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Tue Jul 15, 2014, 05:53 PM

Wed. Livestream debate: Resolved: “Legalizing marijuana saves money and lives.”

From Golden, Colorado, a debate between Kevin Sabet, from SAM, and Judge James P. Gray, from LEAP.

Sabet: “Our greatest concern should be the inevitable rise of a second Big Tobacco industry, this time marketing marijuana to our children and youth.”

Gray: “If we were truly serious about fighting terrorism, we would kill the ‘Golden Goose’ of terrorism: drug prohibition.”

Here's a link to the live stream WEDNESDAY, 12:45 pm EDT:


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Reply Wed. Livestream debate: Resolved: “Legalizing marijuana saves money and lives.” (Original post)
RainDog Jul 2014 OP
Ruby the Liberal Jul 2014 #1
RainDog Jul 2014 #2

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 06:53 PM

1. Not familiar with that site - do they record for later viewing?

Cube rat - can't view videos/streams at work.

BTW - I know Kennedy is motivated by his own coke habit, but what exactly is Sabet's cause? He was in the white house for crying out loud. What did they do - auction for a misinformation crusader that was registered "D"? The few times I have heard this guy mouth off, it was one thoroughly discredited "fact" after another. No one wants kids smoking pot - just like we don't want them drinking booze, but this dude really goes over the reality line.

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 15, 2014, 08:19 PM

2. They have a page with archived debates


the one for the OP is included, but obviously not there yet.

I don't know what drives Sabet's views. He grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana - and that's a very right wing place, as is Indiana, overall. I read some racism in his argument that alcohol is part of America's history and culture but cannabis isn't. He may not have known he was making a racist statement, but he was. He may have been trying to link cannabis to the 1960s counter culture...who knows, which is an example of how clueless he is a two different ways. Anyway, when I read that argument from him - I sort of lost any respect for his credibility.

But I think it demonstrates that his core audience is conservative and has a white supremacist mindset that's so much a part of who they are, they don't see it for what it is. I use white supremacist in this context because it is specific to this issue because the entire context of the entire history of marijuana policy stems from racism. When you make a racist argument to try to pretend you're a "third way" regarding this issue, well... fail.

I think he's a smart guy, but people can be smart but also be stupidly dogmatic.

He acknowledges the truth that marijuana is not problematic for many people and he supports the end of mandatory minimums and other sentencing reforms. The gist of his idea is this: marijuana legalization is a public health issue with significant costs.

If this is his pov, someone should be able to crunch some REAL numbers (even tho all costs will not be included) of 80 years of current policy against his projected costs.

If his fear is "big marijuana," well, there are ways to deal with that at the level of states - which can create laws that keep the mj industry limited to, say, farmers who live on their land, or to x amt. of production per company that can sell, etc... but he seems to equate marijuana with tobacco, as a health issue, and I think this is really, really off base and contradicted by research thus far. As far as addictive potential - there is no comparison. Since cannabis has the same addictive rate as coffee - to me, this issue is more like coffee.

Coffee came from Africans, then Arabs - so it was "othered" - when it was introduced to Europe, a lot of new ideas were also being introduced to Europe and, at first, clergy tried to ban it. At one time it was banned in Mecca for making people think radical thoughts...some groups claim it's not righteous to drink it (Mormons, but, just as with every other group, this one has no problem with the stimulant ephedra as tea. They demonize caffeine, but other stimulants didn't get listed by their guy, so... lol... religions.)

Anyway, a recent study - I didn't post it here, don't know if anyone else did - found what I have said for a long time - the relationship between marijuana and mental illness goes from the illness to the mj, not the other way around. People who are schizophrenic or may be at risk are more likely to seek out mj and other drugs. While there's good research to ask if mj may contribute to earlier onset - that doesn't mean it causes schizophrenia.

But, again, anyone worth talking to about this knows that, just as we reserve certain things for adults because of issues of mental, emotional and physical maturity, mj, because it is of no great harm to the overall population, should be treated as one of those things - with the exception of children who may benefit b/c of anti-seizure properties, etc... again, cost/benefit - which every doctor and patient does.

Sabet claims mj is not medicine - but he's using the definitions created by our govt to preclude mj as medicine to make the claim - this goes to issues of patents and how to reproduce a molecule versus a plant.

But plant-based medicine has a role in some people's lives and, again, the benefit to society far outweighs the cost of illegality, imo. Since we now have pharmaceutical cos making plant-based cannabis medicine - I'm not sure how he defends that idea.

I haven't seen any figures to lead me to think the nation is going to veer onto the highway to hell because adults are allowed to purchase marijuana openly.

I think it would be criminal to knowingly give aspirin to a hemophiliac, but that doesn't mean aspirin is a public health threat.

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