Marijuana: The (Legit) 21st Century Cash Crop?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Activists seem to be gaining ground in their fight to normalize pot use in the U.S.: Fourteen states have legalized medical marijuana to some extent, and fourteen others have marijuana-related proposals in the works. 

According to a new study out by the Pew Research Center, Americans now broadly support the legalization of medical marijuana. 73 percent of people say pot’s fine if a doctor prescribes it. And there’s been an increase in those who want to legalize marijuana altogether. 41 percent support decriminalizing marijuana for recreational use, as well. That's up from 35 percent in 2008, and only 16 percent in 1990.

But even in places where most people are fine with the use and sale of medical marijuana, public concerns pop up.  

We’re broadcasting out of member station KUVO in Denver, Colorado, this week. Denver has seen a lot of debate over how the medical marijuana industry should operate. The city has at least 250 medical marijuana dispensaries in business and more waiting for a license. While most people are fine with the concept, Patricia Calhoun, editor of the Denver-based alternative weekly Westword, says that people's opinion changes when a dispensary opens up next door to their house.

Local business owner Erik Santus is trying to help change negative public perception of medical marijuana. He's the co-owner of Lotus Medical, a medical marijuana dispensary and wellness center.

As an entrepreneur investor, walking in I saw that there was a vertical business model that could be applied, and I think it's something that could be good for the community, good for local government, state government, and tax revenues.

—Erik Santus


Patricia Calhoun and Erik Santus

Produced by:

Jen Poyant

Comments [8]

Punish from High Up In She Sky!

Punish the Greed Not The Seed!

Apr. 20 2010 09:54 PM
Antonio from Pennsylvania

Making Marijuana Legal Would Help Everyone Whether They Know It Or Not.

Hemp is the next best thing after Sliced bread.

Apr. 13 2010 12:15 PM

As a recreational habit it is less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, and non-addictive. It is hypocritical for cannabis to be illegal. Too many people are incarcerated for its use and sale. Other countries that have decriminalized it have not seen an increase in crime stemming from its use. When inhaled through a vaporizer all noxious fumes are eliminated. Hemp has a multiplicity of commercial uses, including production of ethanol. It is time to come to our senses. The prohibition of cannabis is as non-sensical as the prohibition of alcohol was 80 years ago.

Apr. 11 2010 08:07 AM
Jean Mortensen from Berkeley

Historic statewide initiative in California to legalize, tax, and regulate cannabis. Help build national support for the movement. Sign up on the website, join the campaign!

Apr. 07 2010 02:42 PM
Jason from Michigan

There is no reasoned, legitimate argument that can be made as to why marijuana is illegal and alcohol is not only legal, but widely promoted and advertised. Legalize it and tax it. Eliminate the black market and problems that are associated with it.

Apr. 07 2010 09:14 AM

To dave - My personal experience with tobacco leads me to believe that anyone under the influence is temporarily incompetent. Given your concerns about smoking pot, how can we permit any of our public servants to take a tobacco cigarette break?

Apr. 07 2010 07:22 AM

does anyone out there think that a volunteer fire chief, with a medical release, should be actively fighting fires& going on medical calls?

Apr. 06 2010 03:11 PM

Legalize! Decriminalize!
Make paper, fabric, rope, the stalks can be burned and turned into charcoal (will save 3rd world countries from cutting down their trees - think Haiti).

The seeds - high in protein (like peanut butter). Higher than flaxseed in omega 3's!

What a plant! Its been with humans since prehistory. The Americans made it illegal all over the world. Make it legal and help the planet!

Apr. 06 2010 07:41 AM

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