There is new data out from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and it paints a bleak picture for the future of our country should the marijuana industry become successful in its attempt to be the next Big Tobacco.
In short, there are now twice as many daily or near daily marijuana users in the country than just a decade ago. Additionally, there are now over 8,000 new marijuana users each day and 22% of 18 to 25-year-olds are currently using the drug – the highest number for all three stats in recent memory. Worse, annual use by ages 16 and up has significantly risen since last year.
Marijuana use has skyrocketed in our country as the perception of harm has plummeted. The marijuana industry, just like Big Tobacco years ago, continues to glorify marijuana as a cure-all substance that offers no risk to anyone.
The reality is this: if it were not for marijuana, overall drug use in the country would be going down. Mental health issues are rising, more people are dying due to marijuana-impaired drivers, and positivity rates among our workforce are up. None of this will help our country succeed and be productive.
But this fight is far from over, friend. Contrary to the lies of the industry, marijuana legalization is not inevitable. This year alone, SAM and our affiliates have been successful in defeating marijuana legalization and commercialization efforts in five different state capitols: Rhode Island, Illinois, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy’s promise to legalize marijuana within his first hundred days in office has stalled as our allies in the Legislature have dug in their heels against this reckless proposal. The Senate is considering putting the bill to a vote in the coming weeks, but many are predicting that the votes simply aren’t there.
In response to increasing pressure in New York, we have opened an office in Manhattan and are actively organizing the resistance to let the lawmakers in Albany know that legalization would be a disaster for the Empire State. In addition, we are continuing to form a grand coalition in the Midwest from our new hub in Chicago, Illinois.
Outside of state legislatures, we are working hard in Michigan and North Dakota to defeat marijuana legalization at the ballot box. And polls are tightening up, with one poll showing us ahead by a few points in Michigan.
In North Dakota, we are thrilled to be partnering with a coalition of health professionals who are opposed to the measure, which is perhaps the most far-reaching legalization proposal I have ever seen.
Dr. Kevin Sabet
Founder and President
Smart Approaches to Marijuana Action
About SAM Action
SAM Action is a non-profit, 501(c)(4) social welfare organization dedicated to promoting healthy marijuana policies that do not involve legalizing drugs. SAM Action engages in high-impact political campaigns to oppose marijuana legalization and commercialization.