On September 22nd, we covered a story about the much-maligned prohibitionist Kevin Sabet’s antics at a recent Boston panel discussion about marijuana legalization. Orchestrated by Boston NPR affiliate WGBH, the forum was well attended by both supporters and opponents of Massachusetts ballot initiative Question #4. Unfortunately, Sabet saw the spotlight as an opportunity to spread more propaganda to uninformed Americans.
When it was his turn to speak, Sabet withdrew two sizable plastic baggies from his suit jacket pockets. Both bags contained one ounce of colorful gummy candies, and Sabet went on to claim that one of the bag’s contents had been “sprayed with THC.” Sabet’s stunt ruffled the feathers of many within the marijuana community who saw the prohibitionist’s disregard for state and federal cannabis laws as hypocritical at best, and criminal at worst.
When Sabet placed the bags down on a table behind the panel after his demonstration, Boston-based cannabis reform activist Dr. Keith Saunders was able to secure the bags and deliver them to a local testing facility to assess the validity of Sabet’s claims.
Dr. Saunders’ issue with the candy stunt was that Sabet broke the law, regardless of the THC content test results. Massachusetts laws prohibit the possession of marijuana products by anyone without a doctor’s recommendation, especially the sizable quantity Sabet alleged he was holding. On the other hand, if the candy was a placebo prop to make a misguided point, the “quarterback of the anti-legalization movement” also broke the law; the Commonwealth has statutes on the books that outlaw the impersonation of illicit drugs.
We spoke with Dr. Keith Saunders after the incident and asked his opinion on Sabet’s blatant disregard for the law — or facts.
Dr. Saunders told us, “He was trying to pull off some showmanship. If he was telling the truth, one of those bags contains over an ounce of THC-laden product, which is above the decriminalization limit in Massachusetts. He either had to procure them elsewhere and bring them into Massachusetts in violation of federal law, or he had to procure them illegally in Massachusetts. While we do have legal edibles for patients, he is not a Massachusetts resident to my knowledge. Either he did that, or he offered a counterfeit substance, which itself is a crime in Massachusetts. He committed a crime, one way or another. He thought he was being a smart ass and showing off, but in reality, he was committing a crime. He should be punished for what he wanted people to be strewn up for his entire career as the drug czar’s Mini Me.”
Now, we finally have the candy’s THC test results from Dr. Saunders.
Dr. Saunders explained in a story on DigBoston, “In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the lab test results showed that Sabet’s candy contained no detectable amount of cannabinoids. In other words, he was lying. I wonder if Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, who is actively campaigning against Question 4, will prosecute Sabet for his apparent criminal activity, or if she sees it all as an inconsequential game, as long as he is sharing in her opposition.”
Dr. Saunders, a NORML board member, went on to add, “prohibition laws apparently do not apply to Sabet.”
Cover Image Courtesy of Global News