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Esquire: Cannacare’s Steve Sarich One Of Two “Great Marijuana Prohibitionists of 2012″

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steve sarich cannacare washington i-502 esquire“You’ll never see me involved in legalization.” – Steve Sarich, No on I-502 Campaign Director, medical marijuana entrepreneur.

Esquire Magazine’s Politics Blog has a post entitled “Introducing the Great Marijuana Prohibitionists of 2012″.  To begin, author John H. Richardson profiles one of the most reefer mad non-pot smokers in America, Paul Chabot.  This rehab-industrial-complex flack believes such War on Drugs tropes like:

  • “The end stage is legalization of every drug under the sun and eventually prostitution.”  (Less than 10% of voters support legalizing drugs other than marijuana.)
  • “Only 0.7 percent of people are actually in prison for marijuana possession.”  (Esquire notes that’s equal to over 15,000 people.)
  • “The marijuana I was smoking [in the 1980s]was 1- to 3-percent THC.”  (Then somebody was ripping you off by selling you hemp.)
  • “We have more children entering rehab for marijuana than any other drugs combined.”  (Because kids caught with weed are sentenced to rehab.)
  • “[M]arijuana usage has been linked to testicular cancer, schizophrenia, depression…”  (Marijuana smokers have less cancer risk, schizophrenia rates remained steady even as pot smoking increased, and many people are using marijuana to treat depression.)
  • “The truth is you cannot test the percentage level for THC for driving behind the wheel.”  (Police test for active THC blood percentage levels in every state.)
  • “Ecstasy, cocaine, etc., a lot of these kids start off with smoking marijuana.”  (And lots of Hell’s Angels started on tricycles.  103 million people have tried pot and there are only 350,000 current heroin users.)
  • “[Alcohol prohibition] didn’t outlaw all liquor, just the hard stuff.”  (Esquire notes that is false, as President Roosevelt’s first act following the 21st Amendment was legalization of 3.2 beer.

Then Richardson examines “Great Prohibitionist #2″, one of the most reefer mad pot smokers in America, No on I-502 Campaign Director Steve Sarich.  This medical marijuana industry flack believes such Stoners Against Legalization tropes as:

  • “It will be the end of the fourth amendment.  A police officer can file an affidavit that he believes you’re stoned, and he can take your blood.”  (Which the police officer can do now.  Sarich fails to include “…and has seen indication of impairment,” in that sentence.)
  • “THC stays in your blood system for 30 days.”  (Completely false.  Inactive THC metabolites might stay in your system for thirty days, but active THC in blood is well below 5ng hours after smoking.*)
  • “They’re estimating that over 10,000 people will be arrested and charged with per se DUID in the state of Washington in the first year.”  (There were about 37,000 DUIDs total in Washington State in the last year of data, including alcohol.**)
  • “Your tail light’s out, I don’t like the tint of your windows, you’re driving while black. Cops’ favorite thing to say is ‘I smell pot.'”  (Which, of course, cops do now.)
  • “[I]f they legalize it, the Feds will leave us alone and every 13-year-old girl will get her own unicorn and fairy dust.”  (WTF?  How much have the feds bothered CannaCare and the other operating medical marijuana dispensaries that are illegal under federal law?)
  • “I’m only vested to protect the rights of patients. You’ll never see me involved in legalization. This will wipe out medical cannabis in the state of Washington.”  (I-502 doesn’t change medical cannabis laws at all.  What it might wipe out is the business of selling doctor’s permission slips to people who just want safe access to an ounce or less of marijuana.  It also may wipe out the prohibition profit model Sarich has built his current business upon.)

C’mon, Steve, take the No on I-502 Pledge!

* Dr. Erin Karchner studied 25 heavy marijuana users, who smoked an average of 12 out of 14 days before the study, who consumed between “a few blunts” to “an ounce” of marijuana daily.  Then she observed them for a week as they abstained from marijuana.  One out of the 25 had a reading of 7ng on the first day.  None of the 25 had readings above 5ng on day two.  No scientist has ever found >5ng THC in the bloodstream of someone who abstained for a month.  Sarich is making shit up.

** Of all the states that instituted per se DUID statutes, Indiana saw the greatest increase in DUIDs after passage of the law, with 6,574 more DUIDs.  This is in a state that, unlike Washington, 1) hates marijuana, 2) has zero tolerance for THC in blood, not 5ng, 3) has zero tolerance for metabolites in urine, which will be no evidence in Washington, and 4) allows for roadside sobriety checkpoints, which are illegal in Washington.  As for the oft-cited example of Nevada as a medical marijuana state where DUID’s skyrocketed, opponents fail to tell people that the “before” number came from 3 Nevada law enforcement agencies and the “after” came from 31 agencies.

per se duid laws marijuana norml

Republished with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition

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About Author

Executive Director: Russ Belville has been active in Oregon marijuana reform since 2005, when he was elected second-in-command of the state affiliate, Oregon NORML. After four years with Oregon NORML, Russ was hired by National NORML in 2009, working as Outreach Coordinator and hosting the NORML Daily Audio Stash podcast until 2012. Since then, Russ launched the 420RADIO marijuana legalization network and is the host of The Russ Belville Show, a live daily marijuana news talk radio program. Russ is also a prolific writer, with over 300 articles posted online and in print in HIGH TIMES, Huffington Post, Alternet, The Weed Blog, Marijuana Politics, and more.

  • Skeptic

    Lol Sarich. What a fraud.

  • stellarvoyager

    Sarich and his prohibitionist buddies are gonna have an epic defeat in Washington on Tuesday. Could not happen to a nicer group of hacks.

  • This Sarich douche has attacked me several times for daring to report on I-502.

  • TeamDeadly

    Sarich is a profiteering idiot that pursues teenagers sexually. I hope he rots in hell.

  • PhilDeBowl

    I was concerned about I-502 passing because Most of the cannabis users I know
    here in WA. state were saying they were voting against it,both MedMJ And recreational. In my Opinion Sarich and all the other dealers did a good job trying to protect their Turf by spreading Lies that would have made prohibitionists proud. Two reasons were given for their No vote,1 The per se DUI,when I ask them what the per se is Now they were clueless,and they did not understand the different tests,blood/urine. 2,The MedMJ people thought 502 would strip away the MedMJ laws,In reality the MEDMJ people will be the only unlicensed growers under 502 that will have an affimative defense for growing cannabis.
    In spite of their negative votes we have won the first battle ,more battles will be fought before cannabis is free from laws.
    Imagine what the percentage of Yes votes would have been if the cannabis community would have not been fragmented by those who seek to profit off the herb.