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69 Hastings L.J. 961 (2017-2018)
Legalizing Marijuana: A View from among the Weeds

handle is hein.journals/hastlj69 and id is 962 raw text is: 

                      Legalizing Marijuana:

              A  View from Among the Weeds

                  MICHAEL   VITIELLO*  &  ROSEMARY DECK**

The  United States is on a fast-track to a new era in marijuana law. The prospect of a
federal pathway  to legalization opens a Pandora's Box  of issues for states like
California. This Article focuses on Humboldt  County  in the Emerald  Triangle,
California's prime marijuana growing area, and examines how  the region might be
impacted  by  state legalization. After a brief look into the development of the
marijuana  market in Humboldt  County, this Article identifies some of the costs that
have come with leaving the county outside the legalfold, including afailure to address
poor working conditions for seasonal trimmers and an epidemic ofsexual harassment
that has only recently come to light. The Article then explores some of the obstacles to
bringing the county into the legal economy. Depending on how  policymakers and
marijuana  producers respond to these issues, Humboldt County may become a boom-
or-bust economy. TheArticle then examines some ofthe benefits ofbringing producers
into the legal economy, including improved  working conditions for the scores of
individuals employed in the industry. Failing to bring the county into compliance with
county  and  state cannabis regulations also threatens the goals  of marijuana
reformers. The Article concludes with thoughts about how Humboldt County might
fare in the new world of legal pot. Just as in the wine industry, the region's best hope
may  lie in the move towards marijuana appellations, which will require entry into the
legal market.

     * Distinguished Professor of Law, the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law;
Universityof Pennsylvania, J.D., 1974; Swarthmore College, B.A., 1969. I want to extend special thanks
to my co-Author, Rosemary Deck, for her extraordinary work and special insight into the workings of
Humboldt County. I am also appreciative of my research assistant Kendall Fisher for her excellent
assistance on this Article.
    ** University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, J.D., 2017. 1 want to extend special thanks
to my co-Author Professor Michael Vitiello for his support and mentorship, and to Kendall Fisher for
her excellent editing. Finally, I want to thank the people in Humboldt County that make it my home.


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