POLITICS

Legalizing cannabis in the Palestinian Authority will have dire consequences

Last week, state Republican Mike Reagan changed his mind On Legalizing Marijuana and Joining Democratic Representative Amen Brown announce New bill to market pot in Pennsylvania. Reagan better listen to his former colleagues in law enforcement who see the false promises of the marijuana industry.

Legalization is no longer related to ditching Woodstock grass with 5% THC. Instead, current marijuana “buds” regularly contain up to 30% THC – the main psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes the user feel “high” – while increasingly common concentrations, such as dabs (inhaled from during vaping devices), over 99% THC.

Expansion of the creation and promotion of this new supercharged drug in Pennsylvania will have severe public health consequences. Recent research found Daily use of high potency marijuana is associated with a fivefold increase in cases of schizophrenia and psychosis. The rate of addiction alone has risen from one in 10 a decade ago to one in three. Given these numbers, the idea of ​​normalizing and promoting marijuana use — amid the COVID-19 pandemic, no less — is simply baffling.

in a recent editorial, Reagan claimed that “law enforcement agencies and the justice system in Pennsylvania do not have the manpower or time to deal with minor marijuana crimes.” He said legalization would allow law enforcement to focus their efforts on drug dealers who transport heroin and fentanyl.

If only this were true in practice. Opioid-related deaths have been increasing year by year In states where marijuana is legal for both medical and recreational use. What’s worse, Reagan seems to have failed to understand what happens to law enforcement after legalization.

In 2018, for example, federal and state law enforcement agencies conducted one of the largest drug seizures in history in California and Colorado, discovering Mexican cartels, Cuban drug dealers and Chinese crime gangs Running huge marijuana operations in warehouses and private divisions. In California, California Governor Gavin Newsom is spending millions of taxpayer dollars on public awareness campaigns urging Californians to buy marijuana only from state-licensed pot stores. why? Because the illegal market in California Reportedly outperforming the “legal” market by three to one. The National Guard has even been called in to break up the endless supply of weeds that grow on public lands.

Simply put, the legalization and marketing of marijuana has not eliminated the illegal market anywhere. In fact, it got worse – and law enforcement bore the brunt of it.

But what about tax revenue from the legal coffer – wouldn’t that justify legalization? Don’t rely on it. Colorado study It found that the state pays $4.50 in costs for every $1 in marijuana tax revenue. Finally, marijuana tax revenue represents only 0.9% of the entire state budget.

What about social justice? in a A note to his colleagues In the Pennsylvania House, Brown urged his fellow lawmakers to join him in supporting legalization.[ensure] That a perspective of equity is applied and that the injustices caused by enforcement of drug laws are corrected.” But the unfortunate truth is that marijuana legalization has so far resulted in social injustice and exacerbated inequality.

In fact, African Americans remain twice as likely to catch marijuana Colorado And Washington, although the two states legalized the recreational use of the drug seven years ago. In the five years since legalization, of Hispanic and Asian descent Denver arrest rates have increased.

In the same week that the news of the legalization proposal spread, Governor Tom Wolfe announced That Pennsylvania’s prison population has reached its lowest level in 20 years…all without the need for marijuana legalization.

Marijuana marketing has created a predatory industry targeting minorities and disenfranchised communities with the over-saturation of retail stores and advertising, as did its predecessors of big tobacco and alcohol (both industries, in fact, already have I invested billions in the marijuana business). And while pot shops are disproportionately found in minority communities, they property does not reflect their surroundings. Less than 20% of the marijuana industry features minority ownership of any kind, and only 4% Some of them are owned by blacks.

If Pennsylvania legislators really want to address the issue of marijuana arrests, the policy of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana — already in place in many Keystone cities — must be expanded statewide. The state also needs to ban marijuana use before it begins and stop using witchcraft. Destiny’s legalization works against all of these efforts.

Pennsylvanians rely on their representatives to put children ahead of pot earnings. The state legislature should say no to marijuana marketing.

Kevin Thabet is a former senior adviser on drug policy to the Obama administration. He is the president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), and his latest book is “Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know” (Simon & Schuster, 2021).





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