As people still go to jail for cannabis-related crimes, it’s a privilege to be able to carry a half-ounce bag of herb and not be doing anything illegal. But does this new freedom come with consequences? Most of California’s Proposition 215 supporters seem to believe so, particularly when it comes to high taxes inflating retail prices.
It’s pushing people back to the illicit market—the underground commerce our government said would dissipate upon legalization—to procure their meds. Although it seems agreeable for potheads on a budget, illicit cannabis is a splitting headache for the state.
Jake Heraty, a student at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, had a liver transplant at only six-months-old and survived hepatoblastoma, a rare cancerous tumor that develops in the liver. Heraty uses cannabis to alleviate chronic pain resulting from his surgery. It’s extremely difficult for college students (or anyone not making $150,000 a year) to survive in San Francisco, and Heraty can barely afford the medicinal marijuana he needs.
“I don’t like purchasing from the streets,” Heraty tells High Times. “I’d prefer to go to a store and pick out just what I want. You know? But when you have to pay an extra