Due to marijuana being legalized slowly, and start-up developers funneling their creativity into cannabis products, America is on the verge of experiencing a weed-infused renaissance. Earlier this summer, after legalizing the recreational use of marijuana, the state of Nevada declared an emergency when their weed growers ran out of product to meet the rising demands of the public. Now, a marijuana company in California has purchased a ghost town with the intention of turning it into Weed Town, U.S.A.
As Business Insider reports, the town of Nipton was once the center of what locals call the “green rush” (as in, the weed version of the early American “gold rush” in California). Nipton boasted only 6 inhabitants in 2016, and the entirety of its property was put on the market last year for $5.2 million.
American Green, a publicly owned compnay specializing in cannabinoids, purchased Nipton four months after it was auctioned off. As AM representative Stephen Shearin told BI, he’s not looking to turn the town into a blissed out, red-eyed hippie haven. Rather than a year-round weed festival, American Green’s Nipton will supposedly function as a robust community of like minds, staying productive and building a local economy while partaking in different cannabis products regularly.
Of course, during any discussion of weed revitalizing American society, or city economies turning to the production of cannabis goods, it’s worth noting that 8.2 million Americans were arrested for marijuana related charges between 2001 and 2010, and black people were almost 4 times as likely to be charged with weed-related crimes than Americans of any other ethnicity, despite usage rates being about the same across all people.
When New Jersey Senator Cory Booker proposed a bill to legalize marijuana at the federal level this week, he ensured that the proposed legislation would help free prisoners serving time for non-violent crimes related to marijuana.
American Green may have hope in a new frontier for cannabis in our nation, but we’ve got some serious overhaul to do first, in both our justice system and our prisons.