We’ve talked a lot about Kevin Sabet, Patrick Kennedy and their “SAM” organization and how they have positioned themselves as the anti-marijuana-legalization force. Knowing that few would really support them if their policy suggestions were transparent, they’ve cloaked their pitch in an impossible vagueness (no more incarceration, yet opposing legalization, and worrying about something called ‘Big Marijuana.’) Treatment was involved, but it was unclear how mandatory.
Tony Dokoupil gives us some additional insight with his article: Treatment or Jail: Patrick Kennedy Wages Fierce Anti-Pot Crusade
Treatment or jail is correct.
As Kennedy and Sabet cut a path between the poles of legalization and prohibition, they seem to list toward the status quo. They would make the simple possession of marijuana a civil infraction, like jaywalking, which could take 750,000 annual marijuana arrests down to zero, and alleviate the disproportionate burden that prohibition puts on people who are nonwhite and poor.
But instead of handcuffs, Kennedy and Sabet propose a mandatory screening for marijuana addiction, according to the “Legal Reform” section of their website. That could lead to “marijuana education,” and ultimately a year in a “probation program to prevent further drug use.” And if the pot smoker still insists on getting high? It’s handcuffs time.
Notice how quickly that went from no arrests to mandatory treatment to… arrests? Status quo is correct.
On medical marijuana:
He’d like to repeal every law that treats smoked marijuana as medicine.
On black markets:
…they’re particularly unapologetic about championing the continued existence of a black market. They say it’s mostly nonviolent on the American side, and will create fewer public health problems than allowing advertisers to flog for Big Marijuana.
On the science behind their approach:
“Life isn’t really in our control,” says Kennedy, as another sober day fades to night. “There’s a mover in the universe, a higher power, so to speak, and we can’t imagine what we’re going to find in our universe if we let go and just let God lead us.”
SAM is in the process of creating some new websites, including:
1. Legalization Violations.org – A Website Tracking the Violations of the Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado and Washington.
So far, that website just has links to some of the more outrageously exploitative and fact-free headlines in the press – no actual violations.