Death, Violence and Exploitation: The Dark Side of Marijuana in California –

Proposition 64, the law that legalized recreational marijuana in California in 2016, was supposed to end the drug’s illegal circulation, as well as the violence and environmental damage associated with it. Alas, according to a detailed investigation by the Los Angeles Times, the opposite happened. The growth of illicit cannabis cultivation has reached an unprecedented scale, which also threatens the water resources of the drought-stricken state. And it has to do with the exploitation of poor farm workers, violence, and even a dozen deaths in greenhouses that the West Coast daily has documented.

Why is it paradoxical. The legalization of cannabis should logically lead to the end of human trafficking, which no longer has a reason to exist. But the ability to produce cheaper cannabis in giant greenhouses in remote and uncontrolled areas has created competition that is pushing legal farms out of business. Criminals also benefit from a system of sanctions that are facilitated by legalization. California, which relied on market forces to regulate marijuana production, found that far from enough.


Read the Los Angeles Times

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