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Posted by on Aug 29, 2013 in Legalization, Marijuana in Media, Project SAMUEL, SAMUEL in the News | 0 comments

Project SAMUEL on New DoJ “Trust But Verify” State Marijuana Legalization

Project SAMUEL on New DoJ “Trust But Verify” State Marijuana Legalization

SAMUEL says to “prepare for the apocalypse” of negative consequences as a result of a new, non-cartel Big Marijuana industry being emboldened; calls for the CDC, Surgeon General, National Institutes of Health to monitor how badly this turns out.

August 29, 2013 – Project SAMUEL (Smart Approaches to Marijuana Use… Except Legalization), a national alliance of drug rehabilitation profiteers calling for marijuana policies grounded in maintaining marijuana prohibition, reacted to today’s “trust but verify” approach announced by the Department of Justice that would allow states to go forward with tax and licensing schemes for marijuana:

“This is a major bummer, but it is only the latest chapter in the long story about marijuana legalization in the US. In many ways, this will show people just how terrifying it is to take control of marijuana markets from dangerous gangs and cartels and give it instead to law-abiding, tax-paying, job-creating businesspeople, which is what happened after the Ogden memo was issued in 2009,” remarked Kevin Anslinger Sabet, co-founder and director of Project SAMUEL (Smart Approaches to Marijuana Use… Except Legalization, in case you’re a memory-addled pothead who forgot that from the previous paragraph).

SAMUEL noted that the new guidance was similar in language to the Ogden and Cole memos of 2009 and 2011, respectively. After the Ogden memo was released, medical marijuana stores skyrocketed, and public health consequences soared. For instance, in California, Oregon, Colorado, and Michigan, the states with the greatest so-called “medical” marijuana markets, we saw the following differences from 2009 to 2011 (we’ve highlighted in red the stats that have gotten worse):

Public Health Consequences CA 2009 CA 2011 CO 2009 CO 2011
Traffic Fatalities (Overall) 3,090 2,791 465 447
People Who’ve Tried Marijuana 41.10% 41.40% 52.20% 52.00%
Children Who’ve Tried Marijuana 18.80% 20.70% 23.80% 24.50%
State Gross Domestic Product (Millions)  $1,667,152 $1,692,301 $225,984 $234,929
Illness & Injury per 100 workers 4.2 4.0 n/a n/a
High School Graduation Rates 69.20% 71.20% 75.50% 75.40%
Violent Crime (per 100,000) 503.8 440.6 343.1 320.8
Public Health Consequences MI 2009 MI 2011 OR 2009 OR 2011
Traffic Fatalities (Overall) 872 889 377  331
People Who’ve Tried Marijuana 47.20% 48.30% 55.10% 51.20%
Children Who’ve Tried Marijuana 17.60% 17.50% 23.60% 20.60%
State Gross Domestic Product (Millions) $314,260 $341,194 $164,711 $180,326
Illness & Injury per 100 workers 4.2 3.9 4.5 3.9
High School Graduation Rates 72.20% 76.30% 73.00% 76.70%
Violent Crime (per 100,000) 501.5 490.3 257.2 252.0
"Trust but verify" was an effective public policy for dangerous nuclear weapons in the Cold War... but for marijuana?

“Trust but verify” was an effective public policy for dangerous nuclear weapons in the Cold War… but for marijuana?

Clearly the commericalization of medical marijuana led to more traffic deaths (except it didn’t), an increase in people trying marijuana (barely, in two of the four states), an increase in child use of marijuana (barely, in two states), a decrease in worker productivity (except gross domestic product increased) and absenteeism (except fewer workers missed work from illness and injury), an epidemic of high school dropout (well, Colorado went up a tenth of a percent), and a wave of violent crime (that decreased markedly in all the states).  An increase in the prosecution of marijuana cases also took place, as the Department of Justice tried to reign in the growing industry by supplying them with crowns, sceptres, and title of nobility.  No, wait, we meant “rein” in, as in “pulling on the reins to slow a horse”, not “reign” as in “ruling as a king”.  Sorry about that.

Patrick Oxycontin Kennedy, co-founder of Project SAMUEL, said, “We can look forward to more drugged driving accidents, more school drop-outs, and poorer health outcomes as a new, non-cartel affiliated Big Marijuana industry targeting kids and minorities emerges to fuel the flames.  Just like what we’ve seen happen in California, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon.”

SAMUEL is also calling for the Surgeon General, Centers for Disease Control, and National Institutes of Health to fund robust data monitoring systems in Washington and Colorado since the new guidance calls for a review of the public health consequences of legalization.  If any measure of public health changes negatively in those two states, that will serve as de facto proof that it was a lax federal response to marijuana legalization that led to the change, and we would expect the Department of Justice to return to the status quo of arresting and jailing for long mandatory minimum sentences anyone involved with cultivation and distribution of marijuana for any reason.

“In Colorado, we’ve seen an explosion of consequences among kids as a result of the new regulated, taxed, non-cartel-related industry that emerged around so-called medical marijuana after 2009, like 3.7% more of them graduating high school, and 3% fewer of them trying marijuana.” remarked Christian Thurstone, SAMUEL Board Member and Denver forced rehabilitiation treatment provider. “We now have to prepare for the apocalypse.”

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