Is it just a matter of time before the onetime taboo of recreational marijuana use becomes socially acceptable--and widely legal? Policymakers are grappling with a shifting landscape as they weigh downsides, like youth susceptibility and highway dangers, against hefty financial gains for cash-strapped state governments. These realities are illustrated in Colorado and Washington, the first to unfetter personal consumption. Colorado alone projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail pot sales, for a $67 million boost to tax coffers. Legitimizing underground markets also holds vast business and investment opportunities. Medicinal use, now legal in 20 states, already has spurred huge wink-and-nod industries. With medicinal sales projected to reach an estimated $6 billion in 2016, our panel will look at the emerging complexities: changing attitudes toward criminalization, conflicts between state and federal laws, dangers of abuse and the profit potential of a mainstream cannabis industry.
Click on the video below to watch the program.