Legalization’s “Enemy Number One” to speak in Arizona this week


If you’ve been craving a dose of “Reefer Madness,” there’s still time to RSVP to Thursday’s annual conference of the central Arizona anti-drug organization MATForce. The public portion of the conference runs from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors auditorium, 205 West Jefferson Street. The featured speaker is Kevin Sabet, the anti-cannabis activist that Rolling Stone magazine calls “Legalization Enemy No. 1.”
Sabet’s a drug-policy expert and marijuana prohibitionist who’s served as adviser to the Office of National Drug Control Policy under two presidents. He’s on a crusade to save marijuana users by forcing them either to undergo re-education and “treatment” — or to rot in jail.

In his book, Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana, Sabet proves he doesn’t know how to distinguish “myths” from straw-man arguments. For instance, his number-one “myth” is that “marijuana is harmless.” Naturally, he doesn’t say who’s claiming it’s harmless.
In fact, the Marijuana Policy Project, the group responsible for putting Arizona’s successful Proposition 203 on the ballot in 2010, states on its website (in its own take on “myths” about marijuana) that “while no drug is harmless, the health risks of marijuana are relatively modest. Compared with alcohol, marijuana is less addictive, much less toxic, and overwhelmingly less likely to provoke violence.”
Phoenix New Times has more.