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Legalizing Marijuana Raises Concerns for Pot Growers

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By Kamika Dunlap on March 25, 2010 3:15 PM

Pot growers around California are concerned about the economic backlash that comes along with legalizing marijuana.

An initiative to legalize pot is headed for the November ballot. According to the New York Times, legalizing pot has sparked fear for growers especially in Humboldt County. The area is known as the "Emerald Triangle" for its supply of marijuana crop.

It is a simple case of supply and demand.

If there are more people growing and selling marijuana, then the price of the product would decline with the diminishing demand.

According to a 2006 report, the State Board of Equalization estimated that California generates $13.6 billion from marijuana production.

As previously discussed, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010 would allow cities and counties to adopt their own laws to allow marijuana to be grown and sold, and the localities could impose taxes on any aspect of marijuana production and sales. It also would be legal for adults over 21 years old to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow it in a 25-square-foot area for personal use. 

The local economy of Humboldt County would likely take a huge hit if the proposed initiative gets on the November ballot and voters go for it.

California would become the first state to legalize marijuana.

If passed, the initiative would put the state in conflict with federal law.

As previously discussed Obama administration last year announced it would not prosecute medical marijuana dispensaries that adhere to California's laws, but is opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Local businesses and community leaders in Humboldt County plan to meet to discuss what the impact would be on the area in a post pot economy.

The legalization of marijuana remains a hot button topic in local and statewide government.