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Kevin Sabet: Marijuana legalization isn’t social justice

Dr. Kevin Sabet served as a senior drug policy advisor to the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations. He currently serves as president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana in Alexandria. (HANDOUT) Gov. Ralph Northam recently signed marijuana decriminalization into law, a reform that stop saddling people with criminal records for low-level pot use.

Yet, before the commonwealth even has the chance to study the results of decriminalization, some in the legislature are already calling for outright marijuana legalization and commercialization on the grounds of social justice. This would only set us back.

The failures of marijuana commercialization to prove good on any of the promises made in the name of social justice are far and wide. Routinely, in state after state that has commercialized marijuana, promises of social justice and equity have proven to be nothing more than a pipe dream.

Legalization has been touted everywhere as the next economic boom, with sky high promises of jobs, opportunity and tax revenues. In reality, the industry is currently experiencing widespread layoffs, large corporations are cornering the markets and tax revenues are falling far short of expectations.

Don’t believe pot taxes are the answer to budget issues, either. “Marijuana-legal” states are facing a combined deficit of […]

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