Peace be with you
This weekend the LA Times printed an op-ed by Kevin Sabet titled, “The price of legalizing pot is too high.”
I don’t know who this Sabet dude is, but at the end of the article it states, “Kevin A. Sabet worked at the Office of National Drug Control Policy in the Clinton and Bush administrations. He is currently a consultant in private practice.” What does this disclaimer, added to highlight Mr. Sabet’s expert qualifications, really tell us? We know he worked in the office that created, and maintained these failed drug policies. We don’t know what kind of “consultant” he is, but should assume he advocates for policies he was responsible for creating and maintaining. He must be viewed as still part of the institution that perpetuates lies and disinformation about drug use.
The idiotorial is full of very questionable facts. Once we know a liar can we believe that their conclusions won’t be faulty? Sabet’s theory is if Matijuana is legalized then “the likely increase in marijuana prevalence resulting from legalization would probably increase the already high costs of marijuana use in society.” He claims, “[a]ccidents would increase, healthcare costs would rise and productivity would suffer.”
Of course Sabet immediately compares Herb use with alcohol use. He points out that the cost of swillers in today’s society is about 200 billion dollars, while the tax revenue from booze is only about 8 billion dollars. He feebly tries to make the case that puffers would likewise create a large cost to benefit ratio like booze’s 25 to 1. He seems to have forgotten the facts about pot and alcohol. Lets see, alcohol kills about a 100,000 people per year, and pot exactly 0. 5% of all deaths from circulatory system diseases are caused by alcohol while pot is medically used for those diseases. There is absolutely no proof that pot smoking increases lung cancer and/or respiratory diseases, yet 15% of all deaths from those diseases are attributed to alcohol. Alcohol causes people to erode motor skills, reaction time, thinking abilities and even black out. Pot doesn’t do that to people. As a result way fewer accidents are caused by pot smoking. Lastly 60% of all homicides are attributed to alcohol! Ask any cop if he would rather stumble upon 10 young males in a dark alley smoking pot or drinking whiskey. Booze is notorious for bringing out the violence in certain people. Pot prohibition was justified because of the tendency to turn its users into pacifists. So much for Mr. Sabet’s claims of social harm.
Sabet claims 65% of our country drinks alcohol. 29% of our country are under the age of 19. This either means that only 7% of our population that are adults don’t drink, or we have a shit load of drunk children, or its all bullshit propaganda. But he goes on to claim that only 6% of us use all illegal drugs combined. That’s like 18 million people for all drugs, but the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the very office this spin doctor use to work for, claims 25 million people smoked pot last year.
After assaulting us with his gross exaggerations Sabet then expects us to believe his assumptions about the reallity of the pot and the criminal justice system. He claims this ex-Rand thinktanker, Jonathan Caulkins, from Carnegie Mellon, found that “more than 85% of people in prison for all drug-law violations were clearly involved in drug distribution” Sabet says this is in line with “other mainstream estimates” without stating what those mainstreams are and where the got their estimates from. He does mention that these estimates are out of line with Marijuana Policy Project’s though.
Sabet conjectures that legalizing wouldn’t end violence, economic-related crime, and street gang activity, because they are due to the cocaine, heroin, and meth trade. But wouldn’t freeing the weed also free up a whole shit load of resources to focus on those other drugs? What about all the pot smokers who will no longer be exposed to the black markets that deal in the less organic drugs? Sabet’s propaganda has no basis in reality. Reefer madness plays well into the hands of prison contractors and cop unions, but it has been a very costly policy to the rest of society.
The truth is that legalizing marijuana will be beneficial to humanity – medicine for society. Once it is grown everywhere, and it is again used to make all manner of goods, and it again becomes our food, its leaves (actually flowers) will be used for the healing of the nations. “And there shall be no more curse.”