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  • Over time, younger generations will become the main voters. Over the long term, voter turnover will lead to the rise of a generation that, following recent trends, will be more amenable to legalization efforts. I think you should flag how the generation gap has shrunk, as well as the fact that some still remains.Support among boomers has been more volatile
  • Preliminary Evaluation of Marginal Differences Between Opposition for Prop 19 and Opposition for General Legalization by Demographic “California voters put up the largest number ever recorded for a legalization referendum, in a year when conservatives took back the House and typically lower mid-term election turnout patterns held. Given the high level of support for legalization in this survey, and the unusual circumstances of this election year, it is very unlikely that Prop 19 was the final word on this issue” Source: Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, 2010
  • Sabet presentation

    1. 1. Marijuana Legalization Issues:Where Can We Go? Kevin A. Sabet, Ph.D. Director, Drug Policy Institute and Assistant Professor, University of Florida President, Policy Solutions Lab, Cambridge, MA www.kevinsabet.com
    2. 2. DisclosureNeither I nor any member of my familyhas a relationship with any proprietaryentity concerning services discussed in this presentation.Neither I nor any member of my family has a relationship with the alcohol or tobacco industry.
    3. 3. Why Are We Having This Discussion?
    4. 4. Because They Have Been Brilliant…And We Have Not Been!
    5. 5. All or nothing?Legalization vs. Prohibition
    6. 6. They‟ve organized at the state level to push their initiatives.
    7. 7. They have major donors who fund their work and messages.
    8. 8. They‟ve secured legislative champions at all levels – local, state and federal.
    9. 9. They‟ve gotten the attention of editorial boards and media – including print, television and social media.
    10. 10. They‟ve mobilized major grassroots and student supporters.
    11. 11. They are present and active in every single academic, think-tank, UN, and otherinternational and domestic discussion on drug policy.
    12. 12. How Can We Turn This Around?
    13. 13. Marijuana legalization could pass: In one poll, National support is 50% 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Year 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 Do not support legalization Support LegalizationSources: Gallup http://bit.ly/olrSEQ and GSS
    14. 14. But Have We Seen This Before?
    15. 15. Percentage of U.S. 12th Grade Students Reporting Past Month Use of Cigarettes and Marijuana, 1975 to 2009 40 30 Cigarettes Percent 20 Marijuana 10 0Source: The Monitoring the Future study, the University of Michigan
    16. 16. Is the late 1970s… In 5 years, 11 states “decriminalized” marijuanaNORML bragged, 1978: Keith Stroup “We are trying to getmarijuana reclassified medically. If we do that, (well do it inat least 20 states this year for chemotherapy patients) wellbe using the issue as a red herring to give marijuana a goodname.” (Emory Wheel, 1978)2012: MASSCANN/NORML spokesman: “Stepping stone tolegalization? I hope so. That‟s the plan. Decrim 2008, Medical2012, Legal 2016. Yes we want to legalize! We will completelylegalize for everybody in 2016.” (YouTube, 2012)
    17. 17. Legalization Resurgence Brilliant PR: “Marijuana is Medicine”Tight Marijuana Legalization Racesin „12 Our Side Often Feels Dejected (public grantees “cannot lobby”)
    18. 18. Generational trends in support for legalization (Caulkins) Percent Favoring Legalization by BirthPercentage Favoring Legalization 50% Cohort (GSS) 45% 40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 2005 2007 Overall Silent Generation (1925-1945) Baby Boomers (1946-1964) Generation X and Y (1965-2000)
    19. 19. In 2012 Three States Voting on Marijuana Legalization: OR, WA, CO WA and CO are most worrisome –professionally run campaigns with $$$ Four States to Vote on “Medical” Marijuana
    20. 20. Factors Leading to Increase OutspentMessenger problem (generational familiarity) Seen and framed as sensible alternative
    21. 21. We Must Always Emphasize We Don‟t Have All The AnswersCurrent Policies Can Be Reformed, But Legalization is Unnecessary for That Legalization Exposes Us to Unknown Risk
    22. 22. Ultimately the Question is this: “Is the right to get high and buy legal pot in a store worth the risk to kids in the form of greater addiction and learning deficits, the risk to society when we have another legal entity advertising an addictive substance, and the riskto our economy in the form of greater safety and health costs (like car crashes or the costs to health care and the costs of a newly regulated system)?”
    23. 23. We Lose When We… Say that Current Policy Needs No Changes, “Everything is Great” Go on the Defensive About Law Enforcement Resources Don‟t Integrate Doctors, HealthWorkers, Teachers, Soccer Moms in Our Work
    24. 24. Going Through the Arguments
    25. 25. Current Use of Major Substances in the General Population, 2009Past Month Use (Ages 12 or Older) 60 51.9 50 40 30 23.3 20 10 6.6 0 Marijuana Cigarettes Alcohol 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health Source: SAMHSA, (September 2010).
    26. 26. Alcohol & Tobacco: Money Makers or Dollar Drainers? Alcohol TobaccoCosts Costs $185 $200 bil. bil. $25 $14 bil. bil. Revenues Revenues
    27. 27. “If Only We Treated It Like Alcohol…” 2.7 million 847,000 Arrests for alcohol-related Marijuana-related crimes in 2008 arrests in 2008 (Does NOT include violence; Includes violations of liquor laws and driving under the influence)
    28. 28. Effect of Legalization on Price & ConsumptionRAND: Price Will Drop More Than 80% Consumption Will Increase Tax evasion a major concern
    29. 29. What incentives do legalcorporations have to keep price low and consumption high? Alcohol: “Drink Responsibly” and Tax Low
    30. 30. Legalization: Experience Elsewhere?No modern nation has triedlegalization, though most Westerncountries do not imprison people forsimple marijuana possession. - The Netherlands, Portugal, Italy use rates lower for some drugs since 10 yrs ago; higher for others. - The Dutch experienced a three-fold increase in marijuana use among young adults after commercialization expanded.
    31. 31. Estimated Number of Sentenced Prisoners and Drug Offenders Under State Jurisdiction, 1985 to 2009 1,400,000 Number of Sentenced Prisoners All Offenses 1,200,000 1,000,000 800,000 600,000 400,000 263,800 251,400 224,900 148,600 200,000 38,900 Drug Offenses 0 1985 1986 1987 1988 1990 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1999 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2008 1989 1991 1998 2000 2007 2009 Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2009 (December 2010); Prisoners in 1996 (June 1997).6/2011
    32. 32. Underground Markets and CrimeRAND: Mexican DTOs earn 15-25% of revenue frommarijuana.It is highly likely that legalization would noteliminate black markets for drugs.State Legalization: 2-4% impact on DTO revenues(California) - Most legalization proposals call for taxes on drugs, which increases likelihood that markets will remain endemic. - TCOs involved in numerous illegal trades
    33. 33. Taxes Necessary to Prevent aPrice Collapse Are Enormous• Excise taxes create gray markets• Most relevant metrics are – Price per unit weight – Price per unit volume• Canada tried but had to repeal ~300% excise taxes on tobacco
    34. 34. Cross Sectional Relationship Between Tobacco Tax & Evasion (Caulkins) 50% 45% y = 0.1141x + 0.0018 R² = 0.5559 40% Consumption from Smuggling 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% $0.00 $0.50 $1.00 $1.50 $2.00 $2.50 $3.00 $3.50 $4.00 Excise Tax ($ per pack)
    35. 35. Placing a $50 per Ounce MJ Tax on theSame Scale (assuming 20 grams per pack) 450% 400% 350% Consumption from Smuggling 300% 250% 200% 150% 100% 50% 0% $0 $10 $20 $30 $40 $50 $60 Excise Tax per Ounce
    36. 36. Marijuana‟s Health EffectsMost people who use marijuana once will stop, and not get addicted.1 in 6 kids who try marijuana will become addicted. For the group of people who keepsmoking marijuana, the health harms are underappreciated and costly.
    37. 37. Potency: Increased THC Content in Seized Marijuana PERCENT THC FROM 1983 TO 200910%9%8%7%6%5%4%3%2%1% 0 ’85 ’90 ’95 ’00 ’05 Sources: The University of Mississippi Potency Monitoring Project
    38. 38. Long Term Effects of Marijuana ESTIMATED PREVALENCE OF DEPENDENCE AMONG USERS 32 23 17 15 11 9 8 5Tobacco Alcohol Marijuana Cocaine Stimulant Analgesics Psychedelics Heroin Source: Wagner, F.A. & Anthony, J.C. From First drug use to drug dependence; developmental periods of risk for dependence upon cannabis, cocaine, and alcohol. Neuropsychopharmacology 26, 479-488 (2002).
    39. 39. 282 351 Heroin Stimulants 358 175 Hallucinogens Inhalants 451 126 TranquilizersSedatives Dependence on or Abuse of Specific Illicit Drugs in the Past Year Among Persons 12 or Older, 2008 1,411 Cocaine 4,199 Marijuana 1,716 Pain Relievers Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2009). Office of Applied Studies. Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS): 2009 Discharges from Substance Abuse Treatment Services, DASIS .
    40. 40. Increased Marijuana Treatment Admissions 1993 and 2007 PERCENT OF ADMISSIONS60% 1993200750%40%30%20%10%0 Alcohol Cocaine Heroin Marijuana Source: Treatment Episode Data Set, US Health and Human Services, 1993 & 2007
    41. 41. Marijuana and Kids The adolescent brain is especially susceptible to marijuana use.That means that when kids use, they have a greater chance of addiction since their brains are being primed.If used regularly before 18, new research shows that IQ drops by 8 points at age 38, even when that person has stopped.
    42. 42. Let‟s Not Go Back HereThe Liggett Group: “If you are reallyand truly not going to sell [cigarettes] tochildren, you are going to be out ofbusiness in 30 years.”R. J. Reynolds: “Realistically, if ourcompany is to survive and prosper, overthe long term we must get our share ofthe youth market.”
    43. 43. Lorillard: “The base of our business isthe high school student.”Phillip Morris: “Todays teenager istomorrows potential regularcustomer… Because of our high share ofthe market among the youngestsmokers, Philip Morris will suffer morethan the other companies from thedecline in the number of teenagesmokers.”
    44. 44. There are many waysto reduceincarceration andother relatedconsequenceswithout legalizingdrugs.
    45. 45. Solutions Smart InternationalPrevention Treatment Recovery Enforcement Efforts
    46. 46. The future is uncertain… Extrapolation of Percentage Favoring Legalization Given Cohort Turnover (Jonathan Caulkins)Percentage Favoring Legalization 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%
    47. 47. WWhat did we learn in California? (Caulkins) 9% VOTEDNO Swing VotersOutwardly Against Legalization 8% Income Voting No On Prop 19 Minus Liberal $40K-$80K 7% Female Age 55+ Parents of Children in Public Schools 6% Income Conservative Overall $80K+ 5% < HS 4% Male Education 3% Age 18-34 Income Under 2% $40K Immigrant 1% Latino 0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Percent Voting No on Prop 19
    48. 48. • 1 in 11 of those who voted „No‟ agree that marijuana should be legalized but did not like the specifics of Prop 19• Focus on Specifics of Proposal, NOT generalizations• Form partnerships with key groups – Immigrant populations – 55+ – Females, Soccer Moms, Public Schools
    49. 49. Immediate Steps for All of UsRecruit Younger Generation as Leaders Go Out of Our Way to Not LookInflexible, We Must Reclaim “Reform” Pick Battles Wisely Think Like “Google” or “Apple” Not “Microsoft”
    50. 50. THANK YOU!KEVINSABET@GMAIL.COM WWW.KEVINSABET.COM

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