Opinion: Big Marijuana is peddling a ballot measure in Arizona that’ll benefit their own and leave the state facing a host of health and societal ills. Beware.
Arizonans have expected a measure aimed at legalizing marijuana following a failed effort at legalization in 2016. The details of the proposal are now public for the first time. (Photo: Associated Press)
Ignoring important regulations, mislabeling products, illegally distributing extremely high potent marijuana – these are just a handful of the allegations recently brought against one of Arizona’s largest medical marijuana suppliers, Harvest.
Coincidentally, Harvest happens to be the single largest donor to the campaign aiming to legalize non-medical pot at the ballot box this November — and, predictably, will be one of the first in line to receive a license to peddle said pot to Arizonans.
Arizonans shouldn’t fall for this scheme.
The so-called “Smart and Safe Arizona Act” would commercialize today’s super strength pot and favors existing large corporations while leaving others on the outside looking in. Not to mention that it is almost solely funded by large marijuana corporations.
These same corporations are trying to convince us that this effort will represent a chance for local entrepreneurs, “mom & pop” stores, and social equity applicants to get in on the ground floor. But that’s not at all what will happen.
The big funders will be the first to benefit
Don’t expect the drug dealers to be sent packing. In the last month, a California woman with significant ties to the Sinaloa Cartel was convicted of using planes to move marijuana through a nationwide drug trafficking ring. Similar cartel activity has been uncovered in almost every state where pot has been legalized. Illicit markets are thriving.
Once legalized, industry will be hard to control
Regulating this industry isn’t a cake walk, either. Oregon regulators were forced to admit they have utterly failed to regulate its marijuana industry. Given its failure to test for mold and harmful pesticides, the state actually said it couldn’t ensure pot sold there was even safe for human consumption.
And because of pot lobby pressure, lawmakers in Nevada banned employers from refusing job applicants if they tested positive for marijuana. This is a nightmare for businesses.
We’ll be footing the costs of pot legalization
Legalizing marijuana in Arizona won’t generate social justice or equity, it won’t bring the state a windfall of tax revenue, and it will do nothing to stem the state’s existing issues with cartel activity. Instead, it will enrich existing corporations while leading to further harms to health, safety, and commonsense.
Don’t fall for this marijuana monopoly.