Five Years into Marijuana Legalization: What Didn’t Happen

In January of 2013, Kevin Sabet was dealing with a brand new dilemma.

Never earlier than had any prohibitionist needed to battle again towards an precise legalization regime. For years, Sabet and his variety had issued dire forecasts of the awful hellscape America would turn into underneath the seductive habit to the satan’s lettuce. Now these predictions can be put to the check in the actual world.

So, let’s have a look again to these halcyon days of 2013 when weed had barely been legalized and was not but legally bought (that didn’t occur till 2014), to see how Sabet’s predictions panned out.

FEAR: “[Legalization of marijuana] would open the floodgates to more addiction.”

FACT: Legalization of marijuana has led to decrease use charges amongst teenagers, much less opioid habit and dying.

Sabet opined in an October 2013 op-ed at CNN that “legality means commercialization, normalization and wider access and availability that lead to more use and addiction.”

According to the 2015-2016 State-Level Estimates contained within the National Survey of Drug Use & Health, marijuana use has elevated in Colorado and Washington following their legalization. However, the rise is discovered principally among the many adults who at the moment are legally in a position to make use of marijuana.

Five Years into Marijuana Legalization: What Didn’t Happen

Russ Belville / National Survey on Drug Use & Health

Use amongst individuals aged 12-17 has truly declined since these states started authorized marijuana gross sales in 2014. That’s regardless of the opposite elements of Sabet’s prediction coming true. In 2015-2016, far fewer teenagers in Colorado and Washington believed month-to-month marijuana use was dangerous and disapproved of friends’ marijuana use.

FEAR: “[Marijuana] users will incur a huge cost to society.”

FACT: Tax income from authorized marijuana has topped nicely over $1 billion.

“We know, for example, that every $1 gained in alcohol and tobacco tax revenue costs society $10,” Sabet warned GoLocal Worcester in Massachusetts. “Why should we expect marijuana—which combines the intoxicating properties of alcohol with the lung damage associated with smoking—to be any different?”

Maybe as a result of alcohol and tobacco are each poisonous and addictive, whereas marijuana isn’t? Maybe as a result of individuals swapping productivity-killing drugs for medical marijuana are higher staff?

By Sabet’s reckoning, Colorado and Washington ought to have incurred over $10 billion in social prices from authorized weed—one thing even he gained’t attempt to declare. Instead, they’re utilizing pot cash for public profit, like constructing faculties.

FEAR: “Marijuana intoxication doubles your car crash risk.”

FACT: Colorado and Washington visitors fatalities, non-fatality crashes, and marijuana DUI fees remained regular or declined since legalization.

Russ Belville / National Survey on Drug Use & Health

Washington State Office of Financial Management

Sabet advised Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Current TV again in 2013 that the British Medical Journal revealed a research displaying double the automotive crash danger for drivers who check constructive for THC.

But different research have proven that in case you modify for age, gender, and alcohol use, constructive THC detection has no bearing in any way on crash danger.

“One possibility is that people who smoke marijuana share qualities—being young, male, and risk-taking,” wrote researchers again in 2009, “that would increase their risk of road traffic accidents even in the absence of marijuana use.”

“For marijuana, the unadjusted odds ratio was 1.25, but after statistically adjusting for gender, age, race/ethnicity, and driver alcohol concentration,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration confirmed in 2017, “there was no significant contribution to crash risk from any drug.”

FEAR: “Today’s marijuana is 10 times more dangerous than the marijuana of the ‘60s that many parents smoked in their dorm rooms.”

FACT: Nobody’s mother and father have been smoking 1-to-Three % THC marijuana again in school!

Sabet informed Salon that whopper based mostly on federal efficiency knowledge from the 1970s that sampled dried-out ditchweed sitting in scorching proof lockers. That knowledge doesn’t present any THC values above Three % till 1994, with values as little as 1.38 %.

Yes, marijuana is stronger today, however it’s not as if Cheech & Chong within the 1970s or Snoop & Dre within the 1990s have been smoking schwag. As I’ve proven above, these “dangers” Kevin Sabet predicted—higher habit, social prices, and automotive crashes from right now’s authorized not-your-parents’-Woodstock-Weed—simply didn’t materialize.

Sabet advised me personally as he toured Oregon throughout our 2014 legalization push that the extra the general public sees of the outcomes of marijuana legalization, the extra their opinions will change.

Given that nationwide public help for legalization is at 68 % and Oklahoma simply handed California-style medical marijuana, I assume we’ll have to offer him that one.


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