Why regulation?

Regulating marijuana will....

Deny billions of dollars to violent criminal organizations

  • Over the past four decades, the lack of regulation and control over the marijuana market has played a key role in the creation of some of the most powerful criminal organizations in the world. 
  • The U.S. Department of Justice reports that more marijuana is being trafficked by drug cartels along our southern border than all drugs combined, and these criminal organizations are using the profits from the unregulated marijuana market to expand other illicit drug markets.

Prevent youth from being steered to a life of crime.

  • The federal government's National Survey on Drug Use and Health conservatively estimates that nearly a million youth each year sell illicit drugs (the vast majority involving marijuana). 

  • The National Research Council reports that the "prohibition of the supply of marijuana increases access to and use of other illegal drugs through the creation of an illegal marketing system for all drugs" and "[teenage] marijuana sellers may become socialized into other illegal activities."
  • Moreover, youth that are doing time in jail for marijuana offenses are further exposed to the influence of hardened criminals.
Provide families and communities a safer alternative to the culture of alcohol.
  • According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, "alcohol abuse is often a contributing factor in incest, child molestation, spouse abuse, and family violence."   Whereas, studies have shown that marijuana use tends to reduce aggressiveness and violence among users.
  • With every objective study on alcohol and marijuana showing that alcohol is a much more harmful substance than marijuana both for the user and for society, there is growing concern among public health and safety experts that our laws prohibiting marijuana are sending the harmful message that it is more acceptable to use alcohol.

Focus parent and community efforts on reducing underage access to marijuana and alcohol.

High school students consistently report having easier access to marijuana than to alcohol, and according to the federal government marijuana is “universally available” to them. By making marijuana legal for adults and treating it like alcohol, it will take it out of the black market (where it is unregulated and available to young people) and put it in a legal market (where it is controlled and only available to adults with valid ID).  Since young people will undoubtedly continue to be curious about marijuana and alcohol, we must educate them about their relative harms in an open and honest manner.

Additional Literature

Accountable Marijuana Sales: Why They Benefit Society (PDF format)

Learn the Facts on Alcohol and Marijuana

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