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Thousands expected at the Phoenix Convention Center to talk about pot

(AP Photo/Gillian Flaccus, File)

Thousands of people are expected to be at the Phoenix Convention Center Friday through Sunday for the Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo.

“There’s going to be hundreds of venders and not-for-profits and organizations like LEAP Law Enforcement Against Prohibition,” said former-prosecutor-turned-industry-consultant Demitri Downing, who organized the event.

“You can learn about cultivation, you can learn about the laws, the real estate opportunities, the sub-contractor opportunities,” he said. “It’s pretty much like the state fair of marijuana.”

One thing it’s not, he said, is a consumer show, where people can talk about things like which strains are good.

“We are a conference that’s designed to showcase the economics of marijuana,” Downing said. “And to show people how tax and regulation works, as opposed to prohibition.”

That’s why they support Proposition 205, he said.

“I would never encourage the use or abuse of sugar, of alcohol, of tobacco, of marijuana or anything,” he said.

But one thing he said he has discovered, is prohibition does not work.

“And the tax payers of Arizona are out there footing the bill for this system when they could really be benefiting from it,” he said.

Especially when that benefit comes from people who have no problem having access to it anyways, he said.

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