The Joker to my Batman, Kevin Sabet, appeared on FOX & Friends, presumably to get an anti-marijuana legalization message to President Trump. The subject was a debate on the topic of marijuana legalization and the companies that are dropping their requirement that prospective employees present a warm cup of their own piss free from any marijuana metabolites.
The appearance was notable in demonstrating Sabet’s uncanny ability to reel off so many bullshit anti-marijuana talking points in such a short time.
Let’s break them all down, shall we? This way you’ll be ready to rebut these talking points when your local drug warrior tries them.
Workers Sometimes Do Legal Things
In Colorado, the construction business has had to hire out of state, because they can’t find people to pass a drug test.
You mean when you test prospective workers to see whether they did something legal a few days ago, it’s hard to find workers? Well, imagine that! I wonder how hard it would be to find workers if we tested them to see whether they’ve drank a beer in the past week?
The real reason Colorado construction companies can’t find workers is because unemployment is at its lowest point this century at 3.9 percent. That means plenty of available jobs for workers and they can choose from among them the ones that don’t require a warm cup of piss to start the employment relationship.
Legalization Doesn’t Invent Irresponsibility
I don’t want my pilot, my doctor, my kids’ bus driver to be testing positive for marijuana.
Somehow, when marijuana is illegal, doctors, pilots, and bus drivers come to work sober, but the minute you make it legal, they’re doing bong rips in the ER, smoking joints in the cockpit, and doing dabs with the schoolkids on the bus.
After all, since we made alcohol legal in 1933, you can’t walk into a hospital, get on a plane, or ride a school bus without smelling the alcohol on the breath of the person in charge.
Snark aside, legalization of marijuana does not legalize irresponsibility. There are already laws against impaired operating, piloting, and driving.
It’s Not Your Father’s Woodstock Weed
Today’s pot is so much more harmful than it used to be. THC content, which is the potency, is ten to thirty times greater…
According to the federal government’s Potency Monitoring Project, the average potency of marijuana as of March 19, 2009, was 4.68 percent.
So, Kevin, where can we get our hands on some of this 46.8 percent to 140.4 percent THC marijuana? Because the highest potency the feds came across was 37.2 percent, which is just about eight times more potent than the average.
“Harmful” would have meaning if THC were toxic, but it is not. Ingesting THC makes you high. Potency just changes how fast you get there. At 4 percent THC, older generations were smoking two joints to get high. At today’s 20+ percent THC, younger generations are smoking two hits to get high. But high is high.
Ban Marijuana Because Opioids
We’re reeling off of Big Pharma, because of the opiate crisis. Why in the world do we want Big Marijuana?
Maybe because we see 25 percent fewer deaths from opioids where legal marijuana is available?
Perhaps because we see 6 percent lower opiate prescribing rates where legal marijuana is available?
Could it be because we see opioid addicts getting off of their pills where legal marijuana is available?
Legalization’s Only Popular If You Ask About It
When you give people the choice of decriminalization, which is not putting people in prison, which I agree with, for marijuana, versus selling it and making an industry out of it, the decriminalization part is more popular than legalization.
Since the last year’s worth of national polls have shown about 60 percent of Americans in favor of legalization, Kevin has been desperate to find the Jedi mind trick to convince pot haters they’re not in a shrinking minority.
The lie within his statement is the “which I agree with” part. In 2014, Washington DC voted on an initiative that established decriminalization. An adult could grow, possess, and share marijuana, but there was no buying and selling. Earlier this year, Vermont’s legislature passed a similar law allowing cultivation and possession, but no commercial system. Currently, there are bills in the federal Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, decriminalizing it under federal law while not creating any legal system of sales.
Guess who was lobbying hard against both states’ decrim and is stridently against the federal descheduling bills? Kevin Sabet.
His new Jedi mind trick is to convince you that given a binary choice, legal or not, people choose legal. But if you give them a third option, decriminalization, they favor that over legalization. He bases that on a poll in Illinois that asked people which options they preferred among the following:
- Keep current medical marijuana law and 10-gram decrim law = 47 percent;
- Repeal medical marijuana law, keep 10-gram decrim law = 4 percent;
- Legalize commercial sale and production for rec use = 23 percent;
- Repeal medical marijuana law and 10-gram decrim law = 18 percent;
- Not sure = 8 percent.
Kevin says “the decriminalization part is more popular than legalization,” but decrim alone got only 4 percent compared to legalization’s 23 percent. It was the Illinois’ status quo of medical marijuana plus decrim that got 47 percent.
In other words, only 18 percent support Kevin’s established position of opposing medical marijuana and decriminalization, so more people supported legalization than supported prohibition. If Kevin’s going to change his tune to support medical marijuana and 10-gram decrim for every state, I welcome it.
The Marijuana That Stones You For Days
The reality is that alcohol is in and out of your system within 24 hours. THC is fat soluble. It stays in your system longer. You are intoxicated often after you might feel intoxicated while it’s still in your system.
Wow, where does Kevin Sabet find this 140 percent THC marijuana that keeps you stoned longer than 24 hours?
What Kevin is referring to is the fact that the metabolites of marijuana use, specifically one called carboxy-THC (or THC-COOH for you chemistry buffs), are fat soluble and stay in your system for days or weeks. That’s why Colorado supposedly can’t find construction workers, because smoking a joint on Friday night can leave residual carboxy-THC detectable in your system on Monday.
But the word metabolite means that the THC has been metabolized. It’s THC that gets you high, not carboxy-THC. THC spikes in your bloodstream shortly after inhalation and its effects might last as long as an hour or two. Detecting metabolites means detecting that you were high, not that you are high.
Saying that metabolites in your system means you’re currently intoxicated is like saying a sunburn on your face means you’re currently sunbathing.
Legal Capitalism is Better Than Illegal Capitalism
The marijuana industry right now, they are doing this for one thing and one thing only, and that’s to make money.
Yes, I know, it’s shocking, but people who go into the business of buying and selling legal things intend to make a profit.
But here’s the catch: people who are in the business of buying and selling illegal things also intend to make a profit.
The difference is that the people who are selling the legal things are required to follow laws regarding safety and labeling. They are obligated to check identification to ensure they only sell to legal purchasers (i.e., adults). They pay taxes to their cities and states.
The people selling illegal things, on the other hand, can’t take their disputes to court, so they settle them with guns and violence. They are incentivized to adulterate their products to increase their profits. They sell to anybody, including children.
Big Marijuana Exists With or Without Legalization
I don’t understand how we’re shutting the door on Big Tobacco – you can’t smoke anywhere – we’re shutting the door on Big Opiates, and yet we’re opening the door to Big Marijuana? It’s not good for our country, certainly not for our kids.
We’re not “shutting the door” on tobacco and opiates. It’s my understanding that both of those products will remain legal, advertised (with restrictions) for sale, and sold at a profit in all fifty states.
And for good reason! Were we to treat tobacco and opiates the way Kevin wants to keep treating marijuana, we’d have no way to force the sellers of those products to abide by advertising, safety, and legal sales requirements.
What Kevin can’t admit is that Big Marijuana has existed for about sixty years now. It’s the clandestine network of illegal producers, distributors, and sellers who’ve been supplying the 30 million or more marijuana consumers in this country, from the little basement grower to the massive Mexican cartels.
But Kevin knows all this. He’s not a dumb man. It’s just that his job is to muddy the waters; to stir up fear, uncertainty, and doubt; to slow the momentum of inevitable marijuana legalization enough to ensure that Big Pharma (his boss) gets its control of patented cannabinoid pharmaceuticals; and to forestall home growing and plummeting commercial prices enough for those pharmaceuticals to remain competitive.