Policy Advocate Kevin Sabet Believes Big Marijuana Is The Next Big Tobacco

Will My Insurance Pay for Rehab?

Sponsored Legal Stuff - This is an advertisement for Service Industries, Inc., part of a network of commonly owned substance abuse treatment service providers. Responding to this ad will connect you to one of Service Industries, Inc.’s representatives to discuss your insurance benefits and options for obtaining treatment at one of its affiliated facilities only. Service Industries, Inc. Service Industries, Inc. is unable to discuss the insurance benefits or options that may be available at any unaffiliated treatment center or business. If this advertisement appears on the same web page as a review of any particular treatment center or business, the contact information (including phone number) for that particular treatment center or business may be found at the bottom of the review.

Policy Advocate Kevin Sabet Believes Big Marijuana Is The Next Big Tobacco

By John Lavitt 06/03/16

In an event at the Pasadena Recovery Center, Sabet spoke out against MJ legalization and addressed Big Pot's similarities to Big Tobacco and the alcohol industry.

Policy Advocate Kevin Sabet Believes Big Marijuana Is The Next Big Tobacco
Image courtesy of PRC photographer Marshall Richter

The momentum to legalize cannabis is in full swing. With every passing year, an increasing number of states have introduced new measures to decriminalize or legalize cannabis, whether it's for recreational or medical use. This November, voters in as many as 13 states could decide on important marijuana measures, according to Marijuana.com. Some reform advocates even wonder if the movement is doing too much, and is perhaps a little too confident that legalization is inevitable. 

Indeed, it would be a mistake to let their guard down. There are still active organizations dedicated to interrupting the momentum of the marijuana reform movement. Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) is one such organization, founded by known anti-marijuana advocate, Kevin Sabet, and former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy.

On Wednesday, SAM hosted a conversation "Is Big Pot the Next Big Tobacco?" at the Pasadena Recovery Center, where Sabet highlighted the importance of battling the entrenched financial resources behind marijuana legalization. 

"The main point is to talk about the creation of a powerful new industry," Sabet told The Fix. "Do we really want to create the next Big Tobacco? Do we remember a time when we ever put public health before private profit? When it comes to government policies around addictive substances, the money always seems to come first." 

Speaking before a mixed group of treatment professionals and residents, Sabet said it's a major problem that so many people think marijuana is harmless, arguing that there has never before been such a large disconnect between science and reality. Sabet—who worked under the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations as a political appointee and in the Office of National Drug Control Policy—says marijuana is more harmful than it used to be. He wrote about this in his book Reefer Sanity: Seven Great Myths About Marijuana.

He says the most frightening thing about marijuana's growing popularity is the potential impact it will have on children. Big Marijuana is targeting kids and young people just like Big Tobacco and the alcohol industry, he argued. "Let’s be real. The marijuana gummy bear business is targeted directly at kids," he said. "I might enjoy eating gummy bears at the movies every now and then, but I am not the target. Big Marijuana know that drugs are the double-edged sword of brain development. The simple truth is that addiction starts young." 

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix
Disqus comments
Disqus comments