The Times podcast: Legal pot in California sparks corruption

An illustration of a tent with shrubs inside. A person hands something to another person.
An illustration depicts a scene inside a growth operation where a mysterious envelope is exchanged by two people.
(Leonardo Santamaria / For The Times)

Ever since California legalized cannabis in 2016, the state’s weed market has become a multibillion-dollar industry. It’s estimated to be the largest legal market of its kind in the world. But whenever you get that much money anywhere, well, you’re going to get political corruption.


Today, we look at our investigation into how illegal moves around marijuana are plaguing city halls across the state. Read the full transcript here.

Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times investigative reporter Adam Elmahrek

More reading:

$250,000 cash in a brown paper bag.’ How legal weed unleashed corruption in California

Legal Weed, Broken Promises: A Times series on the fallout of legal pot in California


Would this California town have become so pro-cannabis if not for a councilwoman’s pot industry ties?

About The Times

“The Times” is produced by Shannon Lin, Denise Guerra, Kasia Broussalian, David Toledo and Ashlea Brown. Our editorial assistant is Madalyn Amato. Our engineers are Mario Diaz, Mark Nieto and Mike Heflin. Our editor is Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmin Aguilera, Heba Elorbany
and Shani Hilton. And our theme music is by Andrew Eapen.

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