You might think that drunkenly plowing his car into the Capitol building at 3am, then going on to evade prosecution and finish out his term as a U.S. Congressman, only to become a leading voice opposing marijuana legalization would make Patrick Kennedy the biggest delta-bravo in Project SAM.
Ok, he might still be, but boy does he have some competition from his partner, and co-founder of “Smart Approaches to Marijuana”, Kevin Sabet.
The PhD associate professor has a mind-numbing piece up over at Huffington Post right now, instructing the rest of us on how to talk about pot. It’s a 5-step plan … 7 steps short of the one Patrick Kennedy is somehow above, but would have no problem imposing on you.
Step 1 – “Do not assume legalization is inevitable”, because Kevin Sabet and Pat Kennedy get access to outlets like HuffPo, and the rest of us don’t.
In his opening sputter, Sabet comically suggests that there is some big, bad pro-cannabis “lobby group” to be feared. Not scared yet? He says they have formed a “spin-off group devoted solely to collecting quotes from anyone who has remotely said anything (a) good about marijuana or (b) bad about current drug policy”. The horror!
As a reminder, CLICK HERE for a depressingly accurate infograph showing the major players in anti-marijuana lobbying for the better part of the past hundred years.
Blah blah, something about Jimmy Carter, then a masterful spin-job on the 2014 Pew poll that showed record numbers in support of all forms of cannabis legalization. Sabet says “deeper analyses” show that those who polled in favor of weed aren’t really “crazy about” weed. Without a source to back that claim up, we are left to rely on that highly scientific explanation from Doc Sabet.
Still in Step 1 of his guide, for fuck’s sake, Sabet concludes by pointing to Colorado, and its legalization of weed, as some sort of told-ya-so horror show. “Problems in Colorado abound” he says, making unfounded claims of weed going to minors, a rise in emergency room visits, and even deaths from legal weed. Yep. He offers one source for that preposterous outburst, and shocking nobody, it links back to his own bizarro website.
Ok, Step 1, complete.
In Step 2, Sabet lets us in on his theory that the marijuana legalization movement (Big Marijuana in Sabet-speak) is no different than Big Tobacco before it. Both, he says, are run by people who are “denying the science” and encouraging use of a product that leads to lifelong health problems by specifically targeting America’s youth. He condemns “cartoon-themed vaporizers” and then points to the Snoop Dogg G Pen Herbal Vaporizer from Grenco Science. Does this PhD realize that Snoop and Snoopy are two different doggy doggs?
In Step 3, General Sabet orders the world to “stop comparing marijuana legalization to same sex marriage”. Ok, done. In fact, that is the first time this reporter has even heard that comparison made.
In Step 4 Mr. Sabet decides to completely depart from reality, opting instead to deal in a fear of death, free of facts. He begins by admitting that death by ganja is a “rare, exceptional occurrence” – as in 0 deaths in 5000 years of use. Unless, like Sabet, you count the dude who jumped off of a Denver-area balcony earlier this year, allegedly baked off a brownie.
Stoned drivers, more half-baked comparisons to cigarettes, and then the kicker; that 1 out of every 11 people who try weed get “addicted”.
Did you know that the average age that American kids report first trying alcohol is 11 years old? Or that teenagers in grades 7-12 consume around a billion cans of beer annually, or that 1 out of every 20 high school seniors in America admitted to oxycontin abuse? You wouldn’t know it by reading Project SAM propaganda, that’s for sure.
Step 5 hangs kind of limp compared to the fireworks in the first four. Sabet tells the few of us still reading his article that not only do the pill-pushing pharma lobbyists and the doctors they’ve bought off oppose marijuana legalization , but the cops do too. What a shocker, right? Oh, and he introduces the term “crude marijuana” into the American lexicon, so he’s got that going for him.
Mason Tvert has been warning the rest of us about this dude since 2010 when he was still working for President Obama’s Drug Czar and got caught sending some emails that called the validity of his entire office into question.
Here is just one step for media outlets like Huffington Post to follow when covering cannabis legalization:
1. Stop giving time and space to Kevin Sabet, Patrick Kennedy, and Project SAM