Leading up to marijuana legalization in Colorado, Kevin Sabet claimed that for every dollar marijuana taxes would generate, there would be ten dollars in ‘social costs.’ Colorado’s legal marijuana industry generated about $44,000,000 in revenue for the state in 2014. That means according to Kevin Sabet’s circus math, there should have been $440,000,000 in ‘social costs’ to the state of Colorado due to marijuana legalization. It doesn’t take a governmental budgeting expert to know that Kevin’s claim is so far off base that it borders on the edge of insanity.
But that’s how Kevin Sabet goes about his work. He doesn’t care if his claims are based in fact, or what negative affect his claims will have on any given day. As long as his pockets are full of money, he will gladly spread reefer madness to anyone that will listen. Kevin recently unveiled his newest talking point, genetically modified marijuana, in an attempt to scare people into think that marijuana is bad. He even bragged about it on Twitter. Below is a photo of his tweet, which I pulled from Tom Angell’s article on Marijuana.Com:
Kevin Sabet doesn’t know what he is talking about (I know, not exactly a shocker). What he is trying to pass off as GMO marijuana is actually high quality marijuana that has come as a result of years of selective breeding. They are not the same thing, and Kevin Sabet should have known better, because it’s not the first time that the group he represents was called out for using this tactic. Per Tom Angell’s article:
That’s especially surprising since this isn’t the first time the leadership of Smart Approaches to Marijuana has been exposed for the false “genetically modified” claim.
SAM co-founder Patrick Kennedy, a former congressman from Rhode Island, previously claimed that “today’s modern genetically modified marijuana” has “much higher THC levels” that “far surpass the marijuana the president acknowledges smoking when he was a young person.”
PolitiFact ruled that the potency part of Kennedy’s comments was true, but dinged him for the false GMO claim, calling it “off-base.”
“That’s not quite right,” the fact-checking group wrote. “Genetic modification or genetic engineering involves altering a substance’s DNA at the molecular level. Producers of marijuana on the illicit market don’t have the ability to pull off those kinds of lab-based modifications.”
PolitiFact rightly attributed the reported rise in potency to genetic selection, which “involves breeding marijuana plants with the highest concentration of THC. Genetic selection, unlike genetic modification, has been practiced for centuries. Think about how we got different breeds of dogs or varieties of tomatoes.”
In another piece, PolitiFact said Kennedy’s GMO claims “didn’t hold up,” ruling that “marijuana is stronger due to selective breeding, not laboratory gene splicing.”
I always wonder what Kevin Sabet will do when he no longer has an audience. There isn’t exactly job security in what he does, because after momentum for reform is at an all time high, and people like Kevin Sabet are going the way of the dinosaur more and more everyday. What he ends up doing when marijuana is legal is anyone’s guess, but I think it’s safe to say he won’t be employed as a scientist.