Marijuana: Project SAM touts public-health approach to pot in fighting legalization


david frum photo.jpg
David Frum.
In his release, the MPP's Tvert claims Project SAM wants to "force marijuana consumers into treatment and marijuana 'education' classes." But Sabet puts it differently.

"There should be public-health assessments on people," he maintains. "Nobody's knocking down doors to get to marijuana users, but pot is incidental to other crimes that may be going on -- and we want to make sure that what's going on in a person's life isn't directly related to a marijuana problem."

As for Project SAM's third focus, Sabet pinpoints a desire "to really educate the public about the potential pitfalls of legalization. There's a 300-miles-per-hour freight train heading toward legalization right now, and we want to remind Americans that there are a lot of obstacles, including the influence of Big Tobacco and the possibility of marijuana becoming Big Marijuana. We've actually seen that the tobacco industry is already interested in marijuana, and we want to make sure that doesn't happen.

"And the fourth thing is the rapid development of non-smoked, cannabis-based medication that derives from other active ingredients in the plant. Not just THC -- the ingredient that makes people high. The terminally ill should be allowed to use components of marijuana legally, in a non-inhaled way."

Despite the involvement of Kennedy, a member of a large, wealthy and politically powerful family, Sabet stresses that Project SAM "doesn't have any funding. We're all volunteers." But after Reuters published an article about the organization over the weekend, he says the group has been flooded with "an outpouring of letters from moms and dads and kids who have problems with marijuana and want to contribute."

christian thurstone sam photo.jpg
Dr. Christian Thurstone.
Partnerships are also planned with other similarly intentioned outfits, including Smart Colorado -- not the organization that worked against Amendment 64, Sabet says, but a new effort associated with longtime anti-tobacco activist Bob Doyle.

By the way, Sabet says Project SAM's use of the word "smart" is in no way a nod to the previous iteration of Smart Colorado. Rather, it simply conveys the group's goal to tackle the marijuana issue with what it sees as intelligence and balance rather than responses that tilt to either extreme.

"We don't want our ideas to be able to fit on a bumper sticker," he emphasizes. "'Legalize Pot' and 'Lock 'Em Up' both fit on a bumper sticker, but what we're doing doesn't. There's an appetite among public-health professionals who work on this every day for straight talk. They know we shouldn't saddle someone with an arrest record and incarcerate them -- but neither should we legalize and make more available a drug that's addictive for 10 percent of its users, and 15 percent, if you start in adolescence."

In regard to the arguments of Tvert and others that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, Sabet readily admits that the latter substances are killers, using language that suggests he'd be happy if they were illegal, too. But in his view, "that horse is out of the barn.

"Alcohol has a long, widespread history in our country. And while cannabis -- not the version that's available today -- has been around for 3,000 years, it's never been accepted in as widespread a fashion as alcohol. And we're certainly paying the price for alcohol's accessibility: $200 billion in lost social costs and twice as many alcohol offenses as for all illegal drugs combined. It's more addictive than crack cocaine, and tobacco is more addictive than heroin. So I would argue that we don't want to follow the same path for marijuana that we did for alcohol and tobacco. We need to do the best we can in our current, realistic circumstances."

Continue to read the Marijuana Policy Project release about Project SAM, plus a petition calling for Patrick Kennedy to drop out of the group.

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37 comments
shafferkj
shafferkj

Just so I'm clear, some guy from Florida, which ranks 40th in that nation for pubic health, is in OUR state to discuss public health. Ok, just wanted to make sure.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

A64, its authors, its proponents and the voters who approved it, clearly state that Marijuana use IS a Public Health and Safety problem ... so much so that NO ONE under 21 years old should be allowed ANY LAWFUL ACCESS to it -- not a single gram, not a single plant -- maintaining ALL CRIMINAL PENALTIES against such marijuana use.

A64 = Marijuana IS Harmful and Dangerous!


jondoenumber22000
jondoenumber22000

enter the statist authoritarian prohibitionist hypocrites and treatment
profiteer leeches. these scumbags lust for power and to control others
lives. the forced treatment scam is designed to keep people in the
system for life and to be constantly monitored by government lackeys
(tsa goons). it's  similar to the revolving door probation scam the NWO
currently runs but desperately wants to expand. legal prescription pill
users are the next victims they will  target. make no mistake, these
elitist totalitarian thugs  won't sleep until they get their police
state control grid operational. the 2nd amendment was put in place by
our hemp/marijuana growing founders to protect us from jack booted
tyrants like these SAM members.

mmjclones
mmjclones

Patrick, fulfill your destiny! Die young, horrifically and publicly. Just hurry up already!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Tell everyone it makes your dick bigger & increases longevity .

ADVERTISE & COMMERCIALIZE the hell out of it during 9News broadcasts and in the Post .

They'll quit fucking around and the 'new' customers will keep more of the product in state .

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

Project stick-head-in-the-sand is apparently really about reversing past due progress in drug policy.

Coloradans should be as unfriendly as possible toward Reefer Madness doctors.

Cannabis_College
Cannabis_College

these people have managed to make everyone think that a plant is a dangerous drug...what's next, they're gonna start outlawing animals because they might kill you???  http://420college.org

mike1963
mike1963

OK, so if you're an Alcoholic, or hooked on Tobacco, go find a little weed, and every time you think you need a drink, or whatever, smoke a bowl. You will be so glad you did, as will everyone who has to deal with you.

Joe Ponce de Carrano
Joe Ponce de Carrano

He must have financial interests that will get hurt. Just like the ruling elite to tell you what's up.

Joe Ponce de Carrano
Joe Ponce de Carrano

He must have financial interests that will get hurt. Just like the ruling elite to tell you what's up.

coloradommjpatient
coloradommjpatient

I wonder who is bankrolling this idiots? Big Pharma, Tobacco, Alcohol??? Probably all three and more! 

Danny Bastos
Danny Bastos

Hmm an alcoholic and oxycontin abuser is leading a Safer Marijuana Advocacy program? Hypocrite?

Rich Carollo
Rich Carollo

This from a guy living off a trust fund created from bootlegging and whoring.

tutonehcc
tutonehcc topcommenter

Pot smoker, prohibitionist, reformer, doctor, educator, doesn't matter who is saying what...

The important part is everyone is talking about 'cannabis + Colorado'.  The times are exciting.

We are all on pot because pot rules everything around us!  Spend all your money on pot....

Let's all get high and have fun!

CoreyDonahue
CoreyDonahue

Michael, printing someone else's press release is not journalism, but your not a journalist so continue propagandizing.

Cognitive_Dissident
Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

@shafferkj There must be no alcohol-related troubles in Florida.

shafferkj
shafferkj

@DonkeyHotay Are you a third grader paid to write uninsightful, incorrect, and poorly written comments on A64 posts? 

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Cognitive_Dissident  ... and even as alcoholics, they accomplished more in their truncated lives than you ever will.

Go figure.

Monkey
Monkey

@coloradommjpatient Sounds like it's the drug addiction counselors who will most benefit. Don't send them to jail, send them to us, and we'll take the money, is what it sounds like to me. Everyone wants a slice of weed pie, I guess we'll see who grabs the biggest slice soon.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Rich Carollo  ... Jealous much?

ccapra
ccapra

@DonkeyHotay @Cognitive_Dissident Yes, they've killed themselves, others, sexually assulted countless individuals and made general assess out of themselves at every turn.  They've accomplished much. 

Go Figure.

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