Smart Approaches to Marijuana-Illinois (SAM-IL), the coalition that has worked to educate lawmakers and the public about the harms of commercializing and legalizing marijuana, released the following statements today about the passage of legislation to legalize marijuana in Illinois.
“Today’s outcome is disappointing, as it is a win for wealthy marijuana investors and a loss for Illinois citizens and communities,” said Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “But we’re not done fighting. We will take this effort to local communities who do not want pot shops in their neighborhoods, and we will explore legal and other avenues to mitigate the harm. We can’t stop now – we know Big Marijuana, like Big Tobacco before it, will use this new law to make immense profits off a harmful, addictive and highly-potent drug, at the expense of public health, safety, low-income communities, and our kids.”
“While today’s outcome was not what we hoped for, I know members of SAM-IL will continue to stand up and advocate for common sense drug policies that make Illinois safer,” said Omari Prince, SAM-IL State Director. “To our SAM-IL members, including the NAACP, law enforcement, employers, health care professionals, community leaders and ordinary citizens who put in their time and effort to stop the legalization of marijuana-thank you. We know that this fight is far from done, and we will continue to work to improve our laws and push back against Big Marijuana.”