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'Weed The People' Author Examines Growing Support For Legal Marijuana

'Weed The People' Author Examines Growing Support For Legal Marijuana
'Weed The People' Author Examines Growing Support For Legal Marijuana GUEST:Bruce Marcott, author, "Weed the People"

Another attempt to legalize recreational marijuana may go before California voters next year as supporters gather signatures for two ballot measures.

The California Craft Cannabis Act was filed last week and it may be one of the first initiatives to make it on to the November 2016 ballot. It would set up a framework to regulate the industry by proposing a state commission and taxes on marijuana sales. Another measure would override local restrictions on marijuana use.

Colorado, Washington state, Washington, D.C., Alaska and Oregon have passed legislation legalizing pot for recreational use, while California cities have struggled for years with how to implement their medical use policy.


But support for legalization appears to be building in the state. According to a Pubic Policy Institute of California study, 53 percent of residents in the state said marijuana should be legal.

Journalist Bruce Barcott, author of “Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America,” said the Internet has changed the way people look at marijuana.

“The Internet gives us information that often runs counter to the government line,” Barcott told KPBS Midday Edition on Monday.

Barcott, who lives in Washington, said that state has not changed dramatically since it legalized marijuana in 2012.

“The pillars of civilization have really not fallen,” Barcott said. “We don’t see people stoned and stumbling down the street. The main change is we no longer arrest about 12,000 people each year — destroy their lives and throw them in jail.”


Barcott predicts that California will join other West Coast states in legalizing marijuana in 2016.