Beware approval of dispensaries

Those facing decisions about approving marijuana distribution facilities in their communities would do well to read Kevin Sabet’s most recent book, “Smokescreen.”

An assistant professor at Yale’s Medical School, the author documents the 30-year push by Big Tobacco, the pharmaceutical and porn industry (Hugh Hefner, et al, and libertarians such as George Soros) to legalize the drug. Sabet, a PhD (Oxford University), has actively opposed marijuana use since high school and subsequently as a senior advisor on drug policy with the Bush and Obama administrations.

New York state has recently approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use and can learn about the effects of legal dispensaries from states (California, Washington, Oregon and Colorado especially) from their experiences. Over the past 30 years, a huge cash flow has fed pro-marijuana politicians, lobbyists and groups to push legalization. The strategy has been to inundate the population with the belief in the ‘medicinal’ value of marijuana, that it’s less dangerous than alcohol, and that legalization will achieve social equity, doing away with law enforcement’s unfairly targeting of poor and minority communities.

None of these claims are true, Sabet reveals. The psychoactive properties of the drug (THC) are much more potent — and addictive — than the drug of decades ago. Young people are the primary target of the legalization industry; disenfranchised communities, already burdened with liquor stores as opposed to grocery stores, are the special target of establishing drug dispensaries. Greater addiction, hospitalization, undermined immune systems, depression, suicide, indifference to eduction, lower IQ (by some 10 points), more accidents, greater negative involvement with law enforcement are the documented consequences of legalization.

Sabet shows that those states which have legalized don’t have the staff to properly monitor the legal dispensaries where the big push is profit, turn over product, which means more pesticides used in cultivation, more dangerous mold, heavy metals, ever higher THC content, more slick packaging to children (candies, vaping, cookies etc.) and an emboldened black market industry.

With legalization, New York state expects to realize over $2 billion in the next couple of years after local communities buy into the scheme. Higher levels of THC mean even more tax revenue for the financially strapped State.

Local communities have until Dec. 31 to approve or reject retail dispensaries. Rather than relying on the propaganda pushed by the State, which is offering loans and grants to encourage pot operations, interested citizens should look at the experience of those states which have embraced legal marijuana distribution, as outlined in Sabet’s book.

Roy Harvey, a Mayville resident, was for 10 years an investigator in Illinois with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.


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