USA: Action Needed – NOW!

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Action Needed

May 2020
After taking in at least $120,000 in pot industry donations, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Rep. Ed Perlmutter of Colorado introduced a bill that would give a taxpayer-funded bailout to pot businesses in the midst of a pandemic.
Click the link below to tell your Representatives in Congress to reject this outrageous proposal:


Latest Developments

Victory in New York As Lawmakers Advance Budget Bills With No Legalization Language
In a tremendous victory for the second year in a row, New York State legislative leaders advanced a budget containing only essential line items pertaining to the operations of the state in response the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, state lawmakers refrained from including marijuana legalization as a part of the budget.
“Lawmakers in Albany have responded swiftly to the ongoing issue related to the COVID-19 outbreak and have wisely chosen to focus on the betterment of New Yorkers and the protection of public health and safety. As we have said previously, the consideration of marijuana legalization and commercialization during this outbreak is unconscionable and extremely shortsighted. While at this time this may be the least of their concern, it is encouraging for all of us New Yorkers that there is one less threat to public health for the time being.”

ACLU Admits Marijuana Legalization Has Not Resulted in Social Justice
A  study conducted by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) , a group that has endorsed marijuana legalization and commercialization, finds that liberalizing marijuana policies has not delivered on one of its key promises: social justice.
The study states that while marijuana decriminalization and legalization may reduce the overall amount of people arrested for possession of the drug, African Americans are still far more likely to be arrested than whites. Furthermore, the study found that arrest disparities increased in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, and Oregon following legalization.

“We commend the ACLU for issuing this report. Ironically, this shows, on the so-called ‘marijuana holiday’ of 4/20, that legalization has failed to deliver on one of its key promises,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet . “This study confirms other previous reports and it should serve as a reference for those supporting legalization to look deeper into empty promises of this movement.”

SAM Launches New Resource Exposing Addiction Investments in Big Marijuana
A s a part of its ongoing effort to expose the Big Tobacco and other predatory industries rushing to take over the commercial marijuana industry,  SAM  released a new webpage focused on laying out the many investments made into Big Marijuana from addiction-for-profit conglomerates, as well as highlighting the former federal lawmakers who are now on the marijuana industry’s payroll.
“The corporate marijuana industry that is developing in our country and in Canada wants to paint an image of a small, mom and pop movement, but this is far from the truth,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet. ” Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma are in the process of taking over marijuana. This resource is just one more part of our effort to expose the concerning truth to the public-do we really want another predatory industry?”

SAM Announces Local Control Resource Center to Aid Nationwide Opt-Out Movement

SAM announced the rollout its Local Control Resource Center, the second wave of its initiative aiding communities looking to exert local control by banning commercial marijuana operations.
“Our ‘ Towns and Cities Initiative‘ arms local communities with the resources they need to keep their neighborhoods free of marijuana shops and large scale growing operations that normalize this addiction-for-profit industry,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “People living in a state that has either ‘legalized’ pot or is considering it should know they have the power to organize against Big Pot. Our  Local Control Resource Center provides all the information needed to successfully accomplish this.”
Resources available on SAM’s Local Control Resource Center include:
  • SAM’s Local Control Toolkit: “Using Local Control to Push Back on the Marijuana Industry”
  • The comprehensive marijuana legalization impact report: “Lessons Learned from State Marijuana Legalization”
  • Five comprehensive and easy to digest one-pager factsheets covering the effects of legalization in Colorado, the failures of the grand promises of sky-high marijuana revenues, the intersection of marijuana use and opioid abuse, and marijuana legalization’s social justice failures.
  • Sample newspaper ads, mailers, and posters used from recent opt-out campaigns

FDA Takes Action on Marijuana Business COVID-19 Claims; SAM Urges Further Action Against Unsubstantiated Claims
Connecticut Legislature to Adjourn; Marijuana Legalization Likely Defeated in 2020
The FDA recently took enforcement action against several marijuana companies for making unsubstantiated claims, including that their products had the power to cure and prevent the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
“While this FDA action is most welcome, it only  scratches the surface when it comes to the marijuana industry making wildly unsubstantiated health claims. We can agree there are a handful of derivatives from the marijuana plant that hold medicinal value for specific disorders, but we have a process in this country for delivering safe, effective medicines to those who would benefit from it.
“By legitimizing the marijuana industry, select state governments have allowed this industry to run fast and loose with health claims. At one point, many of these same governments openly welcomed Big Tobacco. We must learn from the past and do everything in our power to curb Big Marijuana’s outsized influence.”
The Connecticut Legislature have agreed to adjourn the 2020 legislative session and will meet later in the year only to consider top legislative priorities. This means the effort to legalize marijuana in the state will not move forward in 2020.
“We are certainly in unprecedented times with statehouses nationwide being forced to prematurely end their sessions. We commend Connecticut’s legislative leaders for taking this action in the best interest of the health of its members. We were active over the last year in the state and made many in-roads with lawmakers who had many concerns with the prospect of marijuana legalization.
“Moving forward this year, it is our hope that when the legislature should choose to reconvene, the top priority of lawmakers will be focused on mitigating the impact from this pandemic, and not on opening the doors to a predatory, commercial marijuana industry.

SAM Launches First-Of-Its-Kind Marijuana State Laws Map
For too long, the lack of an objective, fact-based resource on state marijuana laws has been used by Big Marijuana to advance a narrative that allowing them to push their super potent marijuana products on our young people is inevitable.
We are dispensing of these myths by releasing the first-of-its-kind marijuana state laws map to show that the majority of America does not allow marijuana use.
Click the map above to check it out and let us know what you think.

Latest Studies Round-Up

Two New Studies Add to Body of Evidence of Marijuana Commercialization’s Harms
The first, a  review and meta-analysis with over 23,000 participants conducted by researchers from Queen’s University in Ontario and the University of Calgary and published in the   JAMA Network Open  , found that 47 percent of regular marijuana users experience symptoms of Cannabis Withdrawal Syndrome (CWS) when they cease use of the drug. The study’s authors posited that because “many CWS criteria are depression or anxiety symptoms, regular users may seek cannabis to obtain short-term symptom relief, unaware that this use could perpetuate a longer-term withdrawal problem.”
The second, a  review of recent research  published in the preeminent journal  JAMA Psychiatry , states that in the states that have “legalized” marijuana, prices for the drug have decreased while use and dependence has increased among adults. Furthermore, the review states that the risk of dependence has risen from around 9 percent in the early 1990s, to nearly 30 percent today.
Majority of “Medical” Marijuana Too Potent to Be Useful for Pain
A  new study  published in  PLOS One , a peer-reviewed scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science, finds that THC concentrations in marijuana products sold in marijuana storefronts in the United States are not effective for neuropathic pain relief because they contain too much THC-two to three times higher than the amount shown in studies may provide neuropathic pain relief.
The study also showed there are no clinical differences between “medical” and recreational marijuana. The study concluded that these high levels of THC are counterproductive to treating neuropathic pain. Other studies have shown that THC has no efficacy in reducing other kinds of chronic pain.

Op-Ed Corner


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.

As always, thank you for being a SAM supporter. If you can, please chip-in with a small donation by clicking here.
If you can’t chip-in, then at the very least,  and help grow the SAM community.
All the best,
Colton Grace
Communications Associate
Smart Approaches to Marijuana

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