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Group of Health Organizations Urge Dem National Committee to Reject Marijuana Legalization

Thursday, July 07, 2016


Patrick Kennedy

A coalition of health organizations sent a letter to the Democratic National Committee on Wednesday urging them to reject marijuana legalization. 

Read the Letter Here 

The groups included in the letter are Faces and Voices of Recovery (FAVOR), the National Alliance of Alcohol and Drug Counselors (NAADAC), Treatment Alternatives for Safer Communities (TASC) , and Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). 

"The DNC should resist any calls to legalize drugs. The legalization of marijuana is about one thing: the creation of the next Big Tobacco. Marketers cleverly package pot candies to make them attractive to kids, and pot shops do nothing to improve neighborhoods and communities. Moreover, there are other, more effective ways to address questions of racial justice and incarceration. So does the DNC want to be known for fostering the next tobacco industry, or will it stand with the scientific community, parents, and public health?," said Kevin Sabet, a former advisor to the Obama Administration and current President of SAM. 

The letter was signed by Patrick Kennedy, Honorary Chair of SAM and one time chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

The Letter 

{image_2}The letter explains that legalization has resulted in a increase in arrests of Colorado youth from communities of color up 29% among Hispanics from 2012 to 2014, and up 58% among Black youth in that same time period. 

The letter notes that in Washington the percentage of marijuana related traffic fatalities has doubled while emergence poison control calls in both Colorado and Washington have risen by 72 and 56% respectively. 

Lastly, there has been a 15% average annual  increase in drug and narcotics crime in Denver since 2014, when retail sale of marijuana started. 

"The pot lobby has successfully fought off Colorado's attempts to regulate advertising targeting children, rules restricting the use of pesticides, and rules to limit marijuana potency. This same lobby is now exporting these tactics to other states in November. This assault on health and safety regulations is no less than a repeat of Big Tobacco's tactics from the 1960s and 1970s. Our broad coalition urges the DNC to resist these calls,"  said Jeffrey Zinsmeister, Executive Vice President of SAM. 

For more on Marijuana policy,  click here. 


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