What praise was heaped in the letter “Cannabis industry primed for growth in Illinois” by Joseph Wright, director of Regulatory Affairs at Calyx Capital and former Director of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program! Apparently, the revolving door has started with Mr. Wright being one of the first through it, going from state employment to more lucrative employment by the cannabis industry. The revolving door is a part of regulatory capture already occurring in Illinois.
He claims that the “state is well-positioned to safely adapt to a more robust business climate.” He is equivocal regarding whether he is exclusively talking about the medical marijuana market or possibly also the recreational market.
Emergency department visits in Colorado for pediatric exposures to cannabis are up 1,000 percent for children under the age of 10 years since 2009. Colorado emergency department visits of adolescents that are related to cannabis are up 400 percent over 10 years. Finally, adult emergency department visits in Colorado attributable to cannabis are up 400 percent over four years. Mr. Wright, exactly which regulations will prevent that from happening in Illinois?
Marijuana is not a benign drug. People certainly should not be arrested for using it but neither should they be encouraged, particularly when the use is recreational. The formation of companies, such as the one by which Mr. Wright is now employed, that have a vested interest in getting as many people to use as much marijuana as possible is not in the interest of public health.