Support for Commercial Pot Craters as Consequences Grow

(ANNAPOLIS, MD) – Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM)and a former White House drug policy advisor to Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton, released the following statement in advance of the one-year anniversary of commercial marijuana sales in Maryland: 

“It should come as little surprise that public support for commercial marijuana has fallen to about 1 in 3 supporters since Big Marijuana started peddling high-potency THC drugs in Maryland. While the industry heralds its products as ‘recreational,’ the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Not surprisingly, people are now making it clear they don’t want predatory pot-profiteers setting up shop in their communities. The fact no one has been released from prison in Maryland as a result also doesn’t help.

“Just as it has in other states, legalization has led to a massive influx of calls to Maryland’s Poison Control hotline, a trend that will certainly continue as people, especially kids, continue to mistakenly ingest THC-laced candies, sodas, cookies, gummies, and other products, some of which can have 99 percent potency. Worse yet, we still don’t have clear data on legalization’s impact on the state’s young people, even though we know these high-potency THC drugs are increasingly linked to IQ loss and significant mental health issues including depression, suicidality, psychosis, and schizophrenia, among other consequences.

“Lawmakers should be taking proactive steps to protect the public from the dangers of these high-potency drugs by enacting potency caps and enforcing the strongest possible warning labels. Residents should also be empowered to kick the addiction-for-profit industry out of their communities, if they desire. Otherwise, the future will only continue to get worse if the current model continues wreaking havoc on the state and its residents.”