The Breakdown - California legalizes recreational marijuana

Should we care that California legalized pot? A California entrepreneur thinks so. He believes pot is not the drug you should be scared of. Here’s the breakdown.

California was first to legalize marijuana medically, but Colorado and Washington were first to legalize recreational use. When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, California joined them. As of 2018, Californians can now eat, lick, or smoke cannabis for whatever reason they please.

“It’s going to change from dispensing medication, and it’s like, 'oh I hope you feel better', to 'enjoy the high,'” said medical marijuana seller Sam Shtockmaster.

But, it’s not a free for all. You have to be 21 to get high and you can’t just hand someone a bunch of pot.

“Everything is going to have to be pre-weighed and sealed,” said Shtockmaster.

That new regulation is proving a fine business opportunity for Mat Fogarty, who has designed vacuum sealed cans for marijuana. He said more legalization will mean more opportunities and innovation.

“Cannabis is creating lots of jobs. There’s always been a lot of people working in cannabis, but now you can work legally,” said Fogarty. “Even simple things like telling your mom what you do, and stuff like that, or working with other suppliers. I’ve had challenges working with suppliers over in China who are really uncomfortable. ‘It’s a drug, it’s a drug.’”

While supporters feel legal, regulated pot is a great move, because the government now knows who is producing it and selling it, others are nervous. Some worry it will cause an increase in traffic fatalities or an increase in marijuana use.

Mat disagrees. He thinks the fear is misdirected. Not only because he’s a firm believer in the medical benefits that marijuana brings, but also because he thinks there are bigger fish to fry when it comes to dangerous substances.

“55,000 people are dying every year from opioid overdoses,” said Fogarty.

 The total number of recorded marijuana deaths is zero.

“Things that we’ve totally accepted, alcohol, tobacco, and things like that kill thousands of people. So cannabis is something that people now are understanding that it’s not this terrible thing,” said Fogarty.

From his perspective, the movement to legalize is only beginning.

“Relaxing the cannabis laws within the U.S. allows other countries to relax as well,” said Fogarty.