USA: NEW YORK POT Proposal Not Passed! S.A.M. and Common Sense Prevail

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 19, 2019
UNDER INTENSE PRESSURE FROM PARENTS, HEALTH PROFESSIONALS, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND OTHERS
COMMERCIAL POT FAILS TO PASS IN NEW YORK

NY’s Rejection of Commercial Weed Biggest Blow Yet to Big Marijuana
(ALBANY, NY) – Despite massive spending and lobbying by Big Marijuana and its allies, the New York State Legislature rejected commercial marijuana. Dr. Kevin Sabet, former drug policy advisor to President Obama and President of SAM-NY released the following statement in response:
“Today New York legislators learned that commercializing marijuana brings along a host of significant health, safety and societal costs that result in no tax money and no social justice. The predatory pot industry wanted legislators to believe that this was simple. Like they did in New Jersey, they said it was inevitable. The industry told people it would rain money for a host of pet projects, that our young people wouldn’t be at risk and drugged driving concerns were overblown. Thankfully, New York’s parents, doctors, law enforcement, teachers and many lawmakers didn’t fall for the con.
“Our broad coalition, including the NYS PTA, Medical Society of the State of New York, NY Sheriffs’ Association, NY Chiefs of Police Association, County Health Officials, local elected officials, concerned parents, teachers, addiction and recovery activists made their voices heard. Legislative leaders deserve credit for their willingness to advance sensible decriminalization over full commercialization of dangerous THC products and we look forward to working with them to craft good public policy.
“New Yorkers can be assured we will continue working to prevent the industry from making gains in further sessions, and we will redouble our efforts to protect young people and those in low income and minority communities who are subjected to relentless in targeting, exploitation and victimization by Big Marijuana. We will continue to work every day to put public health and safety over the profits of this addiction-for-profit industry. We will fight to ensure science prevails over industry propaganda to create public policies that protect human health.”
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About SAM New York

SAM New York is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. SAM New York engages in high-impact political campaigns to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization.
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades –  is addictive and harmful to the human brain , especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes ,   youth marijuana use , and costs that far outweigh pot revenues These states have seen  a black market that continues to thrive,  sustained marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana .
Marijuana is not a harmless drug. View the stories of its victims here .
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UK: STONED DRIVER KILLS!

Killer driver is FINALLY unmasked: Police officers’ son, 18, who was spared jail despite ploughing into and killing two pedestrians in his parents’ Audi while high on cannabis is pictured for first time

  • Max Coopey, 18, smoked cannabis last August then drove his parents’ Audi into John Shackley, 61, and Jason Imi, 48, killing them both
  • Police officers’ son Coopey pleaded guilty to drug-driving but was not jailed
  • Thames Valley Police did not prosecute for causing death by dangerous driving, saying their investigation found no signs of impaired driving
  • It was Coopey’s sixth criminal conviction since the age of 12, mainly for drugs

For more https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7067187/First-pictures-drug-driver-18-hit-killed-two-pedestrians-driving.html

 

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USA: SAM Push Back Stifling Big Tobacco 2.0 (Big WEED)

Over the weekend, The Hill published an article highlighting SAM’s astounding winning record in state legislatures this year.

“(The) win in Springfield comes at the end of a string of defeats in what was supposed to be a banner year of legalization. Even supporters of recreational use acknowledged their legislative agenda has run into more roadblocks than they expected.”

Friend, many have told us we need to roll over and give up. Many have told us that marijuana legalization is inevitable. But we have proved them wrong time and time again this year.

Across the country, lawmakers considering legalization have met with SAM staff, felt pushback from our broad coalitions, and have decided to put public health, safety, and common sense above the demands of the marijuana industry and its lobbyists.

None of this would have been possible without your support and I hope you will continue to help us put people before profits. Click here to chip in and help keep us going.

All the best, Kevin Sabet, PhD – Founder and President

SAM and SAM Action

Advocates of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes scored their most significant legislative victory of the year Friday when the Illinois state House gave final approval to a measure allowing residents over the age of 21 to purchase and use cannabis products.

But their win in Springfield comes at the end of a string of defeats in what was supposed to be a banner year for legalization. Even supporters of recreational use acknowledge their legislative agenda has run into more roadblocks than they expected.

Legislators in New Jersey, Connecticut and New Mexico hit the brakes on legalization bills this year, even though Democratic governors in all three states made clear their support. A New Hampshire bill stalled in the state Senate when it became apparent the legislature did not have the votes to override a likely veto from Gov. Chris Sununu (R).

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) effort to legalize recreational use through his state budget stalled, though the legislature is considering a separate bill.

“Some progress has happened slower than we would have liked, of course,” said Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies at the Marijuana Policy Project, a pro-legalization group.

Opposition groups have mounted surprisingly strong campaigns against legalization bills, in many states led by minority legislators who worry that increased access to marijuana will disproportionately impact their communities. Black caucuses in New Jersey and Connecticut have emerged as fulcrums  in the debate over legalization.

“These communities in many ways across the country are marginalized, but when it comes to this specific policy issue they have a major say,” said Luke Niforatos, a senior policy advisor at Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group.

At the same time, those minority groups say their communities are not profiting from the booming marijuana industry, which remains overwhelmingly white.

“For Big Tobacco and Big Marijuana, black addiction is a big-money hustle,” said Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston, a civil rights advocate who opposed the Illinois legislation. “It is not a business opportunity for blacks and other minorities because blacks and other minorities are the target.”

Proponents have said that legalization would help mitigate the disparities of the war on drugs, which fell hardest on communities of color. A black man is almost four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession as a white man, according to an American Civil Liberties Union study, though usage rates are virtually the same across racial groups.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) “has repeatedly said that he believes legalization of adult-use marijuana is critical to eliminating disparities in the criminal justice system. Each week that marijuana remains illegal, approximately 600 people in New Jersey will be arrested for low-level drug crimes, with the majority of those being people of color,” Alyana Alfaro, a Murphy spokeswoman, said in an email.

States that have already legalized marijuana have made efforts to increase the number of minority-owned businesses in the nascent industry, to mixed results. California’s legislature approved $10 million to help low-income and minority-owned businesses open pot shops. Massachusetts prioritized minority-owned businesses as it began distributing licenses after voters there approved a legalization ballot measure.

Maryland is working on plans to award new marijuana cultivation licenses to minority-owned businesses, though some of the firms that own the 15 existing licenses have sued to stop the expansion plans.

“There was hope that passing legalization would help with all the inequalities that have plagued the drug war,” O’Keefe said. “A lot of people, including us, have been disappointed that there hasn’t been as much diversity in the industry as there could be.”

Legalization opponents publicly support some efforts to end elements of the war on drugs, even if they don’t support recreational use. North Dakota and New Mexico this year became the latest states to decriminalize marijuana possession, an approach those legalization opponents say more adequately addresses the root problem.

“If we’re having concerns about incarceration, let’s look directly at incarceration and decriminalization and expungement,” Niforatos said. “It is a way to precisely address the concerns of these communities that are disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.”

Marijuana backers have had some success around the margins this year. Iowa’s Republican-led legislature approved an expansion of low-grade medical cannabis, though Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) vetoed the bill. Georgia legislators approved a measure to allow in-state cultivation of medical marijuana. Legislators in Guam this year legalized marijuana for recreational use, the second U.S. territory to do so after the Northern Mariana Islands.

And the Illinois bill is significant: If Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signs it as expected, Illinois would become the first state to legalize recreational sales of marijuana through its state legislature, rather than through a ballot measure approved by citizens.

Vermont’s legislature approved the use, though not the sale, of recreational marijuana in 2018, a compromise between the Democratic legislature and Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican.

The disappointing year for marijuana backers is only a prelude to what is expected to be a series of difficult fights in 2020. Legalization proponents will try again in states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, and ballot measures are likely in states such as Florida, Arizona and Ohio, three states where earlier efforts fell short.

“There could be serious, viable efforts to legalize marijuana in as many as a dozen states next year,” O’Keefe said. “While it’s hard to predict how many will pass, it’s all but certain that the number of legalization states will continue to grow with each passing year.”

About SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.

 

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Scotland: Harm Reduction ONLY Drug Policies Don’t Work!

Harm reduction drugs policies not working in Scotland

 

Scotland’s drug problem is getting worse despite the Scottish Government spending more than £740 million on trying to tackle drug and alcohol abuse over the last ten years.

A report by Audit Scotland reviewed the effects of the Government’s strategies for addicts, concluding that Scotland’s drug problem has not improved in a decade.

According to official statistics, the number of drug-related deaths is expected to reach 1,000 this year.

‘Significant issues’

Scotland has an estimated 56,000 problem drug users.

Statistics last year revealed that drug-related deaths in Scotland rose from 545 in 2009 to 934 in 2017 – eight times higher than the average for EU nations.

Graham Sharp, Chairman of the Accounts Commission for Scotland, said: “Problem drug and alcohol use and their impacts continue to be significant issues for Scotland.”

‘Out of control’

Earlier this year Professor Neil McKeganey, a leading academic in the field, said the Scottish Government’s emphasis on so-called harm reduction policies is to blame for growing drug problems.

Between 2013 and 2017 heroin-related deaths more than doubled in Scotland, while deaths from anti-anxiety drugs such as diazepam rose from 195 to 552.

For complete article go to Harm Reduction ONLY – a Failure?

 

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Colorado: PRAISE FOR POT ‘PUDDLE’ OF CASH??? The Costs Will Strip it ALL!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 14th, 2019

CONTACT: Colton Grace Colton@learnaboutsam.org (864) 492-6719

COLORADO PRAISES BILLION DOLLAR POT REVENUE WHILE EDUCATION FUNDING SUFFERS

(Denver, CO) – This week, it was reported that the state of Colorado has surpassed $1 billion in taxes and fees since the legalization of marijuana in 2014. Luke Niforatos, spokesman for the Marijuana Accountability Coalition, a Colorado-based watchdog group dedicated to exposing the harms of the marijuana industry, release the following statement in response:

“Before we are too quick to pat ourselves on the back for taking in $1 billion in tax revenue of the back of an addictive substance, let’s do some math. It took six years to reach a billion dollars of revenue, that is averaging under $200 million per year. An absolute drop in the bucket of our state’s budget.

“Lost in the discussion of how much marijuana taxes have brought in is how much those tax dollars have cost Colorado. One recent study found that for every dollar marijuana taxes generate, $4.50 must be spent to mitigate the societal harms. Marijuana taxes were purported to be a boon for our education, how is that working out? As it stands, we are 42nd in the country for school funding and 50th for teacher wage competitiveness.

“Let’s not be so quick to praise the marijuana industry while our teachers are walking out of the classroom to protest their stagnating wages, while our state is playing host to multiple foreign cartels growing illicit pot, while mental health issues abound, our homeless rate skyrockets, and our roads grow more and more unsafe by the day due to impaired driving.”

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About MAC: The Marijuana Accountability Coalition (MAC) is a coalition made up of individuals and organizations united for one common purpose: to fearlessly investigate, expose, challenge, and hold the marijuana industry accountable. If you care about the future of Colorado and holding Big Tobacco 2.0 (The Marijuana Industry) accountable, please join us.

 

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USA: Middle Aged Moms Latest Statistic in Drug Epidemic!

CDC: Middle-aged women are fastest growing segment of addicts: Addiction centers report spike

America’s drug crisis is taking a deadly toll on a group you might not expect. A recent report from the Center for Disease and Control shows the number of “middle-aged” women who died of overdose has quadrupled since 1999.

Many of these women are getting hooked not just to pain pills and heroin, but also to alcohol. Christine Wolfe was one of them.

“I never dreamt in a million years that I would become an alcoholic. I could not stop; my children begged me to,” said Wolfe.

During her darkest times, Wolfe said she would hide alcohol in water bottles and try to hide her addiction from her family, but they were on to her.

For Pamela Aguilu, the drug of choice was prescription pain pills. She got access through them legally, through her doctors after spinal surgeries. She said initially it had helped with her pain. “I would say I got addicted right away. I was taking massive amounts of oxycodone,” said Aguilu.

Both women say their addictions destroyed relationships and their own families. It destroyed trust between them and their children and took over their lives. For both Wolfe and Aguilu, the out of control addiction started later in life.

“I did not start drinking until I was 47,” said Wolfe.

Both women are also part of a dangerous trend being tracked by the CDC right now. Studies show the fastest growing segment of addicts in the country is middle-aged women, most of whom are mothers.

“Soccer moms become addicts. Soccer moms, moms that are engaged with their children — we are just as liable to become an addict as anybody else,” said Aguilu.

Researchers call it an “evolving epidemic.” The number of overdose deaths in this population has increased by 260 percent since 1999.

Wolfe said she was surprised she is alive today.

“Very surprised. There are times I should’ve been dead. My blood alcohol was so high– like 0.56. That can cause strokes, that causes your heart to stop,” said Wolfe.

Aguilu was also grateful not to become a statistic. She said her rock bottom hit when her landlord called the cops on her for making too much noise. She found herself facing a female police officer who had broken into her home and was asking her if she was okay.

“The last thing I remember is the ER physician saying we need the Narcan now and then I was out. I was out for two days,” said Aguilu.

The big question researchers are still trying to answer: why middle-aged women?

For more https://www.local10.com/news/national/cdc-middleaged-women-are-fastest-growing-segment-of-addicts

 

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South Africa: Another Government ‘Jumps the Gun’ on CBD? Cannabis Clarity NEEDED!

Government just made a massive change to South Africa’s cannabis laws

27 May 2019

On Thursday (23 May), the Department of Health published an update on regulations surrounding cannabis in South Africa, effectively deregulating certain components of the plant.

The cannabis plant comprises two main compounds – Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and Cannabidiol (CBD).

THC is considered to be the psychoactive component of cannabis, whereas CBD is not associated with psychoactive outcomes.

According to Helen Michael – a director in the Healthcare & Life Sciences practice at Werksmans – before the publication of the gazette THC and CBD (which are not intended for therapeutic purposes) were all listed as Schedule 7substances in term of the Medicines Act.

Schedule 7 substances – which also include substances such as heroin – are considered highly regulated drugs, which may only be supplied or used pursuant to a permit issued by the director-general of Health and under specific circumscribed circumstances.

“The effect of the government notice is to remove CBD (that is not intended for therapeutic purposes) from Schedule 7 and to include it under Schedule 4 of the Medicines Act,” said Michael.

“Schedule 4 substances are, in turn, those substances that may be sold by pharmacists when presented with a written prescription.”

Completely excluded

Michael said that the government notice goes further in that entirely excludes certain preparations containing CBD from the schedules to the Medicines Act.

These include:

  • CBD preparations that contain a maximum daily dose of 20 milligrams and which do not claim to treat or cure any medical condition – but instead, contain a ‘low risk claim or health claim’, including reference to ‘general health enhancement without any reference to specific diseases’, ‘health maintenance’ or ‘relief of minor symptoms’ which are not related to a disease or disorder;
  • Products ‘made from raw plant material and processed products’ which contain a very small amount of THC (not more than 0.0001%) and CBD (not more than 0.0075%).

“Notably, the exception contained in the exclusion notice is only valid for a period of 12 months from the date of signature of the notice (15 May 2019),” said Michael.

“The exception will, therefore, expire on 15 May 2020 unless the notice is renewed by the Minister of Health.”

For more https://businesstech.co.za/news/business/319352/government-just-made-a-massive-change-to-south-africas-cannabis-laws/

 

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GLOBAL: Breaking News! WEED NO SOLUTION TO OPIOID CRISIS!

Dear Friend,

I don’t know if you have already seen this, but a huge study was released yesterday.
But before I tell you about it, I’d like to give a little bit of a backstory to lay out why what was released yesterday is so important.
You see, five years ago, a study was released that looked at states that legalized “medical” marijuana between the years 1999 and 2010. The study purported that those states had a 25 percent lower rate of opioid deaths than states that did not legalize “medical” marijuana.
Right on cue, the marijuana industry and its proponents trumpeted this study as definitive proof that marijuana legalization would be the cure to the opioid epidemic.
Never mind the fact that this study suffered from ecological fallacies. That wasn’t important to the pot industry. They most likely even knew how shaky this study was, but they still ran with it like wildfire, putting it up on billboards and shouting it from the rooftops.
Fast forward to yesterday.
new study took the same methodology of the previous study and expanded it to include states that legalized medical marijuana between 1999 and 2017 and found a surprising result: medical marijuana was associated with a 23% INCREASE in opioid deaths.
“If you believed the results of the first study, it’s hard to argue that you don’t believe the results of the second one, since the methods are the same,” said Chelsea Shover, one of the authors of the new study.
The authors also said “We find it unlikely that medical marijuana-used by about 2.5% of the US population-has exerted large conflicting effects on opioid overdose mortality. A more plausible interpretation is that this association is spurious.”
If I were a betting person, I’d bet that we won’t hear a peep from the industry on this study. I’d bet we won’t see a single retraction of the numerous claims made by Big Marijuana that legalization can be the cure to the opioid epidemic, and I bet not a single Weedmaps billboard will be taken down.
To be sure, efforts to legalize marijuana are putting public health and safety at a huge risk. As this study goes to show, we have no clear idea whether or not there is any link between marijuana use and opioid deaths. But we do know that marijuana users are 2.6 times more likelyto abuse prescription opioids.

As our Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor, Luke Niforatos, said this weekend on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal:  “Science must prevail. We must listen to our public health professionals and our scientists. The thing is with any public health issue, we have got to let science rule the day.”

Thank you for all you do,
Dr. Kevin Sabet,
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana
About SAM:
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades –  is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.

For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit www.learnaboutsam.org.
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COLORADO: Biggest Black-Market Bust YET! In the LEGAL WEED State! Welcome to Cannabis Chaos!

Colorado: Largest Marijuana Bust in State History 

Friday 24th May 2019, Colorado law enforcement and federal authorities announced they have successfully completed the largest marijuana bust in state history. The bust resulted in the seizure of over 80,000 marijuana plants, 4,500 pounds of “finished marijuana products,” and over $2.1 million in cash.

“Colorado has become the epicenter of black-market marijuana in the United States,” said Jason Dunn, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado in a press conference Friday. “We want people to know these grow operations are not occurring in abandoned houses or poorer parts of the metro area. These are happening in middle- and upper-class neighborhoods, [where] many of us live and raise families.”

When Amendment 64 was voted on, we were sold the line that the black-market trade of pot would disappear. The reality is, Colorado has become a major hub of the nationwide black-market trade of marijuana. This drug is now one of our state’s main exports.

And while all this is going on, our lawmakers and our governor are bending knee to the marijuana industry by repealing regulations and exempting marijuana from the Clean Air Indoor Act to allow its use in bars, restaurants, and other public places.

Our state is being held hostage by the industry. We are no longer known around the world for our beautiful natural resources and attractions. We are known now to the world simply as the pot state.

But we can take our state back. It’s time we pushed Governor Polis and our legislature to tightly restrict this industry, much like we do with tobacco.

Click here to sign a letter to Governor Polis imploring him to to do the right thing for public health and enforce tighter regulations on the marijuana industry and stop caving to their demands.

Luke Niforatos – Chief of Staff & Senior Policy Advisor, SAM. Spokesperson, MAC

42 arrested across metro Denver in massive black market marijuana bust

https://kdvr.com/2019/05/24/42-arrested-across-metro-denver-in-massive-black-market-marijuana-bust/

 

 

 

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USA: S.A.M News Round UP

SAM Declares Victory in New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont

Lawmakers recently announced that marijuana legalization bills in New JerseyVermont, and New Hampshire are all effectively dead for the 2019 session. This litany of victories comes on the heels of a slew of other wins this year in states like Minnesota and New Mexico.
“Consecutive years of victories for public health and safety in these states is revealing that the movement for legalization is losing steam,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, founder and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action (SAM Action) and a former senior drug policy advisor to President Obama. “This was a resounding, nationwide victory for the minority communities who are relentlessly targeted by Big Marijuana and its Big Tobacco funders, as well as families, schools, and those using roads or public transportation.”
Given the laundry list of state victories for pro-public health forces this year, it is clear that the American public are becoming much more skeptical about the results of marijuana legalization in the few ‘legal’ states.

SAM Releases Comprehensive Lessons Learned From Legalization Report

SAM released its third annual  Lessons Learned Report , a comprehensive study of the data outcomes in ‘legalized’ marijuana states. This study, validated by researchers from institutions such as Harvard and Johns Hopkins University and used as primary source material by international, federal, state, and local officials, as well as countless community organizations, finds that states that have legalized marijuana are witnessing rising use rates, thriving black markets, and harms among disadvantaged communities.
“As a handful of states are considering relaxing their marijuana laws, this  report will continue to serve as an eye-opener for lawmakers and slow the rush to legalize,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM. “The commercialization of marijuana has been profitable for the industries such as Big Tobacco, yet tax revenues are falling short and serious, costly consequences abound. It is time to admit that marijuana legalization is a failed policy.”
SAM Affiliate Plasters Denver With Billboards to Educate Governor Polis on Failed Marijuana Policies

Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy Sends Open Letter to Lawmakers Considering Marijuana Legalization

The Marijuana Accountability Coalition(MAC), a Colorado group dedicated to holding the state’s marijuana industry accountable, announced a new billboard campaign aimed at educating Coloradans and Governor Jared Polis on the failed policy of marijuana legalization in Colorado.
Governor Polis is currently considering signing bills into law allowing for the creation of pot bars and other dangerous giveaways to the marijuana industry. This campaign seeks to enumerate why continued expansion of the industry is dangerous to public health and safety.
“Marijuana has been legal in our state for five years now, and it has not helped our state,” said MAC spokesperson Luke Niforatos. “Our education system is still underfunded, marijuana-related traffic deaths and emergency room visits have skyrocketed, foreign cartels are turning our public lands into illegal farms, pot shops are taking over minority communities, and our state is now the poster child for drug use.
Former United States Congressman and co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), Patrick Kennedy, released an open letter that was sent to lawmakers in several states considering marijuana legalization that outlined why this policy presents a clear danger to public health and safety.
“The commercialization of marijuana is a policy that results in devastating consequences for families, public health, and public safety,” said Mr. Kennedy. “If lawmakers can see beyond the fabric of lies being woven by the marijuana industry’s well-heeled lobbyists, they will see marijuana legalization efforts for what they are: addiction-for-profit companies looking for the next big payday.
Specifically, the letters are being sent to lawmakers in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Illinois, and New York.

Newsweek Oped: Big Marijuana Copies Big Tobacco’s Playbook. Let’s Not Make the Same Mistake Again

In an opinion piece published in Newsweek, SAM founder Dr. Kevin Sabet argues that marijuana legalization is being supported by the titans of addiction: Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, and Big Pharma, and is an affront to real social justice efforts.
“Big Marijuana isn’t just  like Big Tobacco – there are now actual major tobacco conglomerates involved in cashing in on pot. Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes,  recently invested billions of dollars into a Canadian marijuana grower and has purchased a large stake in Juul (which itself is an offshoot of a marijuana vaping company at the root of today’s youth vaping epidemic). And you just can’t make this up: the former head of Purdue Pharma, who oversaw the deceptive marketing of OxyContin,  became the head of a Canadian marijuana company.”

Groundbreaking New UK Study Confirms Link Between Daily, High Potency Marijuana Use and Psychosis

A new study  found that the rise in marijuana use in Colorado since the state legalized the drug has led to increased emergency room visits. The study found that 9,973 marijuana-related emergency room visits occurred from 2012-2016, more than triple the number that occurred prior to legalization. Additionally, the study found that 10.7% of visits at UCHealth were due to the ingestion of high potency marijuana edibles.
“Evidence continues to build the case that marijuana legalization results in harmful impacts on public health and safety,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “Marijuana is no longer the weed of Woodstock. The industry is churning out new, highly potent candies, gummies, sodas, and ice creams as well as concentrates and vape pens that contain up to 99% THC. These kid-friendly products are regularly getting into the hands of children, whose developing brains are incredibly susceptible to permanent damage from this highly potent pot.”
A landmark study published in the prestigious

First Release of Data from Canadian Legalization Shows Significant Increase in Youth and Overall Use
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A new  Canadian federal study found a 27% increase in marijuana use among people aged 15 to 24 over the last year. Additionally, approximately 646,000 Canadians have reported trying marijuana for the first time in the last three months, an amount almost double the 327,000 that admitted to trying the drug for the same time period last year.
“Last year, Canada flouted international treaties and allowed a predatory, addiction-for-profit industry to entrench itself nationwide – and now we are beginning to see the results,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “It is stunning what has happened in such a short period of time: A doubling of first-time use of today’s highly potent and addictive marijuana and a rise in use among young people. This is incredibly concerning for the implications it has on mental health.”

SAM Recognizes Champions of Public Health With Achievement Awards

New Study Highlights Massive Increase in Workplace Marijuana Positivity Rates in “Legal” States

At a recent a policy summit in Atlanta, Smart Approaches to Marijuana awarded several achievement awards to influential and prominent influencers on drug policy.
In recognition of his lifetime of dedication to public health, SAM President Dr. Kevin Sabet presented former United States Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky with the 2019 Smart Approaches to Marijuana Lifetime Achievement Award.
Additionally, SAM was proud to award the Patrick J Kennedy Advocate of the Year Award to two state lawmakers, Representative Marty Moylan and Representative Kim Moser, who have been influential in defending public health and safety in their state.
An  analysis of 10 million drug samples by Quest Diagnostics found that states that have “legalized” the use of marijuana have seen massive increases in workforce positivity since legalization. Oregon has seen a 63% increase, Nevada has seen a 55% increase, and Colorado has seen a 47% increase. All states that have implemented legal sales far outstrip the national average of 2.3%.
“While rates of drug positivity have mostly fallen over the last few decades, marijuana use has risen as legalization efforts have perpetuated the idea that pot use is safe, and state sanctioned,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. “These numbers are even more disturbing when one takes into consideration the fact that many employers are beginning to forego drug testing of their employees as drug use becomes more widespread.”

Illinois Legislature Puts Wall Street and Big Marijuana Ahead of Public Health, Safety, and Minority Communities

After a year of debate and against the warnings of a vast, diverse coalition of parents, educators, doctors and medical associations, the NAACP, substance abuse professionals, and law enforcement groups, the Illinois General Assembly voted to legalize the commercial sale of marijuana in a narrow vote.
“This outcome is disappointing, as it is a win for wealthy marijuana investors and a loss for Illinois citizens and communities,” said Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “But we’re not done fighting. We will take this effort to local communities who do not want pot shops in their neighborhoods, and we will explore legal and other avenues to mitigate the harm.”

Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana: New Book Co-Edited by Dr. Kevin Sabet Available Now

Hot off the presses of Oxford University, Contemporary Health Issues on Marijuana
is now available for purchase. 
This new book, co-edited by Drs. Kevin A. Sabet and Ken C. Winters, comprises chapters by other experts hailing from a wide range of fields including psychology, epidemiology, medicine, and criminal justice. It is a balanced, data-driven volume highlighting new theory and clinical evidence pertaining to marijuana.
The volume features a comprehensive review of research into marijuana’s impact on public health, including how it affects cognitive and neurological functioning, its medical effects, suggested treatment approaches for marijuana use disorders, marijuana smoking and lung function, and marijuana-impaired driving.
Supplies are limited, so place your order today!

MARIJUANA: PREVENTING ANOTHER BIG TOBACCO MEDIA CAMPAIGN TOOLKIT NOW AVAILABLE

Big Marijuana is borrowing the playbook of Big Tobacco in search of the same deep profits at the expense of addicted users. It is time to combat their game with the facts! To help you do so, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) has partnered with Communities for Alcohol and Drug Free Youth (CADY) to offer a comprehensive media campaign prevention toolkit.

 

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