ROCKEFELLER REPORT A POLITICAL TOOL TO DRIVE AN AGENDA THAT’S HARMFUL TO LOW-INCOME AND MINORITY NEW YORKERS

By April 25, 2019Uncategorized

(NEW YORK, NY) –  Smart Approaches to Marijuana New York (SAM NY) CEO and former drug policy advisor to President Obama, Dr. Kevin Sabet issued the following statement in response to the Rockefeller Institute’s report on commercial marijuana:
 
“To the Rockefeller Institute, apparently cash is king. This report by a SUNY-funded think tank, was clearly designed to bolster the State and marijuana industry’s argument that more drugs in our communities is a good thing with minimal human consequences. The study lacks credibility because it completely ignores the significant costs to taxpayers due to massive projected increases in law enforcement, social services and other government spending due to legalization. What’s even more disturbing is how the report glosses over the negative social impacts of an industry with a reputation for targeting, exploiting and victimizing low-income and minority communities.
 
“Every state that has allowed commercialized pot has seen a range of health and safety problems including increases in addiction, youth drug use, motor vehicle accidents, and higher numbers of minority arrests. You simply can’t look at this in terms of revenue without addressing the costs.
 
“Findings out of Colorado have already shown that for every $1received in tax revenue from marijuana sales, taxpayers are on the hook for $4.50 to mitigate social, workplace, highway, health, criminal justice, other costs. Costs vs. revenue analysis in a number of states have already shown legal pot is a losing proposition for everyone except Big Marijuana’s investors. The situation in New York will be worse, not better.
 
“The report questions the impact of localities representing millions of New Yorkers that have already voted to reject commercial sales to protect young people, public health and safety. That dubious approach smacks of political propaganda designed to deter more local leaders from opting out. There’s a reason former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper called marijuana revenue ‘a drop in the bucket.’ The Rockefeller Institute apparently didn’t get the memo.”

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