Who is at Greatest Risk from Marijuana Legalization & Commercialization?
It’s the less educated and lower income.
We’ve already been persuaded that a criminal record is a very damaging prospect for this demographic. But chronic pot use with its devastating impact on IQ, motivation, memory and mental health is a losing prospect for these communities and individuals as well.
Pot addiction carries devastating long term consequences.
This is the target market for addiction for profit enterprises. Adding commercialized marijuana to alcohol and tobacco would mean we’re actually tripling down on unleashing addiction marketing forces to exploit the easiest targets for cash, and then collecting the most regressive of taxes on those least able to pay.
Public leaders and drug policy makers need to focus on winning and on measurable goals: Less pot supply and less pot use. Less marijuana exposure means less damage done to human potential.
Commercialization drives use and addiction and lowers the age of initiation — key to forming life long habits and addictions.
The notion that the state should become the drug dealer so that the pot supply could be regulated and controlled is fantasy. Regulation is already failing in Colorado.
Black market activity has only escalated there. And now reports from yahoo news say Mexican drug cartels are now shifting more production there to opium poppies and expanding heroin production in their portfolios. Lesson learned: expanded pot commercialization is actually driving heroin production as well.
See the data. But beware of simplistic sounding policy solutions. There are none.
One thing is clear: Education and prevention is essential. We need to cut demand for drugs.
Read more in an enligthening series from German Lopez at Vox: http://www.vox.com/2015/3/13/8207577/marijuana-use-education
“…the chart also offers an argument against the commercialization of legalized marijuana. As drug policy experts have previously told me, the biggest risk of marijuana is that a user will lose control of his pot intake and become dependent on it. If pot is legalized, and retail sales and widespread commercialization make it more accessible, it could be easier for problematic pot users to obtain the drug — and it’s going to be very difficult for them to rise to their potential if they’re frequently intoxicated.”