Category Archives: Featured

Expert Opinions burst stoners’ pipe dream of pot legalization!

Two recent opinion letters in major newspapers should send shock waves to Progressive voters  who value social justice and environmental issues.  They expose that marijuana legalization actually harms the promises of a more just society and a better earth. 

Kevin Sabet, PhD, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) wrote in The Baltimore Sun on June 30, 2024.  Sabet applauded Governor Moore but also said that his pardons prove that marijuana legalization is not about social justice.  (Maryland’s Governor Wes Moore recently issued 175,000 pardons for marijuana convictions, erasing the records. President Biden and other governors made similar moves in recent months.)

Sabet agrees with Moore’s pardons. However, he explains that it would have been possible without allowing the commercial marijuana industry to invade the state. (Nearby Virginia has decriminalization, without legalization.) Continue reading Expert Opinions burst stoners’ pipe dream of pot legalization!

Our Reaction to Rescheduling: It’s Politics, not Science

Our initial reaction to the announcement that the Biden Administration may reschedule marijuana is that it is a political move intended to get young voters. We have not seen a Press Release.  If true, this move is not based on science, or it’s based on bad science.  We support whatever Smart Approaches to Marijuana decides to do in terms of legal options or other avenues to stop rescheduling

More than 100 individuals who are victims of marijuana or have family members who are victims wrote to the DEA and the DOJ and pleaded with the DEA not to reschedule marijuana.  We’ve written about the differences between decriminalization, rescheduling and legalization with commercialization.
Continue reading Our Reaction to Rescheduling: It’s Politics, not Science

Legal Marijuana Is Making Roads Deadlier

Cannabis-related traffic fatalities are a threat to public safety. Governments need to get serious.

By the Bloomberg News Editorial Board,   April 4, 2024

Marijuana legalization is killing a lot of people. Not slowly — though some studies suggest that it may be doing that, too — but quickly, in car crashes. It’s one more symptom of the disastrous rush by lawmakers to capitalize on cannabis sales without doing the work needed to keep the public safe. 

In Canada, which legalized recreational marijuana in 2018, one study found a 475% increase in emergency-room visits for cannabis-related crashes in Ontario between 2010 and 2021. Many more cases likely went undetected, owing to a dearth of reliable testing for driving while high. 

In the US, the proportion of motor-vehicle fatalities involving cannabis use soared to 21.5% in 2018, up from 9% in 2000. One analysis found a 10% increase in vehicular deaths, on average, following legalization by states. In California, the increase was 14%; in Oregon, it was 22%. 

This suggests that more than 1,000 Americans could be dying annually because of marijuana-related accidents — and that’s just in states where legalization has occurred. Given the ease of transporting the drug across state lines, the real number could be far higher. 

The cause of these deaths isn’t just the drug itself. It’s ignorance. A recent study found that about half of marijuana users thought they were OK to drive 90 minutes after inhaling or ingesting the drug, yet their driving performance in a simulated vehicle was as bad as it had been after 30 minutes. Evidence suggests people should wait a minimum of four hours before getting behind the wheel; some experts recommend eight to 12 hours. 

That people don’t know this is the fault of governments, which have rushed headlong into legalization without doing the required research or adopting necessary safeguards. In effect, they’re conducting live experiments on their own citizens. Voters should hold officials accountable for boosting public awareness and developing better detection technology.

The fight against drinking and driving offers a useful precedent. After widespread government-sponsored campaigns helped stigmatize such conduct, drunk-driving fatalities were cut in half. Stronger enforcement also played a part. The advent of Breathalyzers made drinkers think twice before getting behind the wheel. 

So far, marijuana users don’t face the same disincentive, partly because the technology for roadside testing isn’t reliable or widespread. Fear of arrest is a powerful public-policy lever, but right now, many drivers are getting high with impunity, and the public is paying a high price.

Bloomberg News published this editorial on April 4, 2024. It was reprinted in part by the Chicago Tribune on April 10, 2024. 

The photo above comes from a crash that killed three teens and injured another near Lynnwood, WA in July, 2017. Washington legalized marijuana in 2012, and commercialized it in 2014.

Lawsuits in New York, other states threaten to shut pot legalization

Citizens in New York and Connecticut filed lawsuits against their states.  Among the three in New York:

1. Filed in New York Supreme Court:

It attacks the state rules on medical marijuana, marijuana product labeling and marijuana advertising. It is based on federal preemption as it violates federal law to have marijuana medicine, labeling and advertising. Marijuana is a Schedule I drug and cannot be used as medicine or advertised and labeled as medicine.
2. To be Filed in the New York Supreme Court:  This suit argues preemption in that the state cannot spend state taxes on setting up marijuana stores. This practice involves marijuana trafficking and money laundering.
3. To be Filed in the New York Supreme Court: A third lawsuit will argue that there is a state constitutional right to clean air that is violated by public marijuana smoking. Marijuana smoke is more dangerous than tobacco smoke; it is carcinogenic and causes allergic reactions.  (It’s ironic to think how hard it was to get tobacco smoke out of public places, only to find the smell of marijuana ubiquitous.)

Connecticut

Residents of Stamford, Connecticut filed a lawsuit aiming to shut down pot shops throughout the state.  The Stamford Neighborhoods Coalition is seeking an injunction in Superior Court to prohibit commercial cannabis operations, not just in the city, but in all of Connecticut.     The chief argument supporting the petition is that the 2021 legalization of marijuana in the state violated the federal Controlled Substances Act and should never have happened.The lawsuit also argues that legalization is a public safety issue, saying, “Siting cannabis facilities anywhere in Stamford necessarily increases criminal  activity in Stamford, putting children at greater risk.”

The Massachusetts Lawsuit

In Massachusetts, David Boies filed a lawsuit on behalf of cannabis companies suing Merrick Garland to overturn the federal status of marijuana.    This BIG MARIJUANA case seems frivolous and greedy next to the cases brought by local citizens.

We’ve heard that citizens of other states such as Minnesota may also take action against the pot industry.

The problem is that once a state legalizes, the industry overpowers local citizens and forces pot shops on communities.

In this battle, knowledge is our strongest weapon – science, data, and evidence.