PBS: Marijuana Documentary 'The Pot Republic' Airs Tonight

Update: Watch the entire program here.
The Pot Republic
FRONTLINE’s primetime monthly newsmagazine returns with three new stories, leading with a timely report from the frontlines of marijuana legalization in California. The bulk of the marijuana consumed in the United States used to come across the border from Mexico, Canada and elsewhere. Now, more than half of it is believed to be home grown in California, where an enormous black market has emerged under the cover of the state’s medical marijuana law.
With more than a third of all states now experimenting with some form of legalization and decriminalization — and several California counties attempting to openly regulate pot production — FRONTLINE and the Center for Investigative Reporting team up to investigate the country’s oldest, largest and most wide-open marijuana market.
Is the federal government now moving to shut it down?
Read more here.

51 thoughts

  1. Now, more than half of it is believed to be home grown in California, where an enormous black market has emerged under the cover of the state’s medical marijuana law.
    I don’t like their wording. Sounds like more prohibitionists.

  2. Do you think Michelle Leonhart at the DEA had a tactic plan in place in case California really did legalize pot, lol. I bet she was watching the polls like a hawk.

  3. I will definitely be watching tonight.
    These new city ordinances that are popping up all over the states counties limiting and restricting the the areas where medical marijuana can be sold is an out and out farce.
    Californians voted prop 215 into law not to have local governments enact bogus rules to eliminate medical clubs.
    Power to the people…

  4. I will watch it. I found it under channel 5 WUFT—Hope this helps some who have the same channel as me. Peace.

  5. Not at all. The FED is moving to ‘TRY’ and shut it down. In the end their efforts will fail. They will look like fools, possibly lose all credibility. They are already defying all logic and the whole world knows it. Here’s the truth about marijuana- It grows on trees man. The Fed will fail. Nature is more powerful and it has proven this time and time again throughout world history. The Fed is a joke that is wearing old. It cannot last. Have hope brothers and sisters.

  6. If it was completely legal in Mexico and the United States there would be no “smuggling” ugh.

  7. It’s not playing on PBS everywhere this evening. In Philadelphia it is, but in central Pennsylvania it’s not playing until Friday, July 29 @ 10 p.m. I clicked on the Read more here link at the end of the article, then clicked on SCHEDULE (not TV SCHEDULES).

  8. “Now, more than half of it is believed to be home grown in California, where an enormous black market has emerged under the cover of the state’s medical marijuana law.”
    This gives the impression that the medical use law caused the “emergence” of CA’s black market. CA’s black market has been growing strongly since the 70s. I oughta know, I had been part of it since ’78. Only Reagan’s helicopter assault through the 80’s slowed the growth temporarily, just as it also drove up prices and began the move to indoor growing. The cost and abuses of that assault led to it diminishing in the 90s. Passage of 215 did relatively little at first, it took till the early 00’s for that to really kick in as a factor.
    “Is the federal government now moving to shut it down?”
    Let’em try. It can’t be shut down. There’s too many people wholly involved. They can try and quash storefront dispensaries but that’s it. The black market is FAR bigger and law enforcement of pot laws is too inefficient to ever do anything more than keep prices high. They can just keep on harassing the black market as they always have, but shut it down? Impossible

  9. I learned about this documentary late last week. I am so looking forward to it as I have a sneaky suspicion it is going to be the highlight (no pun intended) of my week.

  10. Thanks for the heads up. It was interesting, but it just pissed me off by the end.
    Here’s what I took away from it. There is a large, peaceful, profitable marijuana industry in some states, but the Federal Government has decided to destroy it because “It’s illegal”.
    Thanks, Obama! I hope you lose in a land-slide, you rat!

  11. Isn’t it a little tough to justify having so many people in jail for having small amounts of pot in their possession when legalization is just around the corner. In my opinion when it’s made into a legal medicine it should also be made legal for everyone. Otherwise the danger and harm factors remain the same.

  12. Actually it didn’t air until 10pm ET. Regardless, I thought it was a good special. I wish it would have been an hour and I wish it would have shown more actual patients who have benefited from marijuana. Still, it was a largely unbiased presentation, which was good.

  13. I really wish the DEA & the DOJ would arrest some State officers (namely the ones in Humboldt County, California) so a successful appeal and potential lawsuit could apply under the Controlled Substances Act immunity clause — Title 21, Section 885, D. ( link: http://1.usa.gov/qzlZOR ) — sucking every possible penny out of these antagonistic Federal prosecutors!

  14. Seems really silly to have so many small time pot smokers in jail now doesn’t it. Wake up already America!

  15. it would not suprise me at all if the federal government interfiers.. time and time again the oppression of one helps another. Weve gotten to a point in our country where the top 10% own 90% of the money. Pretty sad day when a small group of people make more money than the rest of us combined but yet we are the ones they look at to keep the economy running.. They arent looking at us they are looking at the top few because they have the cash to disperse but yet the rich hoard the money behind lock and key So why go after people growing marijuana? They dont want the word to get around that this stuff(marijuana)really does work with way less medical symptoms than pharma pills.Big money means elections or re-elections who would you turn to to get funding for a national presidential race? the mass population that is basically living check to check or the rich guy that got that way but jumping through loopholes in the government. and it will stay that way as long as money is funding for an election and now they were talking about allowing sponsership? Are you kidding me? comes down to who likes doritos or what kinda beer you like to drink? Wow keep goin government soon enough we’ll be invaded by China and the ones who got us in this mess will jump in their personal jet and hit their private island before we even know it. way to confuse and manipulate the people. As far as going after people for gorilla growing the officers need to deal with their time better. If they dont have to do much and roughly only going after the growers, one has to ask if they really even would have a job if marijuana was regulated. I guess its easier to go around in a helicopter and look for some huge plants with floppy nugs then to do their jobs and protect the people from violent offenders. There isnt enough murders or traffic violations to keep the officers employed here in Ohio and i wonder if marijuana is there way to keep the doors open.

  16. How do you – personally – feel about those who shoot “sitting ducks” in a pond [i.e. medical dispensaries]. Well! – when you can get funding for duck beaks – you take plenty of amo. The DEA is the “epitome of sneak attack – and – a master at ambush.” And they want respect. Sorry – not in this lifetime. I wonder how a DEA agent feels – knowing that 75% [conservatively] of the country thinks they are boot-jack robot killers with no conscience?

  17. That is exactly what it is. If marijuana were legalized all police depts budgets would be cut in half and god forbid if that should happen. Your run of the mill cop knows it is a waste of time and resources but hey it puts food on the table for them and their families. And also it gives them a superiority complex over the general citizenry. Legalize it and cut the police depts budgets in half, Legalize it and use the products that can be manufactured from it right here in the good ole USA. Legalize and get get stones if you so wish. But for heaven sake get rid of this all consuming and wasteful war on marijuana and quit arresting otherwise normal citizens for a natural choice they have made. Give more liberty and freedom and give less government intervention. Everyone together we need smaller government!!!!!!

  18. Ned (14) is right. The feds can TRY to crack down and wipe it out, but their most vexing problem was, is, and allways shall be the FACT that the will of the PEOPLE is the unrestricted production and distribution of the most usefull and valuable natural plant on Earth. Continuous regurgitation of the same old lies and mounting expense of attempted interdiction, especially in the light of truth offered by other nations around the world, must ultimately fail miserably. Dont fear desperate losers. Sooner or later they will understand the futility of their stupid and wasteful attitudes, either by force of election process or by force of arms. Let it be so. Give them enough rope and they must certainly hang themselves.

  19. i’m so glad! keep up the good work cali. it’s about time we start demanding whats right for the people, since gov. doesn’t give a damn about us,,i’m tired of hearing about people on anti-depression, and people ruining their lives on alcohol, cannabis will be a great alternative, and guest what? A SAFE ONE AT BEST!

  20. The DEA is a waste of time and money. I’m sure in their minds they think they are doing the right thing. However, they are wrong. Freedom means being able to choose what you want to do with your own privacy. I am not suggesting driving while high or going to work stoned. At home after work is none of the governments business. Stop the worthless senseless War on Drugs.

  21. Wow honestly the DEA and ATF have their hands full.. Right out under their nose gorilla growers posting youtube vids on ways how to grow, trim, prune, feed bug problems, harvest and so much more.. I wonder how they are going to prohibit that shit.. Out grow those corporate pricks and bring the United States BACK to the people.

  22. 25. Pappy
    You’re absolutely right – but – if they harm one strand of hair – on one of our brother’s or sister’s head – that’s one too many.

  23. xenophobia is alive and thriving in america. did you notice how much time they focused on mexicans exploiting the system working for cartels and having shoots outs with mendocino county sheriffs. 1930’s propaganda all over again. the white growers were working with the sheriffs but anytime they showed potential growers who were supposedly involved in illegal use or production it was brown faces. gotta love government funded prgramming.

  24. Mike that was a trimmer not a deseeder. While being fast, it can’t possibly produce the quality of expert hand trimming. Maybe they finish it by hand.
    Ahimsa it does appear as you say but it is generally the reality in Nor Cal that whites are the land owning smaller growers and browns are the guerilla public land big growers. Two fairly distinct groups but there are variances and exceptions to that of course. Growing in Humbolt and Mendo was pioneered by “back to the land” hippies in the early 70s. That group mainly consisted of middle and upper middle class white college grads, dropouts and Viet Nam vets. Super mega grows on public land began in the late 90s and it’s just a fact of demographics that the huge pool of brown ag workers in CA were drawn upon to work those grows.
    The show producers would have had to search pretty hard to find examples that didn’t reflect that reality.

  25. Let me make this crystal clear – and – if you don’t believe it to be true – I will pray for you. You decide were the truth lies.
    “There’s two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true – the other is to refuse to believe what is true.”

  26. ?I HOPE THE SMOKE IS THICK AND THE EYES ARE GLOSSY well me again, jim bo, just thought id tell you a story my wife just share with me. she is a nurse here in PA, she is currently working at an elderly home. this is no bullshit. about twice a week she comes home and tells me about how these foks are always begging her to bring them some weed. well she knows she can not help them so she has learned to just make a joke and go on with her duties. but last night she was approched by a younger (middle aged) man that asked her, hey lets say, i was to bring in some weed for my dieing mother, is there somewhere we can go smoke or do i gotta sign her out and go for a car ride? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!! its so sad that we have foks in homes in their 80’s and 90’s that want to smoke so bad they have their kids ask the nurse this question. well i dont think nurse’s should have to deal with these questions (LEGALIZE IT) she has tons of other things to worry about at work. let me just say if my mother is dieing in a elderly home all alone and just wonts to smoke. ill be sure to help her out and get her some weed. NOW lets say that was your mom. would you help her out and find her some weed for the pain. then smoke, chill, have a few last conversations or would you just slap another morphine patch on her arm or in her IV and watch her faid away like so many elderly foks are being forced to do right now… true story… come on PA get your shit together

  27. ?well, went to work again today, made myself, the state and the feds some real good money, came home, played with kids, helped the wife with making super, then me and the family went on a nice peaceful bike ride down the back road. then kids jump in tube and i was off to the back deck for alittle smoke and toke. just another night, just another bowl filled with some fine green… and i must say, that the only one that got hurt is the big glass of milk and the oreo’s that i just killed. thats right i just killed blacks and whites in one shoot, i drowned all the bitches in a huge glass of milk, THEN I EAT THEM.. PLEASE GOD FORGIVE ME OF MY SINS i am such an eveil person.. hahaha… KISS MY ASS All YOU HATERS.. i LIKE, NO, I LOVE WEED,, ill smoke weed when i want, where i want, thats how its gonna be

  28. hell yes it should be legal. ive live in PA my hole life. ive also smoke strong weed (nuggs) everyday for the past 14/15 years. i can honestly tell you all that weed is the ONLY drug i do.. i dont even drink.. so i dont understand why people say is a gateway drug.. thats all bull shit and im the living proof. a couple things i DONT do, i dont rob people, i dont car jack to get my weed. im not a con artist. i dont shoot/snort dope or hit the crack pipe. i do however have a great job. i do go to work every day. i do pay my bills and taxes. i also have 2 extremly smart and healthy kids and a loving wife. i own 7 acers of land here in PA.. and on my spare time i help out on the local dairy farms. i would say im doing ok for being only 30. (YET I FEEL LIKE A CRIMINAL) i wake up every morning and thank god for all i got and that im not in jail for smoking alittle weed after work instead of drinking couple beers and crashing my car. well im fed up with feds and cops they can all kiss my white azz. im smoking some fine weed right now and ill be smokin later tonight and tomorrow after work.. if u wont me, come and get me you assholes!!! come on PA get your shit together. 99.9% of stoners are peaceful, polite people (WE THE PEOPLE ARE NOT CRIMINALS) again PA please come to your senses

  29. make it legal already so cops can focus on the violent criminals.. do you people really think the 2 to 3 shootings every week in williamsport are over alittle green.. wake up people. i live close to williamsport. ive seen the KIDS out in the streets and on the corners clearly and fearlessly selling there crack rocks and meth for their parents. while the 44 cailper hand gun that there dad gave them is stuck in there belt, pulling their pants down to their knees .. weed is safer then drinking yet i can go to the local bar, get completely smashed because the bar tender is also drunk, and then be on my marry way home behide the wheel trying to stay between the two WHITE lines. weed can creat so many jobs. make the state so much money, and many many other benifits maybe someday ill feel safe again going into williamsport… please PA, lycoming county legalize the green

  30. grow PA, grow. i dont. but i need to buy it from somewhere and im tired of suporting the multi billion dallor drug cartels ,

  31. NORML
    I want to say this to you. I understand that your wish is to one day see cannabis legal to consume by law, or at least this is what you say. How does the push for making cannabis medicinally acceptable counteract the viability of the “black market”? Through keeping cannabis unavailable to those that accept it will only aid in the “black markets” purpose. Shouldn’t we be solely focused on outright legalization? Are you fearful of the perceived unknown or do you know something we don’t know? Just a thought Thx 4ur time.
    [Editor’s note: NORML does not concentrate on medical access to cannabis. One organization does–Americans for Safe Access. NORML has favored and publicly advocated for legalization since 1970.]

  32. I am wasting my life waiting for pot to be legal.Will I ever be able or allowed to grow my own marijuana for my personal use in an outdoor garden in the SUN before I die. Fucking planet go to hell !

  33. His name escapes me – but – the guy that invented the fiber trashing machine for hemp was approached by John D. Rockefeller to purchase the rights to it. The guy told him to fuck off. This infuriated “Big Daddy” – and – that’s most likely the reason there exists such hatred for cannabis.

  34. Would someone smarter than me help me understand a few things?
    I looked up the DEA’s annual budget since 1972 (DOJ’s website -http://www.justice.gov/dea/agency/staffing.htm), and I found that in 1972, the DEA had 2,775 total employees and had a budget of $65.2 Million. This year, they have almost 10,000 employees and a budget of a little over $2 Billion.
    According to the website, the budget is for employee salaries alone (?). If that’s the case, the agency’s staff has cost taxpayers almost $40.7 Billion since 1972. I have no idea what their budget is for office space, transportation, technology, weapons, etc. And, I think my poor head would POP if I found out how much additional tax money is given to the FBI, ATF, and local law enforcement agencies for their resources in helping the DEA fight this ridiculous drug war! And I can’t help but wonder how much tax dollars are being wasted on putting people unjustly in jail for possession of small amounts, and on and on… So to keep my head from exploding, I’d like to focus only on the DEA for now.
    Every now and then we read or hear about the DEA making a few large weed busts. But in the overall scheme, they’ve done little if nothing toward stopping cannabis being grown in Mexico (and the USA) and distributed and sold all over the country. They must know they’re fighting a “war” that can’t be won.
    So why are the feds wasting our tax dollars on these dickheads? Still, they whine to congress every year to increase their budget so they can continue to fight their “good fight” – AND THEY KEEP GETTING THE FUNDING. What’s up with that BULL$&% ?
    Sure, their budget had decreased from $2.6 Billion and their staff decreased by around 800 employees in 2009. BFD! I know why this agency was created, but I don’t understand why they still exist? As far as I’m concerned, they’re useless and part of the country’s problems.
    Why NOT end prohibition of cannabis, cut the DEA’s staff down to 25% or less (or get rid of them completely), and put American industry to work on solutions on using hemp to help the country get out of this financial mess?

  35. 30. Little Gypsy —- ‘ I’m sure in their minds they think
    they are doing the right thing.’
    Wow. Your unqualified faith in your fellow man is touching, if misplaced. (That said, I would want you serving on my jury anytime.)
    The sad truth is that the DEA is filled chock-full of out-and-out Fascists, (Christianic) Right Wing Authoritarians. Mostly, they are sociopathic misogynists with sexual inadequacy issues, ameliorated only by their gun-totting swagger and their ability to invoke abject fear in the victims they raid, presuming they don’t kill them outright (getting their ‘gun’ off).
    These are the ‘enforcers’, the button-men, for that legalized entrenched Mafia we call our current system of government. And like the Mafia, they get to keep 20% of their raid proceeds — a legalized extortion racket. The best organized, best equipped, most heavily armed, most violent street gangs in the USA today are Law Enforcement Organizations, with the DEA and FBI at the top of that list.
    Fusion Centers, the unitary executive, warrant-less search and seizures, Big Brother and the Police State, extreme renditions, enhanced interrogation techniques, and the end of habeous corpus all have become frighteningly real — the ‘official’ merger of the ‘war of drugs’ & the ‘war of terror’ occurred with the passage of the USA Patriot Act. We live in a Police State, and the rule of law is no longer in force.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the rest of your post. Personal freedoms and individual liberties should (Should!) only be limited when they encroach upon the personal freedoms and individual liberties of others, or become an issue of public safety such as DUID. But quaint notions like “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” were scrapped when the rule of law under our constitutional republic was abandoned. Today, I’m not even certain that We The People have the ability to Vote our way out of this Police State — it is that entrenched …

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