Fear! Uncertainty! It’s never been done before!

I swear I would like to stop talking about him, but Sabet seems to be everywhere — a full time shill for marijuana prohibition. Now he’s apparently drawing on the wealth of irresponsible material that the witless enablers Kleiman, Caulkins, Kilmer, and Hawken provided in their latest book to promote UNCERTAINTY as a reason for not changing bad public policy.

It’s tremendously uncertain,” said Kevin Sabet, a former official with the Office of National Drug Control Policy who opposes legalization. “It’s never been done before. So the question Coloradans have to ask themselves is: Do we want to be guinea pigs?”

No, that’s not the question at all. That is, however, the question that Sabet and others would like to have them thinking about rather than the actual facts of the matter.

That’s the real danger of a book like “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know”. As I pointed out in the book salon…

Henry N. Pollack, author of “Uncertain Science… Uncertain World,” said: “Frequently, ‘scientific uncertainty’ is offered as an excuse to avoid making important policy decisions. We must recognize, however, that delaying decisions because of uncertainty is an implicit endorsement of the status quo and often a thinly veiled excuse for maintaining it. It is a bulwark of the take-no-action policy popularly known as ‘business as usual.'”

And in this case, it’s intended to induce a state of paralysis in public policy reform — fear of the unknown.

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32 Responses to Fear! Uncertainty! It’s never been done before!

  1. Francis says:

    I think it just seems like Kevin is everywhere because other prohibitionists are quietly abandoning the field as the battle’s outcome becomes clear. Kevin, on the other hand, appears determined to be the last man to lie for a mistake.

    • claygooding says:

      Exactly,,I don’t think he has thought it through,,the more he talks now,the less support he gets,,people are waking up,,,finally.

  2. Matthew Meyer says:

    I’m sure at least one soccer mom in Colorado was just waiting for Kevin Sabet to raise the Guinea pig specter.

  3. divadab says:

    “It’s tremendously uncertain,” said Kevin Sabet, a former official with the Office of National Drug Control Policy who opposes legalization. “It’s never been done before. So the question Coloradans have to ask themselves is: Do we want to be guinea pigs?”

    I’d say we’re sick of being guinea pigs for the prohibitionists failed 70-year experiment. For all but 70 years of human history, humans were intimately connected with cannabis – for clothing, cordage, sailcloth, medicine, food, and fuel. It’s only since dominionist liars like Sabet imposed their authoritarian ignorance and corruption on us that cannabis has been illegal.

    Is this moral degenerate Sabet even capable of telling the truth?

    • Windy says:

      Absolutely correct, I was going to make the same point using different words. I was going to say “but it HAS been done before, for all of history except for the complete craziness of the last 69 years.”

  4. claygooding says:

    I am glad our forefathers were able to start something without having the outcome known,,but sad that it has evolved into a society where bottom dwelling scum suckers like Sabet are making a living off my tax dollars.

    • Exactly! This entire country is an experiment, so to say we shouldn’t ever try a new policy like cannabis legalization is to say the founding of America was a wrong move.

  5. pfroehlich2004 says:

    Colorado has 12 years of experience with legal marijuana production and sales. Now they are voting on whether to eliminate the requirement that users obtain a physician’s recommendation.

    I don’t see a great deal of uncertainty here.

  6. Liam says:

    On Creativity, Marijuana and “a Butterfly Effect in Thought”: Jason Silva (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-silva/on-creativity-marijuana-a_b_900701.html)

    “Every difficult question that presents a point of contention for theologians, and brings despair to thoughtful men, becomes clear and transparent. Every contradiction is reconciled.”

    Well, we sure as shit don’t want that to happen, now do we.

  7. darkcycle says:

    “But we don’t KNOW what will happen!!”
    This statement could be used to object to every human activity since the first hominid walked upright. God forbid this guy should ever encounter Heisenberg or Quantum Physics…his head would explode.

  8. darkcycle says:

    Oh, I tried to comment. But it may be good that I didn’t. I just don’t think I have the patience to remain civil today, and probably would have just called the guy an idiot and been done with it. Maybe later…

  9. Duncan20903 says:


    It’s simply amazing how few people know that cannabis was perfectly legal in the US until the first few decades of the 20th century. Never been tried? That’s just laughably absurd.

    • Matthew Meyer says:

      Yes, but history has ended since then.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        It certainly appears that the prohibitionist parasites believe that cannabis was invented in 1964 by an unholy alliance of Bob Dylan & The Beatles. It appears that they also believe that subsequently in 1981 that a deranged scientist working in a camouflaged swimming pool who was employed by Cheech & Chong figured out how to get the potency to increase by a factor of 200 or more which causes serious genetic damage and hopeless, life long addiction. You don’t believe me? We’ve got it on video:

  10. kaptinemo says:

    ‘Uncertainty’? For crying out loud, we already have the working model in the alcohol industry and the attendant regulation of it.

    Most people are, at their core, too lazy to want to brew or distill their own alcohol products, and likewise cannabists in a legal market are not likely to grow their own, either, not if a cheap, quality source is available.

    Sure, there’s a market for bootleg booze, but it’s a vanishingly small part of overall market shares. There’s hardly enough ‘action’ in that economic niche to keep today’s version of ‘revenuers’ employed. I daresay the same will prove true for cannabis.

    ‘Uncertainty’ in this case is just another euphemism for cowardice’. Enough with the faux Nervous Nellie hand-wringing, prohibs; it’s unbecoming of a (putative) adult

    • Maria says:

      Exactly. Most people’s experiments with their own “custom” alcohols stop at mixing drinks and trying one of the more adventurous recipes out of some dog eared bar guide.

      It’s all a sliding scale of hobbyists after that. You get some who experiment with flavoring spirits and other alcoholic infusions. (Every season I do a smooth crab-apple cinnamon and herb vodka infusion and pass it out to friends and family. Woo. Rebel.)

      Then you get the home brewers and wine makers. Knowledge of yeast and fermentation techniques required. (Dandelion wine anyone?)

      Then, even rarer, home distillers. Rarer simply because distilling spirits takes more effort, equipment, calibration, and space than most people are willing or able to invest in.

      But if we would ever go back to alcohol prohibition? I think we have 100% certainty as to what would happen to the hobbyist levels of “home” production. We did that before and that leads us back to… cannabis.

      So back to cannabis. Yes. It’s called weed but growing a healthy harvest takes effort. Even a couple of plants take effort. If someone’s not willing to grow a freaking tomato plant (not exactly a difficult task) would they really be growing their own pirate cannabis fields upon legalization? That is if they are not already? And at that point, doesn’t it become a business issue?

      I’m not sure what’s so uncertain here. These fuckers are so disingenuous. It’s certain most people would just go to a store. Just like they do with alcohol and cigs.

      As if life’s uncertainty was enough of a reason to continue the 100% certain nastiness that is prohibition.

  11. Sabet just keeps using fear as his argument, because fear is all they have nowadays; reason is on our side. I mean what exactly is untested and unproven here? We’ve have medical cannabis programs running in over a dozen states, who have all done a pretty good job controlling the supply. Even deeper, this country had legal cannabis for most of its history.

    • Matthew Meyer says:

      There are a lot of people saying the medical cannabis programs have caused a lot of problems, and they are getting help from the media’s reporting on dispensary crime and home invasions, which helps exaggerate the frequency of these occurrences. We need some articles about boring, successful cannabis transactions!

  12. Servetus says:

    Kevin Sabet was born in in 1979 in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He attended school in Orange County, CA, where (according to Wiki):

    Sabet first received notice in California when at age 15, he publicly blasted the conservative-libertarian wing of the Orange County school board for refusing to accept federal dollars for after school anti-drug programs aimed at underprivileged students. Soon, Sabet drew national attention for his anti-drug work. By age 19 [he] had worked with NIDA Director Alan Leshner on MDMA education efforts, and by age 20 he had testimony entered on the official House record.

    Kevin Sabet is definitely a fanatic. His humanities education at Berkeley and Oxford failed to enlighten him concerning the ways and means tyrants use to manipulate and oppress people. He’s twisted his drug education to fit his pro-persecutory world view. Sabet also says he was greatly influenced by a certain narcotics agent, the abominable Dr. Musto.

    Ft. Wayne and Orange County are right-wing extremist cesspools of oblivion, and Sabet has apparently adopted the local cultures along with their zombie politics. California’s Orange County was the central hub of the John Birch Society nonsense, a KKK type of organization that once specialized in warning the world about the threat of water fluoridation. The belief was satirized in Dr. Strangelove.

    His arch-conservative upbringing would further indicate that Sabet’s politics fall roughly into the category once exhibited by Harry Anslinger, and by pseudo-Christian crusaders such as John Walters. Because of Sabet’s politics, we can expect nothing less from Kevin Sabet than the worst when it comes to enunciating an empirical approach to social change and drug policy.

    Notably, if Kevin Sabet made his ‘It’s never been done before…’ comment to his boss within the context of working for a commercial enterprise, he would most likely be fired. Had he been a sailor on the ships of Columbus or Magellan, the mighty Captains would have rightfully keel-hauled him or just tossed him overboard.

    • Windy says:

      Uh, Servetus, I agree with you often, but on this post I cannot. First, more and more scientific studies are showing that fluoridation IS harmful to mind and body (and cumulative) and are urging municipalities to stop adding fluoride to their water supply.

      Second, an “arch-conservative” would never have “blasted the conservative-libertarian wing of the Orange County school board for refusing to accept federal dollars for after school anti-drug programs aimed at underprivileged students.”

      • Servetus says:

        I searched the recent press releases for scientific papers to see if fluoridation is being successfully challenged at all, but saw nothing but the usual fluorosis issues caused by ingestion of more than 1 part-per-million of fluoride; no big deal, and nothing new otherwise. The overall health effects of less than or equal to 1 ppm are roughly equivalent to that of a few fleas on the back of an elephant.

        Toxicology is a complex science. Before the animal rights people got involved, the LD-50 of a substance was the means of measuring of toxicity, which is defined as a ratio between the amount of a substance and the dead weight of General Ripper; or the average weight among 50-percent of a test population of rats, having consumed the substance in a lab test and died as a result.

        In small concentrations, even the deadliest poisons are useful. Selenium is 25-times more poisonous than arsenic, yet without trace levels of selenium in our bodies, we would be more prone to getting certain cancers, and we wouldn’t be able to rebuild damaged lung tissues. If you think you’re not getting enough selenium in your diet, selenium tablets with trace levels of the natural mineral are available at most health food and herbal stores.

        Also, the word ‘blasted’ is Wiki’s description, not mine. Arch-conservatives, equivalent to the term right-wing-extremist as it is used in normal conversation, are capable of anything. You need to have lived among the bastards, as I have, to really appreciate what a vile bunch of bums they are. They’re the kind of people who would bust their neighbor for drinking a beer and smoking some herb on a beach.

  13. darkcycle says:

    Okay, Vivian McPeak has outdone himself with this blog post. Please read this. It is very, very worth it. Nice one, Viv.

  14. DonDig says:

    Kudos for digging up the historical perspective on him, however I see no reason for us to act like he’s so relevant: his words are just so much broken wind.

  15. Deep Dish says:

    A few days ago, the Dishonest Whore tweeted:

    Hacked once again. Sorry folks. Haters, please stop. #getalife #becivil #whatsofunnyaboutpeaceloveandunderstanding

    Just too funny.

  16. ezrydn says:

    They sure were NOT concerned about prohibition and it’s deadly effects. Why the sudden concern?

  17. B.S. Hayter says:

    Here’s a certainty Mr. Sabet fails to address – that the current policy of prohibition is an abject failure that does much more harm to society than good.

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