Surprising truths about legalizing cannabis

In 2012, Colorado legalized cannabis and kickstarted a multibillion-dollar industry with every product imaginable — brownies, gummy bears, granola bars, even lube! But to say that we’ve “legalized cannabis” is mistaken — we’ve commercialized THC. In this fascinating talk, expert Ben Cort examines the impacts of this growing new industry on everything from policing & arrest rates to LGBTQ issues.

Ben Cort Headshot

Sober since 1996, Ben Cort has seen the devastation that substance abuse can bring first hand as well as the joy that is recovery. He has earned the reputation of being pro-logic and recovery rather than anti-anything. His efforts keep him close to the national discussion, making him a frequent guest in the media and assisting several states in their efforts to hold back Big Marijuana. He has recently written Weed, INC: The Truth About the Pot Lobby, THC, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry.

The appetite for marijuana is exponential — and it’s not going away. In fact, cannabis today is practically an entirely different product than what most people think it is, so before you start saying, ‘What’s the big deal about legalizing weed?’ there’s a lot you should know. From new methods of consumption (“cosmic cookies”) and hiking potencies to the deluge of advertisements and the political agendas behind the guise of American capitalism, the cannabis culture has evolved.

What sparks your curiosity?

Informed conversation! I love to sit with people who see the world as the amazingly complex place that it is and don’t try to boil everything down to a Twitter zinger

What inspires awe and fascination for you?


Hobbies / Passions / Fun Facts

Fly fishing and hunting, for sure. I was an avid climber and mountaineer for most of my life but do much less now. In 17 years of marriage my wife and I have never missed a trip to celebrate our anniversary. I’ve done 10 triathlons and a 24 hour mountain bike race. We have three awesome kids and no animals