There has been no shortage of extended journalistic explorations of legalization. But they tend to focus on laws and money. Mark Jacobson, a self-professed pothead, wanted to know whether it was making weed bad.
In a long essay for Vanity Fair, Jacobson found that many OG illicit market growers, now forced to compete with marketing departments and global corporations under legalization, have let their standards slip.
“When I first began growing, if you got hit by spider mites you’d have to throw everything away and start again,” offers one grower. “It was a reputation thing. You couldn’t sell crap or you’d be out of business.”
The legal market has changed everything. “As soon as the legal market came in, they didn’t throw anything away. They just sprayed the plants with Avid and other pesticides like they would any other crops.”
It’s ushered in an era where illicit market growers aren’t taking the same care with their crops. And although weed is legal, the dominant experience is (in the words of another grower) “shitty weed for everyone.”