Today, as a part of its ongoing effort to expose Big Tobacco and other predatory industries rushing to take over the commercial marijuana industry, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) released a new webpage focused on laying out the many investments made into Big Marijuana from addiction-for-profit conglomerates, as well as highlighting the former federal lawmakers who are now on the marijuana industry’s payroll.
“The corporate marijuana industry that is developing in our country and in Canada wants to paint an image of a small, mom and pop movement, but this is far from the truth,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of SAM and a former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration. “Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, and Big Pharma are in the process of taking over marijuana. This resource is just one more part of our effort to expose the concerning truth to the public—do we really want another predatory industry?”
The industry profiles page, viewable here, lays out the investments into marijuana by serval titans of Big Tobacco (Altria, Phillip Morris, Imperial Brands, and Pax Labs — the developer of Juul), Big Alcohol (Constellation Brands, Anheuser-Busch, Heineken and Molson Coors), and Big Pharma (Novartis, Purdue Pharma).
According to a recent study, deaths from liver disease and other alcohol-related deaths have doubled over the last twenty years. At the same time, the alcohol industry has begun investing billions into the marijuana industry, as explained on the industry profiles page.
What’s more, the resource exposes the handful of former federal lawmakers who currently draw massive paychecks from the marijuana industry. Chief among these are former House Speaker John Boehner and former Senate Majority and Minority Leader Tom Daschle.
“The fact that former lawmakers, some of whom worked diligently to expand Big Pot’s influence, are now drawing a check because of their work is extremely concerning,” continued Dr. Sabet. “Former House Speaker John Boehner blocked almost all attempts at criminal justice reform while in office and is now poised to collect $20,000,000 should federal legalization pass—the American people should be outraged by this.”