Public Health Workers Learn About Marijuana
A Minnesota group hopes to convince public health workers to view marijuana as they do. The organization called “Smart Approaches to Marijuana Minnesota,” is part of a national group that advocates for policy that “neither legalizes, nor demonizes, marijuana.” SAMMn recently held a workshop in Maple Grove for public health workers and others. The event covered their view on marijuana policy. That being, the state shouldn’t allow it to be commercialized.
Members of the group stop short of advocating to keep recreational pot completely illegal, but they don’t want it to be sold in stores. They say states that have allowed commercial marijuana sales, such as Colorado, aren’t doing as well as the public thinks.
“You don’t see carnage on the highways,” says addiction researcher Ken Winters. “You don’t see communities devastated by a meth addiction like phenomena. But you do see plenty of health impacts that are not rosy. One of the problems is that I think the pro-marijuana side, which often are the politicians ’cause they passed the pro-marijuana bills, don’t want to educate their public about it.”
Winters says allowing commercial sales doesn’t reduce the number of drug dealers on the street. He says it may increase demand for illegal sales because those aren’t subject to taxes. For more information on the group’s stance, check their website.