4. Marijuana is legal, yet prohibition-era problems persist
One of the problems facing California’s new cannabis economy is that everything that was wrong and broken and unfair in December is still thus. Cannabis outfits still can’t use banks like normal businesses, forcing customers to use cash or their debit cards only. Cannabis businesses still can’t claim expenses on their taxes. Employers can still fire marijuana users and deny them jobs solely for using cannabis under state and federal drug-free workplace laws. Stigma around cannabis use remains as strong as ever. Out in Sebastopol, California on Monday—a “more progressive than thou” stronghold in an already more-liberal-than-most state—several buyers in line at SPARC declined to give names or give consent to photographers who wanted to snag a shot.
All this is very much the beginning stages of a new era, the nature of which is very much up to question, but it’s clear that the strictures of prohibition are still with us, and will take a while yet to escape.