Feb 102013
 February 10, 2013

Kevin A. Sabet, Co-chair of SAM, talks to HuffingtonPost DC Bureau Chief Ryan Grim about marijuana reform bills. So that’s what reefer madness looks like…

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/MariahKaze Chris Christian

    Don’t get any sound with this vid?

    • http://www.facebook.com/watersimages Bridget Waters

      I got sound. I didn’t learn anything, but I got sound.

  • incogneatow

    “Something about illegality drives use down” – unbelievable statement. I guess in Mr. Sabet’s world there isn’t a level of excitement or street cred in using illegal substances. Cannabis is more available now then when the drug war began. Prohibition has funded the cartels and allowed them to create a drug trafficking network that rivals corporate infrastructure. The demand has remained steady in relation to population growth. We do not have any information to the contrary, because of prohibition. You should not speculate, assume surmise on legal usage until it has been legal for a period of say 5-10 years.

    “The kind of marijuana…” – If Mr. Sabet has done any research on the plant he would know that there are many different ways to consume cannabis (raw plant juice, vaporization, oral consumption – edibles, tinctures, concentrates) other than smoking, each having different physiological responses. He would also know that there are hundreds of strains with different levels of active constituents and effects, and his potency claim means people will just consume less. This is definitely not the old marijuana from the 60s and 70s, todays cannabis is more refined and specialized.

    “Marijuana trade is not particularly violent” – interesting comment, based upon what evidence? If there is very little violence in the cannabis trade, and the substance itself is not harmful or addictive (habitual yes), then why is it prohibited? On the other hand Mr. Sabet has never tried to source some cannabis from the local street dealer, and obviously has not spent much time in Mexican drug territories, or discover a grow op on federal land. Mr. Sabet, before you suggest policy you’ll need to spend more time on all sides of the issue. Your comments sound like your still in the annals of our tired and out of touch federal bureaucracy and congress.

    “15-20% revenue comes from marijuana” – DEA stated 80% in the Vanguard documentary “Marijuana Wars”. This has been also stated by former drug Czars (60-70% revenue). Law enforcement also states that they see more cannabis infractions than other drugs, 80-90% of drug arrests are from cannabis – a multi billion dollar criminal industry controlled by the drug cartels. Drug cartels spend millions on lobbying efforts to quash legalization efforts, they would not do that for 15-20% profit.

    Marijuana, as stated by recent private scientific evidence in Europe, Canada, Israel, U.S. is not addictive. It is as habit forming as caffeine or simple carbohydrates (sugars; junk food) while not causing physical withdrawals. The standard definition of substance addiction is something that you cannot physically stop and has some kind of physical withdrawal, such as cocaine, opiates and nicotine.

    With all that Sabet says and believes in, it is all based upon the model of prohibition and not a model where legalization is the norm. His rhetoric is based upon speculation, fear and faulty government sponsored research. His experience with federal agencies makes him suspect. Remember these are the same agencies that have lied concerning the (false) dangers of marijuana (cannabis), denied rescheduling, and inhibited research. Mr Sabet played a role in this, why should we trust anything he says?

    Basically it comes down to this Mr. Sabet, federal and local government should not legislate behavior. What little liberty we still have should not be taken away because a cadre isolated moralists feels strongly about it. Nor should we prohibit something from everyone just because Mr. Sabet (and others like him) have concerns about teachers and pilots using cannabis. Please drug test pilots, school bus drivers and teachers if you want, but don’t prohibit use by the remaining population because of your concerns with these vocations. His “one out of six kids” that become habitual users is not enough to warrant prohibition. I wonder how he feels about the amount of kids comitting suicide because of SSRIs and other antidepressants – now that’s a nobel cause.

    Mr. Sabet is attempting to undermine our legalization efforts by presenting a middle ground where decriminalization and illegality remains. His job (career) depends upon some kind of government evolvement in cannabis use by the republic. Mr Sabet would have to make a career change if prohibition was a long forgotten mistake. It is obvious he is pandering to find middle ground (toward center) to protect his interests. Where was this kinder gentler stance on the “drug war” when he was working for Clinton, Bush and Obama? Let’s all put Mr Sabet, and others like him, out of work and strive for Colorado like legalization reforms worldwide.

    Lastly, Mr Sabet often makes incorrect referrals regarding cannabis reforms. Mr. Sabet when we make reference to “tax and regulate like tobacco” we are talking about ‘similar’ legislation not what might happen in the market. Mr. Sabet falsely referenced what the tobacco corporations did unlawfully to consumers as an argument against such legislation (a poorly formed “straw man” – an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent’s position). Big Tobacco broke the laws concerning consumer regulation, they lied and conspired to do harm. Mr. Sabet you are either naive or purposely being deceitful when you make these comparisons (a tactic you learned while working for the feds – no doubt). If Mr Sabet focuses on the legislative aspects of the tobacco model he has no point.

    Nice try Mr Sabet. Until the next time your rear your ugly head…

    • piepaw

      Apparently you sat through the whole thing. I couldn’t bear it myself after a couple of minutes. On the other hand, I had absolutely no problem whatsoever reading your responses. Thank you. In a way I’m glad that SMART has someone like Sabet as their frontman. He’s incredibly easy to disregard because of his dead-in-the-water positions. Especially considering his past positions. You’d think they’d come up with some more compelling arguments by now, rather than re-hashing the same old tired and long disproven lies. I guess they must still believe that if they just keep saying it over and over that enough people will begin to believe it. They can’t accept the fact that the cat’s out of the bag and they’ll never catch it again.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kevin-Hunt/100003205282238 Kevin Hunt

    Somebody slap this asshole Sabet in the face.