Disingenuous critiques of ‘Big Marijuana’

Samuel T. Wilkinson from the Yale School of Medicine blindly follows the S.A.M. playbook in The marijuana industry is following the trail blazed by Big Tobacco.

Kevin Sabet’s crew keeps pushing this narrative as if it were an actual legitimate argument instead of an insincere ploy to scare people without cause.

In the late 19th century, the landscape of tobacco consumption was very different than it is today. Tobacco use was much less prevalent, and cigarettes accounted for a tiny portion of consumption. Yet by the mid-20th century almost half of U.S. adults smoked, with major consequences for public health. Despite important health policy achievements since, cigarette smoking remains a major contributor to the top causes of death in the United States, including cardiovascular and lung diseases, as well as cancer. […]

Alarmingly, marijuana businesses are now mimicking many of Big Tobacco’s successful strategies.

Guess what? Cannabis isn’t tobacco, and the 21st Century isn’t the 20th century. Scientific knowledge has changed, political realities have changed, social awareness has changed, so any comparison between big tobacco then and “big marijuana” now is unfounded, plus… cannabis isn’t tobacco.

If we are intent on legalizing marijuana for recreational use, lessons from the tobacco industry and the Dutch marijuana experiment suggest that we do so in a way that does not pit corporate incentives against the interests of public health. Similar to efforts in Uruguay, production and distribution should be done solely by the government so as to ensure that there is no corporate incentive to entice more people to consume marijuana in larger quantities.

This is also disingenuous. Wilkinson and the S.A.M. clones know full well that government-run distribution is impossible at this stage, in part because of opposition from people just like them. Not one of these folks has seriously suggested reform that would allow a government regulated approach, but rather use it as a fake argument to forestall legalization.

The reason that commercial entrepreneurship is the model for marijuana legalization today is because it is the only model that is possible in the face of federal obstructionism.

If Wilkinson and Sabet want to complain about the commercial market, then they should be complaining about federal interference with state options.

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21 Responses to Disingenuous critiques of ‘Big Marijuana’

  1. DdC says:

    Cannabis isn’t tobacco, and the 21st Century isn’t the 20th century. Scientific knowledge has changed, political realities have changed, social awareness has changed

    Someone should tell them…

    The Daily Mail Reefer Madness Archive: http://www.clear-uk.org/the-daily-mail-reefer-madness-archive/#.VIS5DpTtyOA.twitter … 10 years of inaccurate, misleading and distorted information about cannabis

    Editorial: Unregulated medical-marijuana market is creating a hazy future
    Editorials | The Seattle Times
    http://seattletimes.com/html/editorials/2025176434_editmedicalmarijuanaxml.html#.VIS3Vj4YpCg.twitter …

    Should Big Pharma Buy Into the Medical Marijuana Industry?: http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2014/12/06/should-big-pharma-buy-into-the-medical-marijuana-i.aspx#.VIS0os0thMo.twitter … via @themotleyfool

  2. “According to a recent white paper from the Cato Institute, teenage consumption of marijuana didn’t increase in the sixteen states that legalized medical marijuana. Recent data also shows that despite legalizing recreational marijuana, teenage consumption of marijuana in Colorado is still falling, decreasing from 39 percent in 2011 to 37 percent in 2013. Additionally, after states legalized medical marijuana suicide rates among men aged from 20 to 39 years decreased compared with those in states where legalization didn’t take place.”

    “So while we should be concerned about teenage consumption of marijuana, its legalization is not the cause. It’s in its prohibition that should concern us.”

    Marijuana and “big tobacco” have no resemblance to each other. Marijuana is not tobacco. Prohibition is abandonment to crime and criminals. Marijuana may very well cure cancer. Public health is obviously no real concern to Sabet or his friend at Yale.

    The comparisons between marijuana and tobacco are criminal in themselves.

  3. Pricknick says:

    Thanks for the post Pete!
    I have to admit though, I was very happy to see so many people comment positively about marijuana in the Washington Compost.

  4. Servetus says:

    We can expect no solutions from Kevin and his fellow prohibition fanatics. Solutions are not their goal.

    The obsessed could not exist without their obsession. Delusions give their meaningless lives meaning. If a delusion generates public fear on behalf of the deluded, so much the better. Fear makes people predictable, and thereby manipulable. Some people at least, the ones who buy into fear mongering, not others.

    Kevin Sabet justifies his anti-marijuana campaign based in part on an estimation of alleged marijuana addicts, said by Sabet to constitute 9 out of 100 marijuana consumers (the figure tends to vary). What that means is that given 100 marijuana users, Kevin would send 100 of them into rehab, even though only 9 out of 100 are classified by Sabet et al. as “addicted” to cannabis. It means that 91 out of 100 marijuana consumers coming within purview of the drug laws are currently being sent to rehab as a kind of false imprisonment for something that doesn’t affect them, in this case marijuana addiction.

    Fear of freedom is a serious problem in American society. The solution is to instill fear into the fearful. People should be terrified of denying freedom to others when that freedom is effectively a common denominator for someone’s survival or wellbeing. Sabet’s marijuana obsession is like Captain Ahab’s in Melville’s Moby Dick. In fact, Kevin and his fellow prohibitionists need to take Mr. Spock’s advice to Capt. Kirk, and crew members, in the Star Trek Episode titled “Obsession”, (1967):

    MR SPOCK: “Gentlemen, may we no longer belabor the question of whether we should have gone after the creature. The matter has been rendered academic. The creature is now after us.”

  5. Mr_Alex says:

    Cannabis is a superior treatment for Cancer (ALL TYPES), Autism, Asthma, Epilepsy, Heart Disease and etc without the nasty side effects from opiate drugs, the Prohibitionists are not about science or etc, they should be relegated to RELIGIOUS CULT where they are about imposing their selfish will on people who wish to have no part of. The best thing for Government is to stop funding them and it will be easy to see how they will learn that nobody agrees with their selfish will.

    Another thing I want to speak out.

    On Sunday I attended a anti Cannabis debate held by cult members from Family First which is run by Bob McCroskie and the New Zealand Center for Political Research on Cannabis being dangerous, they tried to use a fraudulent study from Otago University that concluded Cannabis causes cancer and a research from the US where Cannabis kills, instead these Prohibitionists lost credibility and even their behaviour and threatened people who debunked them with violence when I started using Dr Donald Tashkin’s research where he refuted the claim Cannabis causes lung cancer. The mentality of Cannabis Prohibitionists is at critical level, they cannot comprehend when a Scientific study destroys their twisted agenda in one go

  6. Mr_Alex says:

    I have also seen prohibitionists in New Zealand who resort to violence when a single professor who managed to do a study that literally demolished their selfish fantasy of imposing their selfish will against other people

    • B. Snow says:

      That’s an easily explainable situation = If for example you look-up Dunedin, New Zealand where this was done.

      “Dunedin’s largest industry is tertiary education”

      That’s in a city with a population of about 120,000 or so people in recent times.

      That means they’re in the business of pumping out college degrees – or whatever they call them there.

      And in upper-level = post-gradute education, that means they are cranking out research papers/studies, and thesis papers, and dissertations.

      If people start criticizing the “studies” done there… Well then your talking about undercutting their economy!
      I’d never heard of the place until I looked up this study. Looks like a boring -if pretty- island on the ass-end of the planet. Next door to an island with a largely arid climate that was once the world’s most notorious penal colony!

      And in modern times = that whole region is home to the world’s worst & most expensive internet access… Which is IMHO – the closest thing to a 21st century penal colony. *shiver*

      In so far as I can tell, the study was specifically contracted over 30-40 years & studied 1037 people.

      Here’s a spin on the study that (apparently = in my reading) illuminates the weaknesses of the study in ways I haven’t seen phrased and highlighted in this way before.

      Specifically this reviewer of the study (Leigh Phillips) for “Nature” news article addresses the different evaluations of the study by at least two researchers/experts.

      It starts with a major and often overlooked caveat:

      “Becoming a heavy cannabis smoker as a teenager results in cognitive decline NOT seen if the illicit drug use starts when adult.”

      I think some would like to see adult defined as age 21 (or as Dr. Gupta would love to say 25 = arguing that the brain is still “developing” up to that age… I think heunderstand his trying to avoid criticism by picking that old an age
      “Although the overall sample size is excellent, the data on adolescent onset of heavy use is based on just over 50 people.”

      She also noted that the findings represent a very small decline in IQ as a result of very heavy use over a number of years, “which doesn’t relate to recreational use”.

      • B. Snow says:

        I hate it when I hit “enter”/’carrige-return’ or ‘line-break’ on my phone browser… Outside a text-field and it reads that as “Post Comment”.

        **[Here’s the end of the post above =After the Blockqouted/Strong “Caveat”, As I had in mind, but didn’t finish proof-reading before I accidentally posted it.]**

        I think some would like to see adult defined as age 21, (or as Dr. Gupta would love to say 25 = arguing that the brain is still “developing” up to that age… I think he’s trying to avoid criticism by picking that old age.)

        I might suggest that we may someday find out that our brains are capable of developing for the majority of our lives… And that this is a non-point.

        One British researcher comments the 2 following bits:
        “Although the overall sample size is excellent, the data on adolescent onset of heavy use is based on just over 50 people.”

        She also noted that the findings represent a very small decline in IQ as a result of very heavy use over a number of years, “which doesn’t relate to recreational use”.

        Then it qoutes one of the anti-cannabis bits = often twisted by the Prohib-Idiots (aka Kev-Kev) to say:
        “we’re talking about a lose of 8pts of IQ” = Which in my reading is a serious misrepresentation of the overall study – and really only *plausibly* applicable to “the chitlins”… IF they’re smoking like freight-trains & starting very young.

        They also go on to suggest that there’s such a thing as low THC hash = as opposed to the spectre of the “Skunk” cannabis the British were so focused on awhile back.

  7. n.t. greene says:

    Okay, minor point time:

    That picture is not of a joint. A blunt, maybe, but it looks to me like it is just a straight up tobacco cigar.

    It’s a bad sign when even the stock image(!) used is disingenuous at best and downright dishonest and aggro at worst.

    • allan says:

      I’d say it’s a joint, a big phatty too

      • n.t. greene says:

        Its the logo on the side and the darkness of the wrap that has me thrown. That and holding it like that is a great way to waste good stuff.

    • NorCalNative says:

      n.t., the giveaway for me was the date and place of the photo, i.e., a DENVER 4/20 public party.

      I’m guessing there’s more than a couple of grams in that big guy and it’s a thing of beauty!

      Big joints are wasteful but that thing is meant to be a celebratory POLITICAL statement.

      • maxwood says:

        I’m a little disappointed that you guys don’t see the vicious underside of the too-common practice of heading articles about cannabis with a picture of a Joint–

        1. To children whose parents have followed advice to keep them ignorant about cannabis, every Joint and every picture of a Joint is a $igarette advertisement.

        2. Big 2WackGo has every incentive to support anti-cannabis $care campaigns because (a) legalized cannabis means no one will be afraid any more to possess, and carry, a Vaporizer or Flexdrawtube One-Hitter (yes, the Joint is easier to HIDE FROM THE COP or from your Mom). A 25-mg serving-size One-Hitter will soonREPLACE the profitable hot burning overdose monoxide 700-mg $igarette along with its “Trojan Horse” cousin the Joint.

        • B. Snow says:

          I’ll ask nicely…

          Please, Spare me all the “monoxide overdo$e $igarette” crap…

          Now if you guys will hold my spot, I’m going out on the back porch to enjoy a nice Marlboro 100 & get some fresh air!

      • N.T. Greene says:

        …if you really want your head to hurt, do a picture search to see how many articles have used that. exact. stock photo.

        I mean, I guess I was wrong about it, but it took me a pretty long time to even sort of trace it back to its original source. I’m pretty sure other articles have referred to it differently as well, but there are a lot of articles that use it.

  8. lawrence lebin says:

    a good investigative jounalist would find a very interesting association between mel and betty sembler with kevin sabet. this is a very juicy story with jeb bush in the cast of characters. and yes, sexual abuse, rape sembler funds every prohibition lobby in america along with SAM. he and adelson dumped $$ the florida ballot issue. sabet somehow got a faculty position at fla or fla state. in the psychology dept. i believe his professorship has been underwritten with sembler money

  9. Duncan20903 says:


    There are people who for some unknown reason think that they can insist their delusional fantasies into becoming fact. They don’t mind if sick people suffer more than is humanly possible to avoid. There’s no point in arguing with them because they don’t think facts are as important as not having to admit that they’re wrong, wrong, wrong and it’s not bloody likely that you can make that happen.

  10. NorCalNative says:

    If I was a parent sending a kid off to college with plans on becoming a medical doctor I’d MAKE SURE they applied to a school that honored physiology and featured the teaching of the endocannabinoid system.

    I mean all we’re talking about is homeostasis and the “master control panel” for almost every system in mammalian biology.

    Big T is “smoke-and-mirrors” to protect prohibition-derived wealth and is a tactic to scare ignorant parents and consumers.

    So, screw Sabet because he KNOWS better, and screw Yale because doctors should be better than playing water-carriers for propagandists.

    A physician practicing medicine without a complete toolkit (cannabinoids) isn’t worth the paper their diploma is printed on.

    Physicians like this Yale idiot ARE a HUGE part of the problem! And that problem can best be described as EVIL HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT!

    For those with some time on their hands and an interest in this subject go to PubMed and check out the cannabis study titled: The Care and Feeding of the Endocannabinoid System.

    And, no disrespect to this site or the people who manage it, but it would be nice to be able to type endocananbinoid into a website and not have the “auto-correct” red-line of misspelling continually showing up.

    This is a problem to me. If the Oxford dictionary chose “vape” as the word of the year and had “budtender” as #2 can’t we get a break here and elsewhere on the internet on endocannabinoid?

  11. Mr_Alex says:

    I have a better solution put Professor David Nutt + Prohibitionists whack jobs + Project SAM cult + CADCA + Drug Free America and watch the prohibitionists, Project SAM cult, CADCA, Drug Free America go insane or violent, Professor David Nutt from the London Imperial College has more credibility than Kevin Sabet or the Prohibitionists


  12. Pingback: Who’s Really Fighting Legal Marijuana? Big Tobacco, Big Pharma and Big Booze – U.S. News & World Report | ganjatimes.com

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