Marijuana showdown: Mason Tvert to take on Patrick Kennedy prior to Project SAM launch
"When he suggests that the use of marijuana by adults is in any way as dangerous as the use of alcohol, he's doing a disservice not just to society in general, but particularly to young people, who deserve to hear the facts about the relative harms of these substances," Tvert says.
He also takes issue with Sabet's horse-is-out-of-the-barn analogy.
"Under marijuana prohibition, there is no barn to escape from. It's running wild. What we need to do is to create a barn where we can control this product. And given that marijuana isn't remotely as harmful as alcohol according to every objective study on it, including government research, it's simply illogical to work to keep a safer alternative to alcohol illegal. But they recognize that the writing's on the wall, and they now need to come up with a new way of trying to pursue the goal they've been pursuing for years -- maintaining marijuana prohibition."
Likewise, Tvert scoffs at Sabet comparing legalization to a 300 miles-per-hour train. "We've been engaging in public debate over this issue in Colorado for eight years, and have debated it intensely in the two years leading up to November's election," when Amendment 64 was approved. "It's not as if overnight a law was created without anyone knowing about it. This was a campaign in which voters heard about the issue and had years to review it, and they decided that marijuana prohibition doesn't make sense and we needed a new approach.
"If this is going 300 miles per hour, I can't fathom what anything slower would be going. The governor has created a task force to develop recommendations about how to implement Amendment 64; the legislature will deliberate on what recommendations should be implemented; and the Department of Revenue will develop rules it will enforce. There's no other way to go about this type of policy change.
"I recognize that Kevin Sabet would like us to sit around for the next decade doing nothing to change marijuana laws. But he's on the wrong side of history. The rest of our society is evolving much more quickly on this issue than he is."
The press conference starring Tvert will take place outside the Denver Press Club at 9:30 a.m., an hour prior to the Project SAM launch at the same location.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Marijuana: Project SAM touts public-health approach to pot in fighting legalization."