What is it that we vote for when we vote to legalize cannabis?
For most, it's the notion that people of legal age can easily purchase affordable, safe-to-consume cannabis products. At least that was the idea that the majority of California voters thought they were voting for in 2016 with Proposition 64. What they ended up voting for turned out to be different.
In December 2019, Weedmaps started interviewing 20 people from all areas of the cannabis industry — political activists and attorneys, veterans and medical patients, small business owners and city workers — in an effort to understand how California's forward-thinking, compassionate, and adventurous cannabis culture turned into a restrictive, profit-driven, and inequitable system and industry.
Uprooted: California's complicated road to cannabis legalization is Weedmaps' 3-part docu-series that shines a light on how California lost its way and what needs to be done to get it back.
Full of interviews with John Entwistle, Jr., Alphonso “Tucky” Blunt Jr., Kika Keith, Joe Airone and others, each episode dissects the different parts of California's legal market.
- Episode 1 - California's Complicated details how Proposition 215 in 1996 opened the door to medical cannabis use and a makeshift industry, all the way to how Proposition 64 in 2016 reversed much of the progress that was gained through the 90s and early 2000s.
- Episode 2 - Patients Left Behind is about the medical patients who came to find relief with cannabis under Prop 215 and how they suddenly found themselves unable to acquire, and sometimes even afford, the cannabis medicine they relied on under Prop 64.
- Episode 3 - Inadequate & Inequitable sheds light on how over-regulation, high taxes, and constant rule changes have continued to disenfranchise operators, particularly Black and brown people, trying to enter the legal cannabis industry, extending prohibition and continuing the history of systemic racism tied to it.
Watch all three episodes at Uprooted.
Featured image by Gina Coleman/Weedmaps