By Steve Elliott
What's so scary about a free market? Almost two decades after California voters approved the medicinal use of marijuana, the state's cannabis trade is being described as a "Wild West," even as it has reached the status of a $2 billion industry.
Legislators, of course, are doing what lawmakers do. They want to bring "law and order" to the business, reports Anita Chabria at The Guardian.
There are currently three bills in the Legislature which would codify how medicinal cannabis is grown and sold in the Golden State, including whether the state or local municipalities have control, and what environmental and health issues should be addressed.
"There are no rules or regulations in California," claimed state Senator Mike McGuire. "For two decades now, the Golden State has allowed the cannabis industry to grow unchecked."
McGuire is sponsoring the Medical Marijuana Public Safety and Environmental Protection Act (SB 643), which focuses on the impact of growing on the environment. He said illegal grows are deforesting government lands, polluting waterways and "affecting the health of those who use medical marijuana," whatever that means, since most medical marijuana is grown legally in the state, not in national forests.