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I have heard from several reporters that the supporters California's Adult Use of Marijuana (AUMA) initative were making the rounds to the media and public health organizations criticising our report before it came out.
 
They were basing these criticisms on a/sites/tobacco.ucsf.edu/files/u9/Ltr%20to%20Glantz%20and%20Barry%20%28dated%201.29.2016%29.pdf" target="_blank"; letter that their lawyer sent me last Saturday (Jan 30; the letter is dated Friday Jan 29) transmitting a /sites/tobacco.ucsf.edu/files/u9/UCSF%20Report%20Responses%201.29.16.pdf" target="_blank";detailed critique of a draft of the report that we distributed widely -- including to initiative supporters -- three weeks earlier on January 6,
 
We distributed the January 6 draft precisely because we wanted criticism so that we could get the facts right in our analysis.  We received a lot of feedback from people around the country who were public health experts, including lawyers who were experts in tobacco and alcohol regulation. 
 
We repeatedly asked initiative supporters for their criticisms several times before we finished the report.  Until we got the lawyer letter no one responded.
 
Rachel Barry and I spent the weekend reviewing the critique and, figuring that the initiative campaign would be using it in an effort to discredit our work, prepared a /sites/tobacco.ucsf.edu/files/u9/Olsen%20letter%20response-Feb%202.pdf" target="_blank";detailed point-by-point response.  In doing so we asked several lawyers who are experts in tobacco and alcohol regulation look at our responses to make sure that we were not misunderstanding the initiative or its provisions.
 
For people who want to dig even more into the details, it is worth reading this back and forth, since it further illustrates how the techicalities of the initiative fail to protect public health.
 
In the end we did make a few additional technical corrections to our final draft; none of these materially affected the major point of our report: The initiative prioritizes creating a new marijuana industry that could well end up being a "new tobacco industry."

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