SAM Action and Partners Force Stalemate on Pro-Pot Appropriations Riders

(Alexandria, VA) – Today, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) Founder and President Dr. Kevin A. Sabet released the following statement in response to the release of the text of the Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act:

SAM Action and its partners in public health, research, law enforcement, drug prevention, family, treatment and recovery made significant progress to defeat pro-pot appropriations riders. While there were over ten pro-pot amendments offered in the House, none were adopted into the House bill. This was a significant victory that set the marijuana industry on its heels and prompted several apoplectic fundraising emails by industry groups.

“Unfortunately, the Rohrabacher-Leahy Amendment was still included in the bill. The amendment protects marijuana businesses that produce high-potency pot candies, gummies, and cake pops under the guise of medicine from federal enforcement. This was the best we could achieve when the industry was fighting to expand the scope of that amendment to include full protection for the recreational marijuana industry.

“We did see a victory in that all other attempted pro-marijuana amendments were left out, leaving us with the status quo. The bill also maintains language blocking Washington D.C. from full commercialization and infiltration by Big Pot. We are gearing up to prevent further amendments that would protect and grow the marijuana industry in future appropriations bills.”

Evidence demonstrates that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain, especially when used by adolescents. Moreover, in states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes and youth marijuana use. States that have legalized marijuana have also failed to shore up state budget shortfalls with marijuana taxes, continue to see a thriving black market, and are experiencing a continued rise in alcohol sales.