplish this task. Wave a fresh hot steaming whopper in front of their face. When you see the eye's light up and the droplets of saliva form in the corner of their mouth Boom busted .

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 11:12 AM, ajpatrick wrote:

    They forgot the most obvious winner...pot smokers

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 12:35 PM, csims2007 wrote:

    I'm surprised there is no mention of the other micro-cap stocks in the area $mjna $phot etc... I would be interested to hear what peoples opinions are of these 'first to the market' companies.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 1:15 PM, mrsB123 wrote:

    Why don’t we ever read anything about the real losers of this battle... our YOUTH!! Of which a large majority clearly don’t have the maturity, understanding, developed brain, restraint, common sense, or otherwise, to use it responsibly. It is already far too easy to obtain and far too easy to become addicted to at the young age of 15 or 16.... I’m living it now. They are believing that it is perfectly safe and just no big deal by the constant articles about legalizing at every turn of the internet. Rarely, if ever, addressed is the collateral damage... of which is them. Legalizing just makes it ever more more available and accessible then it already is. At least give us parents something to work with by addressing that concern in the battle between the sides.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 1:40 PM, vegasvox wrote:

    We need to take our heads out of our asses and legalize Marijuana. It's a proven fact that legalizing would be much better for the economy, helping cut the us deficit, etc... Hey, if these Morons are keeping alcohol legal then Pot should be a no brainer!

    I could care less if the distilleries and breweries are crying about it! I don't drink! Why put something in my body that is eventually going to fail my liver, tastes horrible, etc.. They've made their money now it's time to do the right thing!

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 2:25 PM, Scerinjen3 wrote:

    This article left off one of the "losers" on the list: The American public. We do not need to promote through legalization this addictive, mind numbing substance that signifigantly contributes to health problems, traffic safety problems, metal development problems with adolescents, and many many other dangers. And don't give me that BS about 'alcohol is legal so let's do this.' Do you understand the flaw in that logic? If you don't you're probably stoned.

  • Report this Comment On November 21, 2013, at 5:58 PM, Lucy2007 wrote:

    Can you please let me know some of the references you used for this. I'm working on a different project right now and I need some references to show that the number of growers has increased, but I can't actually find any data for it.

  • Report this Comment On November 22, 2013, at 7:07 PM, Duncan20903 wrote:

    **INHALING COMBUSTION GASSES AND HOT PARTICULATE MATTER IS NOT HEALTHY**

    A person who hasn't a grasp of the basic fundamentals of an issue should avoid commenting on those issues or he risks the capitalization of his F.

    The truth of the statement quoted above is obviated by the fact that smoking simply is not required in order to gain the benefits of cannabis, whether for medicinal need or just plain enjoyment. Any potential health hazards due to smoking are not the hazards of cannabis, but of smoking. I always recommend that people seriously consider not smoking it. I quit in 2006 and have never looked back. There are just too many other delivery methods which don't require the person enjoying cannabis or utilizing it for medicinal need to inhale carbon monoxide.

    The vaporizer is proven safe, less expensive, and preferred by the study's subjects by a margin of 7:1 in peer reviewed research published in 2007. No carbon monoxide or other nasty byproducts of smoking are produced when the vaporizer is set at the optimal temperature.

    In addition to the vaporizer there is oromucosal delivery via tincture or gel strip, infused edibles/liquids, topical salves, eye drops or suppositories. Any legitimate medicinal cannabis vendor actively lobbies patients to avoid smoking.

    You can feel free to keep the act of smoking illegal as far as I'm concerned. But the fact that there may be deleterious health consequences from smoking simply isn't a valid basis for the formation of public policy WRT cannabis.

    http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/index.php?option=com_content&vi...

  • Report this Comment On December 01, 2013, at 3:12 AM, chris293 wrote:

    When I was a kid, marijuana was called many things, the first name was 'loco weed', since users did some stupid crazy things. Or weed was just called 'dope' because users became as bright as a 5 watt light bulb and for those glossy eyes, you would wear dark sunglasses indoors. Kind of funny really.

    Is it smart to encourage people to be under-educated, unemployable, and living off the government because of some taxes could be gained from the sales of marijuana? Once someone is stupid enough, why wouldn't he or she be easily lead to use hardier drugs?

    All this fuss for some 'taxes' that will not pay for the damages done to people and their lives.

  • Report this Comment On January 03, 2014, at 9:12 PM, trnhlxfgh wrote:

    I didn't see many symbols listed. What about HEMP, CBIS, CANN, REFG, CBDS?

  • Report this Comment On January 30, 2014, at 8:31 PM, thidmark wrote:

    "In addition to the vaporizer there is oromucosal delivery via tincture or gel strip, infused edibles/liquids, topical salves, eye drops or suppositories."

    God help somebody who needs to stick something up their a$$ to get high.

  • Report this Comment On May 19, 2014, at 12:04 PM, Cjmacintosh wrote:

    It is always funny to me when an article that posts something negative about Marijuana--even ones from research from top Universities--that you STILL will have people dismiss it.

    They will think of EVERYTHING---and make up something that they think in their mind dismisses facts. It is truly unbelievable. We on the left think that only the right dismisses facts and scientific evidence. And the right does the same to the left.

    I have always been someone who respects science, I can identify solid, accurate studies and research. A study is solid through and through and has been backed by multiple centers with a large number of patients and reviewed by peers before publication. You cannot dismiss that as bogus.

    If you are not worried, then why the take down? Just move on, carry on with what you are doing and don't dismiss scientific fact--that is just a sign of ignorance and denial, neither of which is a sign of an open minded individual.

    The Internet's being manipulated by ones who are going to profit Billions of dollars from legalization marijuana !

    If it has medical properties like everybody says , why do we have marijuana dispensaries it needs to in the hands of doctors , pharmacies , hospitals only , because I do believe it does help small children with seizures from the videos and from what I read from parents with children that are having seizures .

    When penicillin was put on the market a thousand dispensary did not open up to market it . So we do not some corn rolled hair hippie selling it in some hole in the wall shop,( called dispensaries) ! They really care about kids as they say all you want is to make a profit for the ones you are working for , your not doing this for nobody but your self STOP LYING !

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2734145, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/23/2014 2:01:12 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement