Former White House Advisor Speaks Out Against Legalization Of Marijuana In Arkansas

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SPRINGDALE (KFSM) -- The group Arkansans Against Legalized Marijuana brought in a former White House expert on drug policy Tuesday (Sept. 20) to discuss why he believes legalizing medical and recreational marijuana is wrong for the state.

Kevin Sabet, a former advisor for President Obama and former presidents Clinton and Bush, spoke to residents about the negative side of legalizing marijuana.

"This [push to legalize medicinal marijuana] is more about kid-friendly items like pot candy, pot gummy bears and advertising of pot, than it is about the sick and dying," Sabet said.

Sabet said Arkansas’ push to legalize medical marijuana is a step in the wrong direction.

"It is being delivered in things like candies, sodas and kid-friendly items," Sabet said.

While studies have shown marijuana cannot cause an overdose like other drugs, Sabet said the drug can still take a life.

"Hundreds and thousands of families have been affected by marijuana, by deaths due to marijuana-related car crashes," Sabet said.

Sabet said Marinol, a drug most often prescribed to cancer patients that contains a synthetic version of THC, which is the principal psychoactive compound of cannabis, is already legally available.

"If you really need some of the effects of THC, you can already get it today through a pharmacy." Sabet said.

Legalization supporters also came to the conference.

"There are 80 other cannabinoids in medical cannabis. These cannabinoids have medical value," Ryan Dunham, deputy director of Arkansans for Compassionate Care, said. "Medical cannibals is a safe and effective medicine. It can help out many Arkansans who suffer from serious debilitating and often times terminal conditions."

Washington County Sheriff Tim Helder attended the event as well and said he is opposed to legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

"I don’t want marijuana legalized in the state or Arkansas, or anywhere else," Helder said.

But he said he is not opposed to legalizing marijuana so people in dire need of its medical benefits can use it.

"I actually stand on the side of compassion with people who are ill. If there is a way to really draft legislation that is very specific, and directed to those people, where there is no loopholes, obviously I am not against that," Helder said.

Arkansans will vote on whether or not the state will legalize medicinal marijuana on Nov. 8.


  • Brad Forrester

    Remember folks, both Sheriff Helder and Kevin Sabet have a vested interest in maintaining cannabis prohibition. The Sheriff’s financial interest is apparent, and Mr. Sabet has a stake in the drug-testing industry. These two people obviously care more about their financial wellbeing than they care about the people and thier liberties.

  • lurker48

    Kevin Sabet, former White House Drug Policy Advisor for the last three presidents, spoke to residents about the negative side of legalizing marijuana.
    Who cares what Kevin thinks, he’s obviously failed the last 3 presidents. The War on Drugs has been a major failure.

  • afreedomfighter88

    Imagine this. There were four types of cars in the United States, red cars, blue cars, green cars, and white cars. The US government found that lots of minorities drove green cars. They also noticed that people who drove green cars protested against war. Based on their research the US government decided green cars would now be outlawed as a way to help control minorities and anti-war citizens.

    Many citizens didn’t like the law and continued to drive green cars even though it was against the law. Some people that drove green cars ended up in prison for decades just for driving a green car. If you were a minority and drove a green car it was as good as a jail sentence.

    Then it turned out after much research was done that green cars were actually far safer to drive than the other legal cars. Red, blue and white cars were found to be directly responsible for over 650,000 deaths per year. Although green cars didn’t have a perfect safety record they killed almost no one. This data was presented to the US government.
    While the government was considering the new data the corporations that made and sold red, blue and white cars gave government officials millions of dollars to help them stay in office. The corporation’s for legal cars bought elected officials expensive vacations and took them out to expensive restaurants for free booze and meals. Manufacturers of red, blue and white cars dumped billions of dollars into state elections to stop green cars from being legalized.

    Finally some states legalized green cars for medical reasons because they were so much safer and frequently worked better than red, blue or white cars. Then some state government officials became very courageous and completely legalized green cars.

    Because the drivers of the illegal green cars had not been paying any car taxes the states that legalized them all of the sudden began to received 100s of millions of dollars in new tax income. When green cars were made legal all of the criminal suppliers had to run away to neighboring states and green cars were manufactured by legitimate business providing thousands of new jobs. Legalize it!

  • Doe John

    The idea of any government, especially one in a so called “Free” Society declaring a plant “illegal” is absurd. The idea that any citizen in a “Free” country need ask permission from the government to use it is ridiculous. The idea of otherwise peaceful citizens being thrown in cages for enjoying it is obscene. Adults should be free to grow what they want to grow, license and regulate all sales.

  • Kevin Hunt

    Kevin Sabet admitted he is guilty of possessing marijuana: Last night, Project SAM head and “quarterback of the anti-legalization movement” Kevin Sabet appeared on a WGBH forum regarding Massachusetts’ Question 4, their marijuana legalization initiative.
    During the event, he held aloft two unmarked clear plastic bags of candy – one was gummy bears – and said,

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

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