Marijuana-stocks-california repbublic

Back in January, when California decided to legalize marijuana for recreational use, it made the conversation get even larger on how this should be dealt with from a federal level. Although the legalization of recreational pot in other states in the U.S. is a big deal, California has the largest GDP of any state in the country and is an incredibly influential player in the economy of the U.S. as a whole. The economy in California is currently 6th in the world, right ahead of France and India in terms of GDP, thus the importance of recreational weed is slightly realized. The industry has been doing remarkably well, but what does this mean for the rest of the world of cannabis?

California is one of the largest game changers in the industry, but it is not all about the economic factor, much of it is inherently political. The cultural reach and influence that the state has is unrivaled by any other in the U.S., and much of the policy that is put in place in California sets an example for the rest of the country, if not the world.

Joseph Nye, a political scientist claims that California has something known as “soft-power.” This is a thing that shows that California has the ability to persuade the nationwide discussion on many issues without having to force or coerce them. California is home to Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and a global culture that has been realized for quite some time. Nye stated that “California has been molding the perception of marijuana for decades. The infamous “Reefer Madness” campaign was spawned in the Golden State in the late 1930’s and was largely responsible for cannabis prohibition in the U.S.” So If California is one of the main reasons that cannabis was outlawed in the first place, could this new recreational move help to change the national discussion on cannabis?

In short, it is clear that California has quite a large influence on the rest of the world just based on what they choose to do, rather than having to force an influence upon others. The notion around marijuana has been shaped in the state, with media covering the surfer, stoner vibes of California for quite some time. With the recreational industry changing the way that the state functions, financially it will help to bring California into an even higher bracket. The money will also be used for certain things such a schooling, justice and more, which will set an even higher precedent for the rest of the country.

If the state is able to positively use the plant for research and culture, it will be likely that marijuana will continue to make its way into the media, which is coincidentally also controlled by California. One of the many issues that stand in the way is the public misconception of weed. Around the country, people think that those who use cannabis are lazy, slacking individuals, but the reality is that more individuals use cannabis than anyone thinks. It has become the norm to use cannabis for recreational purposes, but also for medical use. Cannabis has been proven to be an effective treatment for many diseases such as cancer, seizures, and multiple sclerosis, so why can’t we attempt to normalize its use?

A recent study has shown that consumers of marijuana in Los Angeles are more likely to be white collar workers with full time jobs who regularly exercise. This is in opposition to a larger public view of marijuana users being lazy and jobless such as what the media such as, Cheech and Chong have portrayed those who use it. As the plant makes its way through the media, it will likely be able to change the conception around pot, helping to cement its place in the future of cultural influence.

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