The Marijuana Policy Initiative

Prevent Don't Promote Drug Use–Do You Want More Marijuana in Your Community or Less?

A volunteer non-partisan coalition of people from across the US and Canada who have come to understand the negative local-to-global public health and safety implications of an organized, legal, freely-traded, commercialized and industrialized marijuana market.

Lessons Learned From Four Years of Marijuana Legalization — The SAM Report

Lessons Learned After Four Years of Marijuana LegalizationThough it is still early, these “experiments” in legalization are not succeeding. Marijuana commercialization is failing as a public health approach to drug use.

In the wake of multimillion-dollar political campaigns funded with out-of-state money, Colorado and Washington voted to legalize marijuana in November 2012. Though it would take more than a year to set up retail stores, personal use (CO, WA) and home cultivation (in CO, which includes giving away of up to six plants) were almost immediately legalized after the vote. (Get the full 18-page Slide Deck Here) Continue reading

An Adult in the Room: MA Senator Lewis on Marijuana

Looking closer at marijuana commercialization

Looking closer at marijuana commercialization.

Kudos to Senator Jason Lewis (MA-D) for being the level-headed, unflappable, well informed adult in the room, and for speaking to the facts and with honesty about what he saw and learned on a fact-finding trip to Colorado. While he hasn’t made public his decision on how he will vote on the 2016 ballot question that would commercialize marijuana for recreational use in Massachusetts, the Senator, unlike much of the media, is at least digging into the issue to properly understand it.

The show on which Senator Lewis appeared is a very popular, generally liberal, public radio talk show in Boston. Upon returning from a fact finding trip in Colorado, Senator Lewis was very clear on the possible downside consequences of a rising commercial/corporate marijuana industry. Continue reading

Colorado Police Foundation: Legalized Marijuana may have increased illegal drug trade

Marijuana guidebook colorado police foundation

Although the Colorado Police Association report tries not to take a position on marijuana legalization itself, the facts argue strongly against it. [Click Image to Download the Report]

In a publication just issued, the Colorado Police Foundation and the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police have summarized law enforcement issues related to the legalization of marijuana in that state. This 84-page document covers topics such as the growth and history of legalization in Colorado as well as particular law enforcement issues dealing with establishing probable cause for arrest, search warrants, drug dogs, the continued existence of the black market, threats of explosions and fires, medibles, tourism and public safety, home marijuana grows, changes to hiring practices, the homeless, the presence of large amounts of cash, drugged driving offenses and the impact on youth and education.

One of the statements struck us as being particularly telling — “legalized marijuana may have increased the illegal drug trade.” Page 17.

You simply can’t make something legal without simultaneously making it illegal. And, when you make a commodity legal and tax it you make it expensive and unaffordable to many. Throw in commercialization–advertising, titillation, deception, promises of false rewards, and social norming and you create more would be buyers.

Layer this all with addiction to high-potency engineered and distilled cannabis derivatives and you have the perfect conditions for a burgeoning black market.

Continue reading

Marijuana Legalization Support Plummets 17% — USA Today/Suffolk University Poll

Latest polls show support of marijuana legalization plummeting

“Marijuana Doubts: Colorado voters may be having second thoughts about the legalization of marijuana. A slight majority of voters (50.2 percent) say they do not agree with the decision to legalize recreational marijuana in that state—a decision made by voters in 2012–while 46 percent continue to support the decision. Nearly 49 percent do not approve of how the state is managing legalized pot, compared to 42 percent who approve.” Suffolk University News

Colorado Voters are Turning Against Marijuana Legalization.

A September 17, 2014 Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds support for legalization plummets 17% among Colorado voters.

DENVER- In the first indication of a backlash brewing in Colorado against legal pot, a Suffolk University/USA Today poll finds that now only 46% of likely voters support Amendment 64, the constitutional amendment legalizing and commercializing marijuana. 50% of likely voters oppose the measure entirely. That is a marked difference from election night 2012, when 55% of voters supported the measure. Even fewer people – 42% of likely voters – approve with the way the state is handling the legal change. Continue reading

Marijuana Industry Works to Erase Data But can’t Hide The Truth

Marijuana Industry Influences CO Crime Data Manipulation

In the CDC’s latest report, issued late last week, the two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use — Colorado and Washington — are not represented. As the chart below shows, Colorado data were not weighted, essentially meaning the state failed to provide CDC researchers a sample size suitable for analysis. The State of Washington didn’t participate in the survey at all.

You can try to erase the data, but you cannot change the truth.

The Medical Marijuana Industry Group is just the latest organization dedicated to influencing policy and policymakers in the goal of corporate greed–this time in profit from marijuana addiction.

This corporate marijuana lobby, in its latest deception, issued in June a list of data that is a gross misrepresentation of the facts as it relates to youth use rates and crime statistics in Colorado.

Does drug policy affect the levels at which young people use mind-altering drugs? History has shown that, yes, indeed it does. Not only are youth use rates highest in the United States in “medical marijuana states”, but elsewhere in world, Sweden for example, each time the country softened its drug laws youth use went up, along with public health harms. Continue reading