Legalization 101: A Parents Guide

As parents, fighting to end the use of marijuana as a tool of racial oppression is the most responsible thing we can do to set an example and reassure our children that a fairer, more rational world is possible.

Already cynical about the futures they’re inheriting, now more than ever, we need to restore our children’s faith that we can ready them for the challenges ahead and ease their transition into adulthood, employment and partnership.

Knowing what to do can be tricky though. With Prop 64 in full swing, the din of anti-marijuana rhetoric is so loud now that it’s hard to hear a thing being said. Parents are distracted from the atrocities committed in their name by decades of alarmist rhetoric. With “what about the kids?” as the trump card, reform opponents stir up parents’ worst fears with exaggerations, misinformation and lies.

The worst example is manifested in Kevin Sabet’s anti-marijuana crusade, SAM. The lies upon which this campaign is built were revealed during Oregon’s campaign on Measure 91. It was then that the Sabet camp got caught colluding with local police officials to siphon federal funds in support his opposition. Long blown over, this incident foretold the pervasive pattern of non-profit double dealing, ethics violations and fiscal sponsorship abuses that SAM would come to rely upon throughout the Prop 64 campaign.

SAM describes itself as a IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, but it’s really not.  Instead, the Californians for Drug Free Youth (CADFY), presumably a charitable non-profit, provides SAM fiscal sponsorship that allows Sabet to seek grants and solicit tax-deductible donations under the sponsor’s exempt status, despite not having his own. Sabet using fiscal sponsorship to push his agenda, getting paid very well and now with all the fund raising and grant making privileges of a non-profit, with none of the responsibilities.

The inherent hypocrisy and obfuscation of Sabet’s crusade is emblematic of his contempt for the truth and embedded into the very bedrock of his organization. That alone should throw into question his alarmist warnings of marijuana’s certain harm to public health, safety and most of all, our kids.

To wit, the federal funds diverted to pay Sabet during the measure 91 campaign were allocated to local agency budgets through the controversial HIDTA program that is under ONDCP’s regulatory oversight. SAM would have otherwise not been eligible if it were not for its relationship with the fiscal sponsor. Lets look at CADFY’s most recent IRS tax return. Alongside of SAM, note listed as one of their primary areas of program delivery, is the California Border Alliance Group (CBAG), a key player in the HIDTA program and an organization dedicated to the retrograde rhetoric of the past… and with whom fiscal sponsor CAFDY has done over $11 million dollars of business over last 4 years.

Under this arrangement, SAM and it’s political arm, are just one spreadsheet budget item away from a multi-million dollar federal spigot. With no shortage of anti-marijuana law enforcement agencies willing to circumvent the laws they are supposed to uphold, well you do the math.