Marijuana legalization has resulted in passionate and well-funded individuals and organizations on both sides of the argument working to advance their position, spending money and organizing volunteers. Concerned parents, law enforcement and medical professionals have created state and national organizations to argue against medical and recreational marijuana legalization.
Here are 10 of the largest or most well-known organizations that are leading the opposition to marijuana legalization:
1. CALM: Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana
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Carla Lowe's political action committee in California was started to fight marijuana legalization efforts in California during the 2010 election. “CALM takes the position that federal laws against the use, cultivation, and transportation should be maintained and enforced and should not be relaxed or softened,” according to the organization's website.
2. SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana
Patrick Kennedy, David Frum and Kevin Sabet's organization asks its volunteers to “help us stop another Big Tobacco and advocate for drug policies that put health first.”
3. Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
The former Partnership for a Drug-Free America created the famous, “This is your brain on drugs” public service announcement that featured eggs in a frying pan to represent what happens to one's brain on illegal drugs, including marijuana.
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4. Police Unions
Major police unions in the states where marijuana legalization has gone to vote have come out against the measures. Union organizations and lobbying representatives worked against the 2010 California legalization measure as well as Colorado's Amendment 64.
5. Save Our Society from Drugs
Betty Sembler founded S.O.S. to “help Americans defeat ballot initiatives, statutory proposals and other attempts to 'medicalize' unsafe, ineffective and unapproved drugs such as marijuana, heroin and crack cocaine.”
6. Drug Free America Foundation
This 501c3 organization is a sister organization to S.O.S. that works with the United Nations as a non-governmental organization to support “international policies and laws that will reduce illegal drug use and drug addiction.”
7. Office of National Drug Control Policy
This White House-based group, led by the “drug czar” for the executive branch, was created in 1989 to coordinate policies and procedures within the federal government to among the executive branch agencies.
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8. Parents Opposed to Pot
“Bursting the bubble of marijuana hype” is the slogan of the organization that works to create messaging to help parents teach their children to stay away from marijuana. The group also actively campaigns against medical and recreational legalization efforts in the states where ballot measures come to vote.
9. American Society of Addiction Medicine
This 2,700 member physician society formed in the 1950s works to “promote the appropriate role of the physician in the care of patients with addition,” according to its website. In July, 2012, the group published a paper arguing that smoked marijuana “is not, and cannot be, a medicine.”
10. Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America
Founded in 1992, CADCA has created programs and campaigns to help reduce tobacco, alcohol and drug use in communities across the U.S. and in other countries, including by returning veterans.
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