POLITICS

Legalization of PA cannabis will have serious consequences

Republican Sen. Mike Reagan last week Changed his mind Marijuana legalization and joining democratic state representatives To announce A new bill for the commercialization of pots in Pennsylvania. Reagan would do well to listen to his former colleagues at law enforcement agencies who see through the false promises of the marijuana industry.

Woodstock’s 5% THC is no longer valid about weeds. Instead, today’s marijuana “buds” regularly contain 30% THC – the main marijuana, psychoactive compound that makes the user feel “high” – while increasingly popular attention, such as DAB (breathing through a vaping device), contains 99% THC.

The creation and expansion of this new, super-charged drug in Pennsylvania will have major public health consequences. Found in recent studies Daily use of high-potency cannabis is associated with a fivefold increase in schizophrenia and psychosis. The addiction rate has gone from one in 10 to one in three just over a decade ago. Considering these statistics, the idea of ​​normalization and promotion of cannabis use মধ্যে in the COVID-19 epidemic, no less-is simply misleading.

A Recently op-ed, Reagan claimed that Pennsylvania “does not have the manpower or time to deal with petty cannabis crimes by law enforcement and the judiciary.” He said the legalization would allow law enforcement to focus its efforts on drug traffickers removing heroin and fentanyl.

In reality if this is true. Opioid-related deaths have increased year after year In states where marijuana is legal for both medic and recreational use. What’s worse, Reagan apparently fails to understand what will happen to law enforcement after law enforcement.

In 2018, for example, federal and state law enforcement agencies operated one of the largest narcotics in history in California and Colorado. Mexican cartels, Cuban drug traffickers and the Chinese crime syndicate Conducting extensive cannabis operations in warehouses and private subdivisions. In California, Governor Gavin News is spending millions of taxpayer dollars on a public awareness campaign urging Californians to buy marijuana only in state-licensed pottery stores. Why? Because California is an illegal market It is reported to be selling in the “legal” market at a rate of three to one. Even the National Guard has been called in to stop the endless supply of illegal weeds growing on government land.

Simply put, the legalization and commercialization of cannabis has nowhere eradicated the illicit market. In fact, it has gotten worse – and law enforcement has suffered.

But what about tax revenue from the legal pot – which does not support legitimacy? Don’t count it. Colorado Study It has been found that the state spends 4. 4.50 per $ 1 cannabis tax revenue. As everyone has said, the cannabis tax revenue is only 0.9% of the entire state budget.

What about social justice? A Memorandum to his colleagues At the Pennsylvania House, Brown called on his fellow lawmakers to join him in supporting legitimacy. “[ensure] That an equity lens is applied and that the injustices that result from the application of drug laws are eliminated. The unfortunate reality, though, is that marijuana legalization has so far led to social injustice and bad inequality.

In reality, African Americans are twice as likely to be arrested for marijuana Colorado And Washington, Despite both states having legalized recreational use of the drug seven years ago. Five years after legalization, Hispanic and Asian Arrest rates have risen in Denver.

And in the same week the news of the legalization proposal broke, Governor Tom Wolf announced That Pennsylvania prison population has reached a 20-year low … all without legalizing marijuana.

The commercialization of marijuana has created a predatory industry that targets minorities and disadvantaged people with additional involvement in retail and advertising, such as its predecessors, the Big Tobacco and Alcohol (both industries, in fact, already Has invested billions in cannabis business). And when pot stores are located incompletely in the minority community, their Ownership is not reflected Around them. The marijuana industry has minority ownership characteristics of less than 20%, and Only 4% It is owned by Black.

If Pennsylvania lawmakers really want to tackle cannabis arrest, the policy of banning small quantities of cannabis – which is already in effect in many Keystone State cities – should be extended across the state. The state needs to curb it and stop using glamorizing it before it starts using cannabis. Pot validation works against all these efforts.

Pennsylvanians rely on their representatives to keep children ahead of pot profits. The state legislature must not say no to the commercialization of cannabis.

Kevin Sabet is a former senior drug policy adviser to the Obama administration. He is the President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), and his latest book is “Smokscreen: What the Marijuana Industry Wants You Want to Know” (Simon & Schuster, 2021).





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