Cannabis Prohibitionist Kevin Sabet Says He’s Just ‘Misunderstood’


There is a common trope, or theme, used in film and literature to describe certain characters known as ‘obliviously evil‘. Typically the villain of the story, these characters often do not realize the malicious role that they are playing. Instead, they are usually so convinced that their actions are beneficial and so sure of their own moral compass that they begin to chalk up their outcasting from society on the fact that they are just misunderstood.
Kind of like Wile E. Coyote. Look, the dude is just hungry, he just wants to eat. Sure his ACME contraptions are grossly overboard and ultimately useless, but he sure is persistent. Maybe, just maybe, Wile E. Coyote is just misunderstood.
Kevin Sabet of Project SAM is back on the road touring small town Rotary Clubs, law enforcement groups, and medical associations, warning people about his perceived dangers of marijuana. And much like the cartoon coyote, Sabet is telling anyone who will listen that he is just misunderstood, as he continues to saw off the crooked ledge he is standing on. reports that in a recent interview with Noelle Crombie ofThe Oregonian, Sabet pulled the victim card, hard, saying:

‘I think I am extremely misunderstood and also purposely mischaracterized. It would be a lot better for legalization advocates if I was a modern-day prohibitionist from the ’20s, saying that everybody should go to prison if they smoke a joint and this is a gateway drug.
‘That would make their lives easier. They could say, This guy is crazy. I didn’t say any of that. I go out of my way to say a couple things. One, I go out of my way to say most people who use marijuana won’t become addicted. Two, most people who use marijuana will not go on to use heroin. And three, that this is not the devil’s weed.
‘But what I do talk about is what every single medical association talks about, which is the drug is more harmful than it used to be, that we underappreciate its harms because its harms aren’t as immediately apparent as other drugs, that we desperately need to understand the connection between mental illness and learning and if we are supposed to create a race to the top for education and a workforce that can compete on the global marketplace, we should think twice before allowing ourselves to be duped by another industry, just like the industry we are beginning to put in its place, which is tobacco.’

The comments came in the midst of a 3-day business trip to Oregon, which originally had Sabet slated to make 13 appearances in his whirlwind tour of the state.
His itinerary was cut to seven stops once true cannabis legalization advocates caught wind of the fact that Sabet’s trip was funded in part with federal dollars – a move not allowed on outwardly political campaigns, which Project SAM clearly is. Maybe he thought the stoners wouldn’t notice.
People who feel that they are misunderstood often get bitter about it. They wallow in the feeling that they are being noble for sticking to their principles and values, but feel they are being martyred for doing so.
As for his quote, there really is not much to misunderstand or mischaracterize about Sabet’s prohibitionist stance on cannabis.
He states that today’s weed is 10x – 30x more potent than the weed from 30 years ago, but fails to mention how that is harmful, or the fact that there are strains bred today at all THC levels, to satisfy any tolerance.
He repeatedly hides behind his statement that “most people who use marijuana won’t become addicted”, but in the same breath he will say that the simple fact that addiction can potentially occur is legitimate cause for continued cannabis prohibition for adults.
When asked about the seeming success of the cannabis legalization movements in states like Colorado and Washington, Sabet goes full slimeball and disregards hundreds of millions of dollars raised in weed-related tax revenues in the two pioneering states, dollars that go back to the communities in the form of school improvements and drug prevention programs. Instead he says that those states’ laws have led to “gummy bears and ‘pot tarts’ being marketed to 15-year olds”.
When asked if he thinks that cannabis should be removed from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, Sabet babbles for two full paragraphs, ultimately saying no, that “we need to do more research into it”.
We get it, Kev. Loud and clear.
It should shock nobody that a man who hears the second-hand of his 15-minutes-of-fame pounding in his head is lobbying for more time.