For The Pot Economy, Business As Usual


Sasha Abramsky checks in on California's marijuana trade:

Following the demise of Prop 19, it's likely that the pot economy in California will settle back into the odd but familiar equilibrium of the gray market. Despite Richard Lee's optimism that a Prop 19–like initiative will pass in 2012and despite a poll released immediately after the election that found that 31 percent of those who had voted no on Prop 19 favored some form of legalization or reduced penalties but didn't like specific language in the measurethe defeat suggests that, absent a change of heart at the federal level, full legalization may not be on the immediate horizon. Yet that doesn't mean the drug is being pushed back into the closet. In the wake of Prop 19, growers will return not to the darkness of the underground but to the dim lights of the shadowsstill vulnerable, in theory at least, to federal raids but increasingly tolerated and even wooed by local and state politicians. The market is in place, and no one in California is talking seriously about tearing it down.

(Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty)