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7 Of The Most Pathetic Arguments For Prohibiting Marijuana Appearing In A Newspaper Near You


bobandtorey
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Myth #1: Marijuana is Harmless and Non-Addictive. I don't know too many serious reformers who would make this argument, but they would say that its harms in most cases are minimal and that it's addictive in the same sense that a substance like coffee is addictive. And the dreaded withdrawal syndrome is about as horrendous as going off coffee. Not to mention that there are many people Sabet would qualify as "marijuana addicts" who nonetheless manage to lead happy, productive, creative lives.


Myth #2: Smoked or Eaten Marijuana is Medicine. What I find interesting about this section is the way it illuminates a growing divide between people who believe only in standardized, pharmaceuticalized Western medicine and people more inclined to accept naturalistic remedies. For Sabet, if it ain't a pill manufactured by a drug company, it ain't medicine. For medical marijuana supporters (and many others), however, the wonders of pills, with all their toxicities and other side effects, leave something to be desired. A nice hit of high-CBD weed or a cup of poppy tea work quite well, and they're not going to destroy your liver or make your hair fall out or cause impotence or any of those other litanies of side effects we're treated to in those drug company TV ads.


Myth #3: Countless People Are Behind Bars Simply for Smoking Marijuana. No responsible reformer believes that. It is an argument that I see frequently being made by well-intentioned but ill-informed people, but, as Sabet demonstrates, it just isn't so and the drug reform community has understood that for some time now. The collateral consequences of a pot arrest are a different story. Sabet would like to minimize arrest records to reduce those consequences, but he still wants to arrest you so the state can get its claws into you.


Myth #4: The Legality of Alcohol and Tobacco Strengthen the Case for Legal Marijuana. Here, Sabet argues that the costs of legal alcohol and tobacco far exceed the benefits, and that legalization of marijuana will increase use and its attendant harms. But he elides the qualitative differences in the harms of the three substances. Is more marijuana use going to cause more bar fights, domestic abuse, and drunken brawls? Not likely. Is more marijuana use going to cause more schizophrenia or lung cancer? Well, we've had nearly a half-century of pot-smoking cohorts and have yet to see associated increases in those illnesses. But bottom line, it's a matter of fundamental fairness: How can you justify criminalizing people for using a substance less harmful than legal substances like alcohol and tobacco?


Myth #5: Legal Marijuana Will Solve the Government's Budgetary Problems. Sabet suggests that tax revenues from legal weed will be lesser than expected because of tax evasion and falling prices and that legalization will bring its own costs, such as paying for a regulatory framework. How true this is remains to be seen, but like many of his other "myths," this is in large part a straw man argument. I hear serious reformers saying marijuana tax revenues will help, not that they will be a panacea.


Myth #6: Portugal and Holland Provide Successful Models of Legalization. Sabet points out, accurately enough, that neither Portugal nor Holland have actually legalized marijuana; Portugal decriminalized the possession of all drugs, and Holland tolerates controlled sales and possession of small amounts. He points to mixed results from Portugal and to recent moves from conservative Dutch governments to try to rein in the cannabis coffee shops, but fails to note the strong resistance in Holland. He also points to increasing Dutch teen marijuana use, but fails to note that it is well within European norms. He also fails to note the consistent finding from social scientists that the link between drug policies and drug use rates is quite weak.


Myth #7: Prevention, Intervention, and Treatment are Doomed to Fail -- So Why Try? Prevention efforts can reduce use rates and some forms of drug treatment show more promise than others. Okay. I'm all for treatment for people who want and need it. But Sabet seems to assume that anyone who smokes marijuana needs treatment, and he's willing to see you arrested, sent to drug court or its equivalent, and placed under extended surveillance by the state to get his druthers. Also, typically, he points to high numbers of marijuana users in treatment without noting that a majority of them are sent there by the courts, the schools, or other authority figures after getting busted -- not because they are "marijuana addicts."


Get familiar with these arguments and how to respond to them. Pull apart those straw men. Find those fallacies. Examine those underlying assumptions. You're going to be hearing a lot of arguments just like these in the months and years to come. Part of how effectively we move forward on ending the drug war depends on how effectively we rebut its slickest proponents. And Kevin Sabet is among the slickest with his kinder, gentler public health neo-prohibitionism.


 


http://www.alternet.org/drugs/7-most-pathetic-arguments-prohibiting-marijuana-soon-appear-newspaper-near-you?page=0%2C1&fb_action_ids=557921577609791&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22557921577609791%22%3A335395826597760%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22557921577609791%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

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Get familiar with these arguments and how to respond to them. Pull apart those straw men. Find those fallacies. Examine those underlying assumptions. You're going to be hearing a lot of arguments just like these in the months and years to come. Part of how effectively we move forward on ending the drug war depends on how effectively we rebut its slickest proponents. And Kevin Sabet is among the slickest with his kinder, gentler public health neo-prohibitionism.

   

http://www.alternet.org/drugs/7-most-pathetic-arguments-prohibiting-marijuana-soon-appear-newspaper-near-you?page=0%2C1&fb_action_ids=557921577609791&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=%7B%22557921577609791%22%3A335395826597760%7D&action_type_map=%7B%22557921577609791%22%3A%22og.likes%22%7D&action_ref_map=%5B%5D&paging=off&current_page=1#bookmark

 

Kevin Sabet, Noted anti-cannabis "expert" will be at the

 

Oakland Intermediate School District

2111 Pontiac Lake Road, Waterford

 

Thursday, October 10,  2013

5:30-8:00 pm 

 

"The Truth and Consequences of Marijuana and Youth" , to gain knowledge about the issues surrounding marijuana legalization and its impact on youth and the community."

 

Maybe some of us can make it there and ensure that some real truth gets out to the public.

 

www.alternet.org/drugs/5-biggest-lies-anti-pot-propagandist-kevin-sabet

Edited by Wild Bill
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Mr. Sabet is doing all he can to protect the 'drug rehab' business, which he is a part of, and from which he makes his income.

 

If people aren't busted for cannabis and forced by the courts to do rehab, he and the rehab agencies he represents stand to lose $$$$ MILLIONS $$$.

 

Anyone have to wonder why he's out there yelling as loud as he can???

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