(Alexandria, VA) – It’s official. Big Tobacco is continuing its efforts to monopolize the marijuana industry. Today, Altria, one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco products, announced it is investing $12.8 billion in vaping giant, Juul, a company that controls 68% of the e-cigarette market.
Here is why this is a big deal:
The move comes just a week after the Marlboro maker announced it is pumping $1.8 billion in Canadian marijuana grower, Cronos. It is also coming a week after we learned that pot vaping has risen significantly, up more than 50% among all age groups.
Juul has and continues to take heat for how its products are appealing to and getting into the hands of minors. The company is even the subject of a class action lawsuit alleging its marketing specifically targets minors. Sound familiar? Big Marijuana and its predecessor, Big Tobacco, are pros at targeting children.
“Big Tobacco is officially going all in with the marijuana industry now,” said Dr. Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana. “The men in suits who once told America that nicotine is not addictive are now doing the same with marijuana, and laughing all the way to the bank. Big Tobacco’s involvement caused deaths from tobacco to skyrocket. With those same characters now cornering the pot industry, we can expect to see this addiction-for-profit industry become even more nefarious.”
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is a nonpartisan, non-profit alliance of physicians, policy makers, prevention workers, treatment and recovery professionals, scientists, and other concerned citizens opposed to marijuana legalization who want health and scientific evidence to guide marijuana policies. SAM has affiliates in more than 30 states.
Evidence shows that marijuana – which has skyrocketed in average potency over the past decades – is addictive and harmful to the human brain especially when used by adolescents. In states that have already legalized the drug, there has been an increase in drugged driving crashes, youth marijuana use, and costs that far outweigh pot revenues.These states have seen a black market that continues to thrive, a black market that continues to thrive, sustained disparities in marijuana arrest rates, and tobacco company investment in marijuana.
For more information about marijuana use and its effects, visit www.learnaboutsam.org.