Who We Are 

 

We are residents of Marin County including local health care professionals, public health advocates, educators, parents and teens. We are united by our concern over the commercialization of cannabis, high potency products and the consequences on youth. 

 

What We Are For: Cannabis Policies that Protect the Health and Safety of our Community

 

We want to be clear at the outset: we are not “anti-pot” or against weed. We do not oppose marijuana or cannabis per se and support:

  

  • Medical use for those who need it. We recognize the legitimate medical use of cannabis when it is informed, controlled and regulated. It is our hope that advances in medical research contribute to our understanding of the medicinal properties and benefits of cannabis. Credible medical research into both the benefits and harms is currently limited due to marijuana’s federal classification as a Schedule 1 Drug.

 

  • Responsible adult use. We do not oppose legal, safe and responsible adult use. We believe, however, that health and safety concerns related to driving under the influence and second-hand smoke need to be addressed.

 

  • Local Control. When voters across Marin supported Prop 64, they voted for local control within their communities in light of local conditions, the changing landscape of legalization and public health priorities. This is an important protection and right to exercise.
     

  • Decriminalization. We acknowledge the War on Drugs disproportionately targeted black and brown communities and was ultimately a failure. It should not be a law enforcement issue, but rather driven by public health priorities. 

 

What We Are Concerned With

  • High Potency Products. The potency of THC, the main psychoactive ingredient of cannabis, has exploded in recent years. It has increased in the traditional “flower” form, on average, from 2% in the 1960s to 4% in the ‘90’s to 15% currently. In commercial markets (such as California), flower containing 20-30% potency is not uncommon. Extractions in the form of concentrates such as oils, waxes and edibles typically deliver up to 50%-90% THC. In short, this is not the marijuana that most Marin residents grew up with.

 

  • Commercialization. Corporate cannabis interests are spending billions of dollars developing high potency products to stay competitive. The cannabis industry is following the Big Tobacco playbook and, not surprisingly, tobacco and alcohol conglomerates have invested billions in cannabis companies. The tactics are predictable: heavily market flavored and other products that are attractive to youth, addicting future generations. While vaping companies such as Juul have had their come-uppance, Big Cannabis has been largely inoculated against public scrutiny. So far.
     

  • Youth Use. Most of all, we are worried about use by adolescents, teens and young adults whose brains are still developing. Marin County’s adolescent substance use rates already are among the highest in the state and country and it can be challenging to raise children in such an environment without strong public health policy on the local level. A number of county organizations are addressing youth use with education, resources and outreach. We know from experience, however, that policy and a shift in cultural norms is critical for widespread impact.  

What We Deserve: Public Health Over Profits

 

  • Marin residents deserve to be fully informed on the potential impacts and risks of retail stores selling today’s cannabis in our county. 
     

  • We deserve a robust public process which allows residents to make informed decisions based on the facts as we know them in these very early stages of the legalized cannabis industry.
     

  • We deserve a process that is fully transparent and is not driven solely by profits or industry pressure. Public health deserves a seat at the table alongside policymakers. 
     

  • Corporate interests do not care about public health in our communities. Marin Residents for Public Health Cannabis Policies do. And we believe our elected officials have an obligation to as well.