SAM Statement Regarding Removal of DOJ Marijuana Enforcement Barriers from Proposed CJS Appropriations Bill
[Alexandria, VA â€” June 29, 2017]Â â€œOn April 4, Representatives Rohrabacher and Blumenauer, two Members of Congress funded by illegal marijuana operations selling pot candies to kids, wrote appropriators asking to include their pro-marijuana language in a base spending billâ€”and they expected to get their way,â€� stated Kevin A. Sabet, a former three-time White House advisor who is now President and CEO of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).
â€œNow, like the fox and the sour grapes, they changed their tune once they didnâ€™t get what they wanted. Despite their earlier letter, they issued a press release last night saying they never expected to get this amendment into the base spending bill in the first place.
â€œWhen a politician says, â€˜nothing to see here,â€™ there is usually something to see. The problem for them is, their earlier letter speaks for itself.
â€œThe reality is that things have changed for the pro-pot lobby this year. The biggest pot lobbying group lost their bank account and legalization failed in Vermont, Maryland, New Mexico, and Rhode Island. The Attorney General sent a letter to Congress on May 1 asking for this pro-pot language to be removed. SAM itself submitted testimony on April 28 outlining reasons for removing the medical marijuana language: state medical marijuana programs are driving a massive increase of black market sales.
â€œBecause states are unable to control the marijuana market within their borders, the federal government should have the full set of tools to assist them.
â€œThis fight isnâ€™t over, of course,â€� continued Sabet. â€œLike Big Tobacco, the pot industry and the politicians they pay will keep trying to push pro-drug laws with their deep pockets. Our sideâ€”parents, public health professionals, employers, and communities hurt by this generationâ€™s Big Tobaccoâ€”will continue to fight for science and evidence over greed.
â€œThe battle isnâ€™t over, and we donâ€™t expect them to give up. Neither will we.â€�
Evidence demonstrates that marijuanaÂ â€“Â which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades â€“Â isÂ addictive and harmfulÂ to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. Moreover, in states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase inÂ drugged driving crashesÂ andÂ youth marijuana use.Â States that have legalized marijuana have alsoÂ failed to shore up state budget shortfallsÂ with marijuana taxes, continue to see a thrivingÂ black market, and are experiencingÂ a continuedÂ riseÂ in alcohol sales.
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. For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit http://www.learnaboutsam.org.
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