Contact: Anisha Gianchandani
[Alexandria, Va.] â€“ Â Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) issued the following statement from SAM President Kevin Sabet in response to the passage of a Rhode Island bill to study the effects of marijuana legalization (H.5551):
â€œWe applaud Rhode Islandâ€™s legislators for not legalizing marijuana and instead approving a smart and sound proposal to study marijuana policy,â€� said SAM President Kevin Sabet. â€œLegalization is certainly not inevitable in Rhode Island. This is an important moment for state legislators to pause and consider the very real negative social costs of commercializing another drug. Weâ€™re pleased to see that the 19 members of this study committee, including one from SAM, incorporates bipartisan representation with public health and law enforcement voices at the table as well. We look forward to the end of the session this week when we will be able to say that Rhode Island legislature defeated the proposal to legalize marijuana.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 affiliatesÂ in more than 30 states.
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