Five Years into Marijuana Legalization: What Didn’t Happen

In January of 2013, Kevin Sabet was facing a new dilemma.

Never before had any prohibitionist had to fight back against an actual legalization regime. For years, Sabet and his kind had issued dire forecasts of the bleak hellscape America would become under the seductive addiction to the devil’s lettuce. Now those predictions would be put to the test in the real world.

So, let’s take a look back to those halcyon days of 2013 when weed had barely been legalized and was not yet legally sold (that didn’t happen until 2014), to see how Sabet’s predictions panned out.

FEAR: “[Legalization of marijuana] would open the floodgates to more addiction.”

FACT: Legalization of marijuana has led to lower use rates among teens, less opioid addiction and death.

Sabet opined in an October 2013 op-ed at CNN that “legality means commercialization, normalization and wider access and availability that lead to more use and addiction.”

According to the 2015-2016 State-Level Estimates contained in the National Survey of Drug Use & Health, marijuana use has increased in Colorado and Washington following their legalization. However, the increase is found mostly among the adults who are now legally able to use marijuana.

Russ Belville

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