Efforts by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and SAM’s allies defeated marijuana legalization and commercialization in 9 state legislatures: New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Hawaii. When legislators listen to experts, as well as doctors, they reject marijuana legalization, a failure in every other state.
This year, only the Illinois rejected experts’ opinions and positioned itself as an outlier. Optimism about projected marijuana tax revenues shrink — when compared to the costs and the social problems that follow. Marijuana taxes provides less than one percent of state revenue in every legal pot state.
However, past-year use of marijuana increased 60% between 2007 and 2017 in the US, for ages 15-64. It grew from 9.9 percent who used it at least once in 2007 to 15.3 percent who used it in 2017.
The goals of marijuana/legalization are to grow the industry, spread the pot culture and increase demand for marijuana. It’s not about social justice, safety or increased tax revenue. A study showed that the cost of legalization is 4.5 times the revenue raised.
Filmmaker Jane Wells, also a Human Rights activist, made a film titled Pot Luck: The Altered State of Colorado.
Wells wrote an editorial, saying New York’s failure to legalize is a “blessing in disguise.”
SAM published its third evaluation of marijuana legalization, Lessons Learned.
Polls show public opposition to commercialization of pot
According to a new national poll, 62% of registered voters do not support the legalization and commercialization of marijuana when given more options than criminalizing marijuana or full legalization. The false dichotomy of legalization versus incarceration is pervasive in national polling. It allows the marijuana industry and advocates to make legalization seem more popular than it actually is.
The poll, conducted by Mason-Dixon, found that 62% of voters support either keeping current marijuana laws in place, decriminalizing the drug (like a traffic ticket), or want to see it legalized for medical use only. Only 38% supported the full commercialization of the drug.
Legal states without commercialized marijuana
Vermont doesn’t have a commercial market for marijuana, but allows home grows. Maine doesn’t have a commercial market either, but it has plans to open stores in 2020.