Almost half of projected Prop 64 tax revenue will go uncollected

CA Tax Official: Almost half of projected Prop 64 tax revenue will go uncollected

Data received by CA Board of Equalization also indicates Prop 64 will increase black market for marijuana, and that over 30% of Colorado pot businesses do not comply with state law

November 1, 2016
Contact: Austin Galovski Email: +1 (585) 305-4070

[LOS ANGELES, CA] – Jerome Horton, a member of the California Board of Equalization (which administers the state’s sales and use, fuel, alcohol, tobacco, and other taxes), issued a damming letter indicating that Proposition 64′s projected tax impacts are significantly exaggerated, and that the initiative would actually increase black market activity in the state.

The letter states that “40 percent of the projected tax revenue [of Proposition 64] will not be collected” based on data received by the Board of Equalization. This pattern of legal non-compliance follows that of Colorado, the letter continues, where “the rate of non-compliance has surged … [to] more than thirty percent.”

The letter concludes by stating that “the provisions in Proposition 64 are not sufficient to protect Californians from the negative criminal and financial impact of allowing over 23 million Californians to get high.”

“As in Colorado, legalization will expand the underground market and open the door to widespread corruption and tax evasion,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of SAM Action. “We commend Mr Horton for bravely speaking out on this important issue.”

“Legalization proponents continue to sell their initiatives by promising big returns for government but ignoring the massive costs associated with them, like increased drugged driving crashes,” added Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM Action’s Executive Vice President. “Now we know that they are also failing to inform the public about the predictable impact of tax evasion by the pot industry.”


SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. Learn more about SAM Action and its work at visit

SAM Action, 400 N. Columbus St., Suite 202, Alexandria, VA 22314

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New Report on Impact of Cannabis Legalisation – Crisis?

New Report: Driving While High, Youth Use, Crime, Arrests Surge Since
Marijuana Legalization Began in
Colorado and Washington

The new data, reviewed by researchers at Harvard, University of Colorado, and other academic institutions, find major problems in first four years of legalization

For Immediate Release  October 26, 2016 Contact: Jeffrey Zinsmeister (703) 665-1410

ALEXANDRIA, VA – A new report, released today by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and reviewed by senior researchers at Harvard, University of Colorado, Boston Children’s Hospital, and other public health research universities, examines the consequences of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington State. The report finds surges in youth pot use, hospital visits among young children, increases in fatal car crashes related to recent marijuana uses, greater workplace issues, more arrests of Black and Latino youth, and other negative consequences.

One part reads: “Though it is still early-the full effects on mental health and educational outcomes, for example, will take many more years to fully develop-these ‘experiments’ in legalization and commercialization are not succeeding by any measure.”

The report also cites Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman who recently said, “The criminals are still selling on the black market. … We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado (and) plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all.”

“Four years have passed since Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana, and the only winner is the pot lobby that is lining its pockets,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM. “What happened to the new schools? What happened to getting rid of drug dealers? None of that has come to pass.”

The report documents how marijuana businesses are concentrated in poor communities, and how the marijuana lobby has blocked legislation to deter use of illegal pesticides, sued
over restrictions on marijuana advertising targeting children, made it more difficult for local initiatives restricting marijuana businesses, and sponsored efforts to allow pot smoking in restaurants.

Jo McGuire, chair of SAM’s Colorado affiliate remarked, “This is not what we signed up for. Where is the control? This concept of ‘regulation’ is a farce. It is time to step up against the marijuana industry.”

For Full Report For Full Report

For more information about marijuana policy, please visit


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 who oppose marijuana legalization and want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. Learn more at

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Nevada “No on 2″ Campaign Releases Spanish-Language TV Ad, with Funding from SAM Action

Latino communities’ concern about legalized marijuana evident in TV spot featuring marijuana edibles


Contact: Austin Galovski Email: +1 (585) 305-4070

[Las Vegas, NV] – The Nevada “No on 2″ campaign released a Spanish-language television ad yesterday that will air on social media and broadcast TV. The advertisement, made possible with funding from SAM Action, speaks out against marijuana edibles that Question 2 would allow to be sold and advertised.

“The last thing our neighborhoods and children need is Big Marijuana targeting them with ads for marijuana candy,” noted Rene Cantu, a spokesperson for the campaign and Las Vegas-area Latino leader.

The video (with English subtitles) can be viewed here:

SAM Action’s President, Kevin Sabet, noted, “In Denver, pot shops have concentrated in lower-income communities of color. Make no mistake, if Question 2 passes, Latino kids will be targeted by a powerful new industry.”

The No on 2 campaign has focused much of its resources in working with the Latino community, where opposition is well-organized on the grassroots level.


SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. Learn more about SAM Action and its work at visit

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Now is the time to implement effective marijuana DUID laws.

Now is the time to implement effective marijuana DUID laws.
A new commentary from the Institute for Behavior and Health highlights the role of marijuana in the serious public safety problem of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID). Important lessons can be learned from the inadequate laws implemented in Colorado and Washington, two that have legalized marijuana. With a growing trend to increase legal access to marijuana, policymakers must implement effective laws supported by practical enforcement measures to protect the public.

Setting a legal impairment limit for THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is impossible because there is no consistent relationship between the blood concentration of THC and driving impairment. Importantly, the problem of drugged driving is not limited to marijuana. As such, IBH reviews current DUI law enforcement procedures and makes recommendations for new DUID actions.

Accompanying this commentary is a model law developed by IBH with the National Partnership on Alcohol Misuse and Crime.

Read the IBH commentary in full.
Copyright © 2016 Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc., All rights reserved.
The Institute for Behavior and Health (IBH) shares its materials with colleagues who are leaders in the fields of drug policy, addiction treatment, research, medicine, among others. (used by permission)

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AAA Traffic Safety Leaders, Parents Rally to Oppose Prop 64 Across California

AAA Traffic Safety Leaders, Parents Rally to Oppose
Prop 64 Across California as Marijuana-Related Driving Fatalities Increase

Rise in California Drugged Driving Sparks Community Advocacy Against Marijuana Legalization; Events today in Sacramento, Tomorrow in Los Angeles

Contact: Austin Galovski Email: +1 (585) 305-4070

[Los Angeles, CA] – An October 4th rally, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Pacific and continuing through the afternoon on the Capitol steps in Sacramento, is being hosted by an organization of parents who have lost children due to marijuana use, Moms Strong. Subsequently, on October 5th, a Los Angeles summit hosted by the Automobile Club of Southern California will highlight the negative impacts of marijuana legalization, specifically discussing drugged driving in light of new data showing that nearly one in five California fatal automobile accidents involved marijuana use.

Since 2005, the percentage of California fatalities in which a driver tested positive for marijuana use has risen by 17%, and the rate of overall drivers who tested positive for marijuana increased 22%. The new data comes from a report conducted by the California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

“Prop 64 is a gamble on the public’s safety, which isn’t a risk worth taking, especially when drug-impaired driving is on the rise,” said Kathy Sieck, the Auto Club’s senior vice president for public affairs.

“It is worrisome that five states this year, including California, are considering a far-reaching policy change that could have unintended consequences for traffic safety, the emergency medical system, law enforcement and the courts,” said AAA Director Jack Nelson.

The rise in California’s drugged driving rates mirrors that in other states, such as Colorado and Washington.

“We’re seeing increases in stoned driving in Washington and Colorado,” said Kevin Sabet, co-founder and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “As of now, there is no field sobriety test for drugged driving, nor a legal standard to provide a baseline for enforcement. This is an undeniable public health issue, and I look forward to working with the Auto Club and AAA to facilitate constructive, public dialogue and inspire much-needed policy reform.”

The Auto Club Summit will include a press conference with Kevin Sabet, AAA and other leading professionals in law enforcement, public health and public policy. The press conference will take place during the Summit, with an 11 a.m. Pacific start time at the Peterson Automotive Museum entrance in Los Angeles.

The California community is beginning to recognize these potential drawbacks. Today, in addition to the Moms Strong rally, the Anaheim Police Department and Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action board member Ben Cort are hosting a panel to address issues with the existing legalization proposal.

On October 6th, Kevin Sabet will address the Red Ribbon Rally in San Diego.

“As it stands, Proposition 64 is a corporate free-for-all,” said Sabet. “We need to base our policy decisions on science and research, not addiction-for-profit.”

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New Poll: Nevada Hispanics Oppose Question 2

71% of likely Hispanic voters surveyed said they would vote “No” this November

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 26, 2016

Contact: Austin Galovski Email: +1 (585) 305-4070

[Las Vegas, NV] – A poll of 400 Hispanic Nevada voters reveals significant concerns over Question 2, which would legalize the non-medical use of marijuana for anyone 21 years of age or older. All respondents were offered the choice between conducting the survey in Spanish or English.

Statewide, 71% indicated they would vote “No” on Question 2, while just 26% said they would vote “Yes,” and 3% were undecided.

Opposition to Question 2 was strong throughout the state. It was opposed by Hispanic voters in Clark County (72%), Washoe County (60%), and Rural Nevada (73%).

It was also opposed by Hispanic voters in almost all demographic sub-groups, including those registered as Democrats (72%), Republicans (81%), and Independents (59%). This also was the case among both Hispanic men (72%) and Hispanic women (69%).

Hispanic voters aged 18-34 were the only group with a majority saying they were voting “Yes” on Question 2 (57% “Yes” to 35% “No”). However, those over the age of 34 were overwhelmingly in the “No” column.

A majority of Hispanics backing both major political party presidential candidates stated they would vote “No,” with 74% of Hillary Clinton supporters and 71% of Donald Trump supporters opposed. That was also true of the Senate race, with 77% of Catherine Cortez Masto supporters and 69% of Joe Heck supporters saying they would vote against Question 2.
“Nevada Hispanics — more than one-quarter of the state’s population — do not like Question 2 since it hurts their communities,” said Kevin Sabet, SAM Action’s President. “They see that it is all about making a handful of out-of-state investors rich and selling pot candy to kids, instead of about civil rights or personal freedom. And they know that kid-friendly pot products are the last thing they and their families need.”

Pat Hickey, SAM Action’s Nevada Coordinator, added, “The Hispanic community may also be waking up to the fact that their neighborhoods will bear the lion’s share of the costs of legalized pot. In Denver, most pot businesses are concentrated in communities of color, one of which has a pot business for every 47 residents.”

More detailed results follow:

QUESTION: Amendment 2 on the November ballot would make marijuana legal for non-medical purposes in Nevada for anyone 21 years of age or older. If you were voting on this amendment today, would you vote “YES” in favor of the amendment, or “NO” against the amendment?

STATE 26% 71% 3%

Clark County 26% 72% 2%
Washoe County 35% 60% 5%
Rural Nevada 23% 73% 4%

Men 25% 72% 3%
Women 28% 69% 3%

18-34 57% 35% 8%
35-49 24% 72% 4%
50-64 20% 79% 1%
65+ 14% 86% –

Democrat 27% 72% 1%
Republican 12% 81% 7%
Independent 35% 59% 6%

Clinton voters 25% 74% 1%
Trump voters 22% 71% 7%
Undecided 30% 68% 2%

Masto voters 22% 77% 1%
Heck voters 23% 69% 8%
Undecided 42% 56% 2%


This poll was conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida from September 12 through September 15, 2016. A total of 400 self-identified Hispanic registered voters in Nevada were interviewed statewide by telephone. All stated they were likely to vote in the November general election.

Those interviewed were selected randomly from a telephone-matched voter registration list that included both land line and cell phone numbers. All respondents were offered the choice between conducting the survey in Spanish or English.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than ± 5 percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the “true” figure would fall within that range if all voters were surveyed. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as a gender or age grouping.


Democrat 229 57%
Republican 68 17%
Independent or Other 103 26%

18-34 63 16%
35-49 129 32%
50-64 132 33%
65+ 66 17%
Refused 10 2%

High School or less 185 46%
Some College/Tech School 99 25%
College Graduate 95 24%
Graduate Degree 12 3%
Refused 9 2%

Male 188 47%
Female 212 53%

Clark County 318 79%
Washoe County 52 13%
Rural Nevada 30 8%

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Missouri Medical Marijuana Measure Fails to Make the 2016 Ballot

September 22, 2016
Contact: Jeff Zinsmeister +1 (703) 665-1410

[Alexandria, VA] – A medical marijuana initiative will not be on the ballot in Missouri this fall after proponents failed to collect enough valid signatures to certify the measure. A Missouri court affirmed the decision of the Missouri Secretary of State that, due to the invalid signatures, the initiative did not meet the legal requirements to appear on the ballot. The proponents have since informed the media that they will not appeal.

“Now that Americans are beginning to fully understand that corporate special interests are the ones pushing marijuana initiatives, the pot lobby is having a harder time promoting its addiction-for-profit agenda,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM Action. ” Proponents couldn’t collect enough valid signatures despite months of overconfident statements. This is just one more example of why permissive marijuana laws are not inevitable.”

A copy of the court’s order can be found here .

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Rate of workers testing positive for marijuana use up 47% in since 2013

For Immediate Release
September 19, 2016
Contact: Jeffrey Zinsmeister (703) 665-1410

Rate of workers testing positive for marijuana use up 47% in since 2013, says major U.S. drug testing firm

Surge in positive results accompanies expanding marijuana legalization policies

ALEXANDRIA, VA – A new report, released recently by major drug testing firm Quest Diagnostics, reveals a 47% spike in the rate of positive oral marijuana test results in U.S. workplaces from 2013 to 2015 — and more detailed data shows an incredible 178% rise in that rate from 2011 to 2015.

The Quest study draws from over 900,000 oral workforce drug tests in 2015 alone. It also indicates that after years of declining drug use in the workplace, the percentage of employees in the combined U.S. workforce testing positive for drugs has steadily risen over the last three years to a reach 10-year high.

“Yet again, we see more information that expanding marijuana legalization policies are having serious negative impacts on the public, in this case in the workplace,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). “The commercial interests of the pot lobby are placed ahead of the well-being of our communities and of almost every other economic sector.”

“Studies like these also belie quixotic promises of tax revenue windfalls for states,” said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, SAM’s Executive Vice President. “Legal drugs already cost employers literally hundreds of billions of dollars each year. Adding more marijuana use to the mix will inevitably increase those costs further, and outweigh the relatively meager gains in tax collection.”

For more information about marijuana policy, please visit

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California – Support for Proposition 64 Support Falls

New Poll: Support for Proposition 64 Support Falls Sharply as California Voters Learn More Details about Corporate-Friendly Measure

September 12, 2016 Contact: Jeff Zinsmeister +1 (703) 665-1410

[Alexandria, VA] – A new poll on California’s Proposition 64 shows weakening support among California voters as they learn more about the measure’s corporate-friendly details — including provisions that could allow marijuana smoking and edible ads on prime-time television, including on programs with millions of underage viewers.

The new poll shows that when asked generally about the measure only 52% of California voters indicated they would support Proposition 64. This is down a full 19 points from a September 7 poll on the same issue. It also comes in the wake of another poll from early September showing that, when voters were informed of Prop 64′s advertising provisions, support dropped to 43%.

“This survey shows that Prop 64′s support is far softer than its proponents insinuate,” said Kevin Sabet, President of SAM Action. “When people learn that Prop 64 is really about letting a few billionaires make money, and not civil rights or criminal justice, they take a very different view of it. And when specifically told of Prop 64′s advertising provisions — which would turn back the clock to the early 1970s, before we banned smoking ads on TV — they really don’t approve.”

Complete results of the poll can be found here.


SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. Learn more about SAM Action and its work at visit

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Massachusetts Can Lead Nation in Healthy Drug Policy

A foundation dedicated to the health and well-being of people in central Massachusetts donated $100,000 to defeat commercial marijuana in Massachusetts this year. The Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts is the official opposition effort against Question 4, which would legalize recreational pot.

The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, Worcester, formally voted to oppose Question 4 and to make a large contribution in opposition to the ballot. Marijuana proponents outspend anti-legalization campaigns by millions of dollars, so donations to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts would be greatly appreciated. (Donate here)

The Health Foundation is concerned that allowing the billion-dollar commercial marijuana industry to promote and sell its products would negatively impact public health. Pot edibles which include highly potent products like candy, chocolates, cookies, and sodas would be allowed. These products are particularly attractive to kids and look like popular sweets. They account for 50% of the sales in Colorado.

Question 4 sets no limits on the number of pot shops statewide. In Colorado, that has resulted in more pot shops than McDonalds and Starbucks combined.

“The leadership of the Health Foundation of Central MA is exemplary of what all organizations, groups, associations and residents need to do in order to keep the Commonwealth from being snowed by the marijuana industry who wrote the law that completely protects their big profit interests,” said Heidi Heilman of Massachusetts Prevention Alliance. “The law was written by the industry for the industry. If it passes it’ll be the tax-payers who’ll be burdened with the shovel-up costs from all the negative outcomes,” she concluded.

Most Massachusetts Politicians Join Forces to Oppose Question 4

Governor Charlie Baker of Massachusetts. Photo: The Boston Globe
The Commonwealth could lead the country into smart drug policy. A strong bipartisan team of leaders is working to shut the door on promoting drug dependency and addiction for profit.

The Foundation joins a bi-partisan coalition of elected leaders as well as health care, public safety, business, anti-addiction, and child protection advocates who are opposing Question 4. Governor Charlie Baker, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Speaker Robert DeLeo, Attorney General Maura Healey, Sheriff Steve Tompkins, 120 legislators and many other elected leaders have come out in opposition to Question 4.

In fact, Governor Baker, Attorney General Healey, Mayor Walsh and Speaker DeLeo have been exemplary leaders in their ability to study all aspects of the issue, educate the voters and work across the aisle. A group of legislators went to Colorado to study legalization and see if it legal pot could be implemented safely.

An interviewer recently asked Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts if she supports marijuana legalization. Senator Warren did not give a “yes” or “no” answer. She replied that marijuana is decriminalized in Massachusetts, putting the state in a difficult position. She did not endorse Question 4, and probably knows that enacting it would be bad for the Commonwealth. It’s clear from the video that Senator Warren does not think there’s enough regulation now. She’s smarter than the legalizers who would love to trap her into supporting Question 4. (Decriminalization of pot in 2008 resulted in a great increase of marijuana use, followed by a opiate and heroin crisis.)

A citizens group of 20 claimed that Question 4 doesn’t have a definitive standard for testing drivers and that it lacks transparency while leaving policy specifics unsettled until after the vote.

One of the state’s Congressional representatives, Rep. Stephen Lynch, just announced that he is against Question 4. Lynch said that he has worked with recovering addicts, noting that “I haven’t met an addict who didn’t start with marijuana.”

Investigative Journalism Misses the Mark — for the Most Part

Lee Fang’s “investigative” article published in The Nation two years ago suggested that only those who lose profits are against legalizing marijuana. His predictions have turned out to be largely incorrect. The pharmaceutical industry–like the marijuana industry — spends money on lobbying and donating to politicians, but is not politically involved in the marijuana issue. According to the Brookings Institution, “pharmaceutical companies have kept an arm’s-length distance from marijuana ballot initiatives.”

Fang’s investigation provides excellent insight into the marijuana industry — which suspects that everyone must have a profit motive. Much of the giving to marijuana ballots comes directly from the pot industry. Three of the largest donations to marijuana legalization in Massachusetts come from marijuana businesses, including one in Colorado looking to expand.

In Massachusetts, some of the groups that oppose Question 4 include:
· Massachusetts Hospital Association
· Massachusetts Medical Society
· Massachusetts Municipal Association -Massachusetts School Nurses Association
· Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals
· Associated Industries of Massachusetts
· Retailers Association of Massachusetts
· Association of School Superintendents
· Construction Industries of Massachusetts
· Action for Boston Community Development
· Association for Behavioral Healthcare
· National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI) – Massachusetts
· Massachusetts Chiefs of Police
· Massachusetts Sheriffs Association
· all Massachusetts District Attorneys

The NAMI chapter in Maine will also be coming out against legalization in that state, a clear indication that marijuana is toxic for those diagnosed with mental illnesses.

Only in the instance of law enforcement have investigative journalists been correct in predicting opposition to legalization. Police unions oppose legalization, but The Nation article doesn’t probe the deeper reason for their opposition.

Looking for Evidence-Based Solutions

In explaining the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts, President Jan Yost, Ed.D., said: “The Foundation maintains that Massachusetts would be wise to wait for further evidence from research and other states’ experiences regarding the impact of the use of marijuana on health status, employee performance and public safety, before voting to allow recreational use. This position is consistent with the Foundation’s practice of advocating for public policy that is based on evidence.”

“In addition, the Foundation is concerned that sanctioning marijuana as a legal substance will likely normalize its use and create a commercial industry intent on spreading the use, like the tobacco industry.” The Nation‘s 2014 article could have looked into why health organizations, hospitals, educators and doctors’ groups oppose marijuana legalization instead of promoting a preordained agenda set by financiers.

Health organizations have insights that a biased media does not have. Evidence-based solutions don’t support pot legalization.

Massachusetts is leading the country in wise drug polices. New England may be ahead of the rest of the country. Vermont and Maine rejected legalization through their state legislators. These states realize that marijuana is not a solution to the opioid abuse that is rampant today. Replacing one addiction with another addiction is a bad idea, and actually encourages multi-addiction, making recovery more difficult. Please donate and vote against the addiction-for-profit industry in Massachusetts or in your state.

Parents Opposed to Pot is totally funded by private donations, rather than industry or government. If you have an article to submit, or want to support us, please go to Contact or Donate page.

(taken from

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