Radical Rant: Legalization Foe Possibly Commits Drug Crime at TV Debate

Kevin Sabet, Project SAM
Photo by Getty Images

On Wednesday, there was a forum presented by WGBH called “The Citizen’s Choice: Legalizing Recreational Marijuana,” regarding Massachusetts’ marijuana legalization Question 4. One of the panelists predicting dire consequences if legalization passes was Kevin Sabet, the “quarterback of the anti-legalization movement,” who founded Project SAMUEL (Smart Approaches to Marijuana Use… Except Legalization)[i].

Then, a funny thing happened. At 33:21 of the video, Kevin Sabet confesses to possessing criminal amounts of a marijuana-infused product in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, assuming he is not a registered medical marijuana patient.

(WGBH) Kevin Sabet: I brought some props, if that’s okay.

[Pulls out one sandwich baggie filled with round candies and a second baggie filled with gummy bears]

I think parents should ask themselves whether they can tell which bag of candy here is marijuana and which one isn’t. 

… If you can tell, if you can’t tell, which you probably can’t, I bet you your kid can’t tell, either. When these things are lying around—the reason the emergency admissions in Colorado for kids under five (and I don’t think Andrew would dispute this) has gone up significantly, uh, doubled, is because these kinds of things are lying around that are marketed—of course they’re marketed to young people, and young people are ingesting them.

They are essentially—again, one of them is real and one of them isn’t—they are the real candy here [motioning at gummy bear bag] that are simply sprayed with THC. And there’s no way to tell the difference.

While Massachusetts decriminalized less than an ounce of weed in 2012, the bag Sabet was holding certainly contained more than an ounce, and the allegedly THC-laced gummy bears aren’t classified as Class D drugs like pot, but as tetrahydrocannabinols, which are Class C drugs in the Commonwealth. Possession of that much THC-laced candy is a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and one year in prison.

Or was Sabet lying and both bags of candy were untainted by THC? If so, he asked the audience a trick question and that’s intellectually dishonest. He also may have committed a crime, because possessing a non-drug and falsely claiming it is a drug is a crime called “counterfeit substance”—like selling flour and claiming it’s ecstasy or selling oregano and claiming it’s marijuana.

Regardless, Sabet’s warnings about stoners carelessly leaving a bunch of THC-laced gummy bears just “lying around” came back to bite him in the ass. He left his bag of gummies on the table during the meet-and-greet after the event, and they disappeared.

(Boston Pot Report) Just got back from the WGBH panel on legalizing marijuana in Mass. Kevin Sabet, the former mini-me to a handful of drug czars, brought a couple big (more than one ounce) bags of candy, and challenged the audience to tell which one was infused with cannabis.

After his puppy-and-pony show trick, I saw him looking around nervously, saying, “Someone stole the edibles.”

If Sabet knowingly left the gummies laying around where the public can swipe them, that possession of a bag of Class C drugs could become distribution, which is a felony worth a $5,000 fine and five years in prison. Not to mention all of the federal drug charges he could be facing, especially if he brought the gummies in from out-of-state. He was talking about the gummies in Colorado, after all. God forbid if it was a youngster who got his hands on them and then ends up in the emergency room, lest Sabet also face a child endangerment charge.

Fortunately, no children were harmed, thanks to the quick thinking of MassCann NORML’s Dr. Keith Saunders, who swiped the unattended bagsof candy. We shall soon see if Kevin Sabet was smuggling Class C tetrahydrocannabinols through Massachusetts or just lying to the voters to scare them about Question 4, as Saunders is taking the items to a testing lab this weekend to determine their THC content.

These days, responsible adult marijuana consumers are losing the gummy bear from our cannabis menu as legal states set strict regulations on shape, color and packaging of THC-infused treats. We’re told in mandated government warnings to keep these items in opaque, childproof containers out of kids’ reach, not in clear plastic baggies without labeling. It’s a shame Kevin Sabet is less diligent in his gummy bear protocol than the vast majority of cannabis consumers in four legal states.

[i] OK, actually Project SAM. I embellished it a bit. It’s just SMART Approaches to Marijuana—Stoners Must All Receive Treatment (h/t Chris Goldstein)

Previous Radical Rant: Will This Be The Last Boston Freedom Rally Under Prohibition?

  1. Sabet being a giant douche is taken for granted; what i am curious about is who exactly is funding project SAM??? Is it rehab facilities? Big pharma? Law enforcement and/or corrections? All of the above? I get that he has made his professional career being a prohibitionist… but he ain’t working for the drug czar no more. And he don’t work for free. As always follow the money. What conflicts of interest shall we discover therein?

  2. Lying? Intellectually dishonest? Cmon man! Hey I would love for this guy to get hit with some unintended charge as much as anyone reading your article, but I don’t understand the need to nitpick conversational technicalities. Maybe it was laced with THC, but if he was simply making a suppositional example then who cares. It actually makes you (us) look petty and devalues the actual issue at hand.

  3. Saunders has always been a greaseball. Why build him up like a god. He stumbled onto an opportunity to make a govt man look like a bigger boob than himself and he capitalized on it. It still doesn’t make the man a genius, but more so a jackass theif. get real

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