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Argument: Medical marijuana dispensaries are professional institutions

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Supporting quotations

Jesse McKinley. "Don’t Call It ‘Pot’ in This Circle; It’s a Profession." NYTimes. April 23, 2010: "Like hip-hop, health food and snowboarding, marijuana is going corporate. As more and more states allow medical use of the drug, and California considers outright legalization, marijuana’s supporters are pushing hard to burnish the image of pot by franchising dispensaries and building brands; establishing consulting, lobbying and law firms; setting up trade shows and a seminar circuit; and constructing a range of other marijuana-related businesses.

Boosters say it is all part of a concerted effort to trade the drug’s trippy, hippie counterculture past for what they believe will inevitably be a more buttoned-up future.

“I don’t possess a Nehru jacket, I’ve never grown a goatee, I’ve never grown my hair past the nape of my neck,” Allen St. Pierre, the executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws said. “And I don’t like patchouli.”

Steve DeAngelo, the president of CannBe — a marketing, lobbying and consulting firm here — will not even use the word “marijuana.” Calling it pejorative, he prefers the scientific term “cannabis.”

“We want to make it safe, seemly and responsible,” Mr. DeAngelo said of marijuana."

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