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Today, Smart Approaches to Marijuana President and former White House advisor Kevin Sabet released this statement on Nevada’s plan to defy federal law and commercialize the retail sales of marijuana:
“Nevada’s legislators say they want to be a marijuana tourism destination, but they failed to consult the Netherlands. The Dutch found out tying pot to tourism is a terrible idea, and passed a law in 2012 to ban the sale of marijuana to tourists.
“Further, the Dutch believe no one would be stupid enough to allow the for-profit marketing and commercialization of marijuana, edibles, and high-potency extracts. But that’s just what states like Colorado and Nevada have done.
“Nevada’s tax authority had to issue an emergency regulation to stop the sales of existing ‘medical marijuana’ lollipops and ice cream. Belatedly, state regulators recognized that radically increasing the availability of these products was going to land more kids in the emergency room, just as it has in Colorado. But the state law still allows the sale of 98% concentrated ‘dabs,’ which are very dangerous for the average user.
“Legalization has not reduced the black market, as we have seen that 70% of all transactions in Oregon still occur on the black market. The Colorado AG noted this week that, ‘The black market for marijuana has not gone away since recreational marijuana was legalized in our state, and in fact continues to flourish.’ Taxing marijuana has not fixed state budgets in other states.
“The legalized industry has become this generation’s predatory Big Tobacco, converting young customers into lifelong profit centers. Nevada will face the same increases in drugged-driving fatalities and emergency room visits as other legalized states. We are working with employers and health care professionals in the state to minimize the damage to public health from these misguided laws.”
Evidence demonstrates that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decade – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. Moreover, in states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes and youth marijuana use. States that have legalized marijuana have also failed to shore up state budget shortfalls with marijuana taxes, continue to see a thriving black market, and are experiencing a continued rise in alcohol sales.