Kevin Sabet, the president and CEO of Virginia-based Smart Approaches to Marijuana, has become arguably the most influential critic of marijuana legalization in the United States. But in an extended interview on view below, he fights against the perception that he’s a one-dimensional prohibitionist along the lines of U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Sabet stresses that he and his organization, shorthanded as SAM, take what he sees as a sensible approach to cannabis by arguing in favor of treatment rather than jail time for users in trouble and advocating for greater study of the substance to determine the best ways to utilize it medically.
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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.
Federal tax dollars funneled through a local nonprofit have been prevented from going to pay for anti-cannabis crusader Kevin Sabet to speak in Oregon just weeks before voters decided on legalizing limited amounts of cannabis for adult use.
Sponsors of the pro-pot Measure 91 said this week that it was wrong for the “Oregon Marijuana, Alcohol and Other Drugs Summit” in Madras, Oregon to hire Sabet since almost half of their funding comes from federal grant money.
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.
|Medical and recreational marijuana for sale in Colorado.|
Kevin Sabet is not one of the more than 70 percent of Floridians who want Amendment 2 to pass in November. Sabet — director of the drug policy institute at the University of Florida and a professor at the college of medicine there too (in other words: dude profits from prohibition and addiction) — is one of the few experts who’s been outspoken in opposition to the medical marijuana movement.
Originally from California, he witnessed the effects of legalization there and claims it’s one of the reasons he’s so passionately against medical marijuana. He’s worked in the Obama, Bush, and Clinton administrations, so he insists that he comes at the issue with a nonpartisan point of view. He’s cofounder and director of Smarter Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and works closely with Patrick Kennedy on the left and David Frum (former speechwriter for George W. Bush) on the right.
If you’re going to fight cannabis prohibitionists, you’ve got to know where they stand. Check out the Broward-Palm Beach New Times interview with Sabet.
During a recent interview with Westword, Smart Approaches to Marijuana President and CEO Kevin Sabet, one of America’s most influential critics of cannabis legalization, offered an unexpected observation about his visits to Denver. According to Sabet, a number of vehicles provided to him by Denver International Airport rental-car businesses over the past few years have smelled strongly of pot. He added that he’s had to exchange rentals multiple times at DIA before he’s been given one that didn’t reek of weed, giving him numerous opportunities to “educate” personnel at the agencies about the scope of a problem he views as positively chronic.
The industry is worried.
Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek.
President-elect Donald Trump nominated anti-pot hardliner Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama (R) for Attorney General. At a Senate hearing in April 2016, Sessions said that ‘we need grown-ups in charge in Washington to say marijuana is not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized, it ought not to be minimized, that it’s in fact a very real danger.’
“I think one of [Obama’s] great failures, it’s obvious to me, is his lax treatment in comments on marijuana,” Sessions said at the hearing. “It reverses 20 years almost of hostility to drugs that began really when Nancy Reagan started ‘Just Say No.’ ”
Lawmakers, he said, have to “send that message with clarity that good people don’t smoke marijuana.”
USNews calls Sessions an “ Existential threat” to state-legal cannabis. Industry leaders are very nervous.
Reason points out that Sessions has an “aversion to civil rights” and gay rights. The U.S. Senate failed to confirm him for a federal judgeship in 1986, amid allegations of what late Senator Ted Kennedy called “racial insensitivity” and “lack of commitment to equal justice under the law.” The New York Times editorializes that the nomination is an “ insult to justice.”
The Sessions nomination needs to be approved by the Senate. Have a view you want to share? Contact your Senator.
Before the Sessions pick, the Washington Post’s Radley Balko said former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) would also be “ terrifying.”
Before the Sessions pick, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet said, “A Trump administration throws everything up in the air… “Is it going to be ‘ states’ rights Trump’ or ‘law-and-order Trump’?”
Marijuana.com’s Tom Angell has launched a petition for Trump to keep his “marijuana pledge” to respect state laws. Even if he doesn’t go after the industry, The Stranger says President Trump will make the industry whiter.
It’s official, Denver will be the first U.S. city to license social use businesses.
Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery (R), said looser cannabis regulations in Memphis and Nashville can’t stand.
Due to a glitch, it appears that MED in California will be tax-free until the state’s REC program begins in 2018.
Some conservatives don’t like that MED patients can’t buy guns.
The issue often comes up
The REC initiatives in Massachusetts and three other states include measures that protect parents from losing custody of their children as a result of marijuana use. An Idaho mom has lost custody of her kids and is facing criminal charges after giving her child cannabis butter to relieve seizure-like symptoms.
The company is aware of the situation.
An Ohio mom has complained to fast food chain Wendy’s after it reportedly served her four-year old daughter fries dusted with pot. The girl said her fries “tasted funny and were yucky.”
Despite bipartisan support.
An amendment that would have allowed VA doctors to recommend MED in legal states passed both houses of Congress but was stripped from the legislation before it reached President Obama’s desk. Supporters of the bill are blaming Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk (R), who said “I don’t think we have too few high veterans out there” earlier this year.