The Big Myth About “Big Marijuana”
Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 07/21/2016 in Medical Marijuana Studies
Recently a prominent marijuana prohibitionist group called, “Project SAM” (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), has been trying to create a buzz around the moronic notion, that if the federal government legalizes cannabis, we would ultimately be creating a major problem, that they are calling, “Big Marijuana” — the mythical evil twin of another man-made monster, named “Big Tobacco”.
Project SAM claims that if legalized, special interest groups and lobbyists that will sway legislation in favor of pushing cannabis on the masses, the same way the tobacco and pharmaceutical industry have done.
However, a report recently released, in June, by two researchers for the Bookings Institute, debunks the prohibitionist group’s claims.
Debunking the claims, researchers, John Rauch and John Hudak analyzed the current cannabis framework, and concluded that, in all likeliness, a “Big Tobacco”-type industry is highly unlikely. The pair found that, the commercial and regulatory model, would look very similar to the current system regulating alcohol, which is done primarily at a state-level. This structure also provides mandatory and voluntary measures to regulate the industry conduct, in addition to preventing anti-social and abusive commercial behavior, by applying a set of standards typically accepted by the public.
They also claim, that another reason the “Big Marijuana” scenario is unlikely, is due to the fact that the cannabis industry does not rest in the hands of a few large corporations — instead the cannabis industry is made up of entities that range from small grows in Colorado, all the way up to the established medical collectives in California. The cannabis industry isn’t locked into only one application of the plant, instead there are a countless number of variables that would essentially decentralize the ability to control cannabis.
Delivering the final nail in the “Big Marijuana” coffin, researches further stated that, “society has learned from Big Tobacco”, meaning that the public has learnt it’s lesson, and would take great care to ensure that regulations are implemented, to prevent a giant Philip Morris-type company from gaining so much power, that they are able to monopolize the cannabis industry.
“Should [the government] fear the Philip Morris-ization of marijuana? Yes, but not very much. Worries that industry members may advertise in ways that appeal to children, or may hide information from regulators, or may slant research, or may manipulate products to maximize dependency, are not fanciful. But marijuana is not like tobacco; the 2010s and 2020s are not like the 1960s and 1970s; and the bad example of tobacco provides a powerful prophylactic. The notion of an effectively unregulated marijuana industry doing as it pleases to the children of America is ahistorical and implausible.”
However, if cannabis is rescheduled to a Schedule 2 Controlled Substance, it could potentially open the way for a similar situation with the cartel-like pharmaceutical companies that are desperate to dominate the medical marijuana market.
For now, the answer to Project SAM’s convoluted claims, is simple — implement a structure that will effectively regulate the industry, thereby preventing the “Big Bad Marijuana” monster, from ever becoming a reality.