Smart Approaches to Marijuana is calling for federal authorities to prosecute members of the marijuana industry.
Recently, United States Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, sent letters to Washington, Colorado, Alaska, and Oregon criticizing how the states are overseeing recreational marijuana programs. The governor’s of these states sent their own letters to Sessions defending their recreational marijuana. They also stood by the Cole Memo, which protects state legal medical marijuana businesses from being targeted by federal authorities.
There seem to be letters coming from just about everywhere. The anti-marijuana group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), has also written to Sessions. While perhaps more of a report than a letter, SAM is calling for a federal crackdown marijuana on the fourth of anniversary of the Cole Memo.
SAM is urging Sessions to “take measured action to successfully protect public health and safety. Limited federal resources should be used to target the big players in the marijuana industry who are circumventing (Department of Justice) guidance and state regulations.”
Kevin Sabet, president of SAM, wanted to make clear that he is not seeking punishment for individuals.
“We do not want individuals prosecuted — we want the industry to be accountable. This industry — starting from the top — should be systematically shut down.”
SAM claims that marijuana businesses engage in predatory behavior by “pocketing millions by flouting federal law, deceiving Americans about the risks of their products, and targeting the most vulnerable. They should not have access to banks, where their financial prowess would be expanded significantly, nor should they be able to advertise or commercialize marijuana.”
The report issued by SAM seems to be based on news headlines rather than empirical data. They used five articles from the Denver Post/Cannabist to make their argument. Some of these articles do not even seem to outright support SAM’s arguments.
By 2020, analysts predict that the marijuana industry could employ close to 300,000 individuals. This does not take into account all of the other jobs that are linked to the industry such as security personnel, construction workers, and professional services.
Calling for the elimination of mass jobs may not be the best way to elicit public support for SAM.