NEW YORK (MainStreet) Maybe marijuana legalization advocates were just blowing smoke -- when the Colorado Department of Finance reported collecting $5.4 million in taxes on medical marijuana in 2012. The predictions made by the public relations campaign waged by them are just blowing in the wind - at least according to Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM).
According to SAM's new report about the effects of legalization in Colorado, pot proponents:
- 1- Overestimated tax revenues
- 2- Underestimated the amount of increase in those under age 18 using marijuana
- 3- Underestimated the increase in traffic accidents because of marijuana
- 4- Underestimated the increase in THC workplace usage
The multimillion dollar public relations campaign was waged to convince Colorado's voters that legalizing marijuana would be beneficial to the citizens of the state. It only extolled the virtues but it never mentioned that there might be costs, claims Kevin Sabet, the author of the report and a psychiatry professor at the University of Florida. He directs the Drug Policy Institute at the university.
"Of course, they might have thought this would happen but never discussed it during their $3 million campaign to spread the message that 'pot is safer than beer' and 'drug dealers don't ID,'" he said. "They are completely ignoring and are silent about these negative consequences happening now."
The report also noted that the e-cigarette and vaporizer industries are being spawned by legalization -- an economic boon; however, that comes an increase in the use of marijuana among youths - once again the exact opposite of what marijuana legalizers said would happen.
According to SAM, Japan Tobacco International (JTI) the third largest international tobacco company behind Philip Morris International, bought a percentage of Ploom in 2011. Ploom is a Silicon Valley startup that makes a "loose-leaf vaporizer that can be used to inhale heated vapor from marijuana as well as tobacco..."