The state of Michigan released the regulations for the legalized marijuana industry recently and those opposed to legalization are concerned about the ramifications. Among those voicing caution are Melvyn Levitsky, professor of international policy and practice at the Ford School, and Kevin Sabet, president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM). Together the two authored an op-ed on August 1, 2019 in The Detroit News titled “Protect vulnerable groups from exposure to Big Marijuana.”
As the rules goes into effect, the authors urge Michiganders to “press for measures to protect vulnerable groups, particularly youth and low income and minority communities from the efforts at commercialization by Big Marijuana.” The piece details several risks that SAM has identified, including social injustice to low-income communities and the lack of limit on the potency of the psychoactive element.
Levitsky and Sabet conclude “We must remain vigilant and stand tall against this industry” to ensure the health and safety of Michiganders.
Ambassador Melvyn Levitsky, a retired career minister in the U.S. Foreign Service, is a professor of international policy and practice at the University of Michigan's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He also serves as senior associate of the school's International Policy Center, senior advisor to the Weiser Diplomacy Center, and faculty associate of the university's Center for Russian and East European Studies (CREES). In 2003, Ambassador Levitsky was elected by a vote of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and reelected in 2007, to a seat on the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), an independent body of experts headquartered in Vienna and responsible for monitoring and promoting standards of drug control established by international treaties. He served on the INCB until 2012.