Last week, California Senator Kamala Harris admitted she smoked pot in college, going on to say, “I think it [marijuana] gives a lot of people joy. And we need more joy in the world.”
In response, SAM Director of Local Affairs Dana Stevens wrote in The Hill today how Senator Harris, and many of the other 2020 candidates, have demonstrated a “clear misunderstanding about the differences between today’s high-potency, commercialized marijuana and her college joint,” and highlighted how the legalization argument “demonstrates just how effective ‘Big Marijuana’ lobbyists have been at convincing politicians that legalizing weed is no big deal.”
Dana goes on to say , “The senator is surely not alone in her misperceptions about weed. For most people marijuana conjures up images of carefree Woodstock hippies… However, there is strong scientific evidence demonstrating today’s pot brings greater risk of mental illness, increased youth use and more drugged-driving deaths.”
President, Smart Approaches to Marijuana
About SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.