Without proper controls, California’s marijuana industry could rival “Big Tobacco” as a threat to public health, warns an academic analysis of two ballot measures to legalize the drug.
The study published this month by researchers at UC San Francisco doesn’t oppose legalization. But Rachel Barry and Stanton Glantz of the school’s Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education express concern about the regulations proposed by the two initiatives seen as most likely to make the November ballot.
“Evidence from tobacco and alcohol control demonstrates that without a strong public health framework, a wealthy and politically powerful marijuana industry will develop and use its political clout to manipulate regulatory frameworks and thwart public health efforts to reduce use and profits,” the study read.
An Inland Empire marijuana legalization activist dismissed the study as a scare tactic.
“Any kind of researcher that puts something out that’s negative on marijuana, everyone jumps on it,” while ignoring studies showing marijuana’s positive effects, Lanny Swerdlow said. [Read more at the Riverside Press Enterprise]